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The Breakers: Family Living Quarters

Take a sneak peek at the personal living quarters at "The Breakers", Cornelius Vanderbilt II's summer home in Newport, Rhode Island.

This fabulous room was Mr. Vanderbilt's bedroom and it's one of two that still reflect the designs of Boston architect/interior decorator, Ogden Codman.

The carved walnut bedroom suite was made for him when The Breakers was built. The coral damask upholstery and draperies are a reproduction fabric nearly identical to the original material from 1895.

On the softer side of elegance, Mrs. Vanderbilt's bedroom displays a lovely wall fabric of soft hydrangeas, which is an adaptation of the original design, and furnishings in the Louis XVI style. She spent much of her time at her desk planning household activities and overseeing the family's charitable and civic duties.

The Vanderbilts were introducted to the designer, Cogman, by author Edith Warton. The two green panels flanking the fireplace are oil paintings on canvas which were brought over from Edcith Warton's home, and then the rest of the panels were painted to match. They have hung here for over 100 years and have never been retouched.

The only guest bedroom on the second floor is a perfect example of Codman's then-new approach to design in the 1890s. He was a strong advocate of French décor, which called for light colors. This dramatic change from the heavy drapes and overstuffed furnishings of the Victorian era was a breath of fresh air for everyone. The green wall panels in the guest bedroom are typical of late 18th century French interiors and are in the neoclassic style.

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