photo by Hal Conroy


In comparison with the ornate public rooms on the first floor, the Little Parlor has a more subdued décor in keeping with its function as George Mason’s office and the family’s informal dining room and parlor. While there is no elaborate carving, the room has a simple elegance in design with clean lined woodwork. This was painted a neutral grey color, likely serving as a contrast to wallpaper which once adorned the walls. The room’s focal point is the fireplace topped by a split pediment overmantel, a feature made more impressive in Mason’s day when the central rectangle held either a painting or a mirror. As in the formal Dining Room, the fireplace is flanked by beaufats designed to store and display the Mason's tablewares. Unlike the Dining Room however, these beaufats have deep shelves to maximize storage and doors to secure valuable possessions.

Next: Second Floor