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Historic transformation on display at Glen Magna mansion

Posted by Marcia Dick  December 12, 2013 08:21 AM

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The following was submitted by Boston Design and Interiors, Inc.:

Both Massachusetts’ famed blueblood Peabody-Endicott family and Egypt’s King Tut would approve interior designer Donna Terry’s decorating scheme that will transform a North Shore mansion’s drawing room for the Danvers Historical Society that will open its doors to the public for a Holiday Showhouse in December. 

Terry, CEO of Boston Designer and Interiors, Inc., will decorate the drawing room of Glen Magna’s mansion in Danvers, once the summer retreat for generations of the Peabody-Endicott family. At almost 20 feet wide by 40 feet long, the drawing room is the mansion’s largest space. Donna Terry has created an Art Deco design scheme with Neoclassical/Egyptian revival roots.   Her company has designed custom draperies and furniture, commissioned large-scale custom artwork, and created custom lighting for this room. 

“The Endicotts redecorated the room in 1932 to reflect the Egyptian-influenced style that was all the rage after explorer Howard Carter discovered King Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922,” Terry said. “After Carter’s discovery, there was a renewed interest in Egypt and all things exotic. It was considered one of the major stylistic influences of Art Deco. When the Endicotts visited Egypt in the 1930s, they brought back the carved fireplace surround and mantle; it was, and still is, the drawing room’s focal point.” 

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The drawing room’s storied past is fascinating, as witnessed in this excerpt from the Danvers Historical Society’s literature: “After returning from a voyage down the Nile River in 1930, William and Louise [Endicott] remodeled the drawing room. They replaced the mantel and fireplace surround with an Egyptian Revival mantelpiece. It is a copy of a similar mantelpiece at Kernwood in Salem, the gothic revival country place of Francis Peabody, William Jr.’s uncle."
 
With the fireplace the focal point of her design scheme, Terry surely would garner the Endicott couple’s approval back in 1930s. “My decorating design scheme ensures that this room lives well now, and it would have lived well then,” she said.

For a sneak peek at Terry’s hand-drawn rendering, visit her blog at www.bostondesignandinteriors.com. It shows the drawing room filled with large pieces of striking custom artwork, made specifically for the space; custom-upholstered furnishings of luxurious silks and velvets in pink, raspberry, cobalt blue, and large-scale leopard accouterments; antique porcelain and other objects of interest converted into custom lamps; period-appropriate tables, chairs, and chests, and luxurious window treatments in pale pink with black velvet “speed” lines.
 
King Tut wasn’t Terry’s only muse. A decade before Carter’s discovery, the exotic costumes and stage sets of the Ballet Russes- with their sensuous fabrics, patterns, and colors worn by actors portraying historical characters from the Orient, Egypt, and Africa -- impacted the decorative arts and interiors, and provided another major stylistic influence of the period, according to Terry.

“Depictions of Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt appeared in the drawing rooms of London and Paris, and murals of ancient Egyptian life were used as decoration on the great ocean liner S.S. Normandie. Luxury steamship ocean liners advertised cruises to Cairo and Moorish lands in the 1930s and even before passengers reached their destination, they would have been exposed to the French Art Deco style that adorned many of the ships' salons.” 

It’s apparent that drawing room show house visitors are in for quite a romp through history, while being inspired by timeless design and decorating choices. 

The Glen Magna Farm’s Endicott Mansion’s 15 Rooms Transformed for Designers’ Holiday Show House, a fund-raiser for the Danvers Historical Society,  continues daily through Sunday, Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 181 Ingersoll St., Danvers. Tickets are $20. For more event information: 978-777-1666 or e-mail gareri@danvershistory.org.

 

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