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One chimney served two smaller rooms in the Ewing House. That and historical records that one of the east rooms was initially unfinished indicate that one room might have been a fabric workshop for Ewing, who was a merchant.
When the house was restored by Colonial Williamsburg in 1940, a 20th-century porch was removed from the north facade, while the original framing was kept. Some of the interior woodwork, including the stairs, several doors and the flooring, survives from the 18th century.
A view of the eastern exterior of the main house and its subsequent three additions show the white clapboard siding, gambrel roof and shed dormers that characterize Dutch colonial homes.
The open, grassy field separates the Ewing House and complex from the next colonial house, the Chiswell-Bucktrout House. In the 18th century, the field may have had a house on it, or it could have been an open field.
All of the rooms in the Ewing House are furnished with replicas identical in color and scale to the original pieces or are largely inspired by English regency designs from the 18th century. Interior designer Cheryl Griggs worked closely with Colonial Williamsburg's historians to make sure that all the rooms in the Ewing House reflect the period as accurately as possible, so all the public and private spaces have a manicured, curated feel.
The parlor floor is covered with a wool Wilton-weave rug, a beloved British import that continues to inspire carpet makers today. The red and cream cotton and linen drapery and wingback chair fabric are inspired by a French antique copperplate resist pattern. Trumpet vases (above the mantel) were all the rage in the 18th century, and it's quite easy to see why: They were great conversation pieces, and the splayed design made for the perfect way to display young flower buds.
Trumpet vases: white five-finger vase, Williamsburg Marketplace
Clearly, the Ewing House pays homage to all things toile. An 18th-century English copperplate-printed fabric inspired by a romantic blue and white floral toile is used on the canopy, the bed skirt ...
... and the window treatment, highlighting that toile was the fabric of choice in the 18th century. You could never have enough toile. The blue carpet and throws are a symbolic tribute to the country's naval and shipping history.
Windsor chairs are sprinkled throughout the house, which shows just how versatile the chairs are in the home: They're paired with a writing desk in the guest room, placed bedside in the blue and white room and play a supporting role to wingback chairs in the previous photo.
Here, the chairs are the porch seating of choice for tea; their ebony hue brings out the dark colors of the shutters, the nearby smokehouse door and the table napkins. The Windsor chair is one of the first imports brought by the British in the early 1700s, and we've clearly come to love everything about its simplicity and ability to mix with different types of traditional decor.
The Ewing House and other historic homes in Colonial Williamsburg are open for guest stays throughout the year. Read more about lodging options and plan your next visit.
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