Fonthill Interiors

The interiors of Fonthill are probably even more fascinating than the exterior; they were the driving force behind the architecture afterall! Above you see some of the remaining color in one of the bathrooms. Originally the house was filled with many bright and pastel colors (some might say garish). Mercer was a collector of many things, including prints, which are displayed everywhere he could find wallspace including over the sink!
Tiles by the Moravian Tile works are found everywhere - floors, ceilings and fireplaces. Mercer used the house as his laboratory and tile museum, bringing potential clients to see different examples and even allowing them to stay overnight. I especially love these tiles set into concrete on this chimney breast; Mercer was inspired by 16th century Italian fabric in this instance. Notice the Wedgwood Portland vase on the upper left-hand shelf.
In Mercer's private study, you can see how much the room was used. The leather on the sofa is worn OUT, which I love to see. Books line this room (as elsewhere) as do ancient pottery examples sourced from all over the world. The wood paneling was reclaimed from many sources, much of it from old doors; Mercer was nothing if not resourceful. This was one of the few rooms with wood flooring and where he would have spent much of his time; amazing views out the huge corner windows of the garden.
The Columbus room was dedicated to the discovery of the New World and the tiles are all about this event. The tiles were set into the concrete formwork as the ceiling was being poured and were not applied afterwards; an innovative technique!
The interior photographs are by Bjorn Wallander and were featured in the Sept. 2007 Martha Stewart Living magazine. Thanks to Kathy of Hearth and Hedgerow Ltd. for helping me gather some information. Check out her blog!

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