As one of the first specialty house furnishing stores, W and J Sloane helped create the field of interior decorating in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. They advocated that interior decoration was as important as the architect was to the exterior. W and J Sloane advertised that furnishings should be chosen with regard to the interior architectural environment to accent it. An elegant interior was one with visual simplicity and lightness. The interior of the main dwelling at Merestead reflects these ideas. 

All of the photos below are circa 1909.

Entrance Entrance hall
The interior of Merestead is a reflection of what W & J Sloane was selling while William was president which was a style that influenced how countless home, offices and buildings across the country were furnished.
 
LibraryThe library
An elegant home always had a library. A library showed that the family was cultivated. Cultivated meant speaking a foreign language, recognizing masterpieces of art, and knowing how to play a musical instrument.
 
Guest bedroom with Kazak rug
William Sloane was a noted Oriental rug specialist, so it is no wonder that there were several in the main dwelling such as the Kazak in the front corner.  W & J Sloane started the fad for Oriental carpets and was one of the first stores to directly import them in the late 19th century. Oriental rugs quickly acquired a certain cache of luxury and elegance. Kazak rugs are from Turkey and Armenia.  They are characterized by the use of red as a dominant color and borders.
 
DR Dining room
The dining room furniture is Queen Anne style, the penultimate in elegance for its line, gracefulness and simplicity. It is a decorative style based on the Queen Anne period in England (1700-1720), but adapted to the 20th century.
 
PuddingSpoon_portraitAt the table
Eating in the early twentieth century for the social elite was an art form unto itself with strict requirements for table manners and behavior. “Knowledge of what is the correct thing is the standard of elegance” was the mantra for manners. Knowing how to use different eating utensils was critical for social success. Tiffany Colonial Pattern silver serving pieces such as this pudding spoon were part of a silver set that was a 1904 wedding present. The pattern reflects a dominant stylistic trend in silver at the time with elegance reflected by its classical form.
 
ChipSpoon_portraitSaratoga chip spoon
Potato chips were a relatively new snack food. They were originally called “Saratoga chips” to reflect their place of origin. As a new food, a new serving utensil was created for serving them, which silver set manufacturers such as Tiffany’s were quick to add to their lines. It is certainly strange in our time to think of potato chips being served with a specially designed spoon.