COLONIAL REVIVAL MOTIFS
Lots of conventions, even those we think of as historic, date to the Colonial Revival period of the early 20th century, including the use of hooked and oriental rugs. Some motifs of the period endure, and are considered to be simply American— traditional decorating customs found coast to coast.
• MOTIF 1 Built-in cabinets, especially corner cupboards and those with arched tops or carved shell motifs, are often reinterpreted for homes of the revival.
• MOTIF 2 The term “grandfather’s clock” for the tall-case beauties was coined during the Colonial Revival. The clock often stood in the foyer near the stairs, or on a landing.
• MOTIF 3 Painted floors were revived, more elaborate than most had been earlier. The compass rose is a favorite design, as is the diagonal checkerboard.
• MOTIF 4 Windsor chairs—sackback, comb-back, fan-back—are an enduring motif. Reproductions are often painted to look old.
• MOTIF 5 The wing chair is a historic type that has been interpreted in Victorian and even Art Deco designs, but none more popular than the traditional. • MOTIF 6 Colonial or Federal elements are common at the entry, including pilasters, bold trimwork, cross-batten or raisedpanel doors, even transoms or sidelights with tracery.