Otis House

Drawing Room


After elaborate dinner parties, the Otises and their guests “withdrew” to this room on the second floor of their mansion. The term drawing room is simply just “withdrawing” room, shortened.  It was the most elegantly decorated room in the house, with expensive wallpaper, luxurious textiles, and impressive architectural detail. It is also the only room in the house to have solid mahogany doors, complete with mirrored panels.  Mahogany was difficult to acquire and the other doors in the house were made of less costly wood that was either painted or grained to look like mahogany.  The mirrors on the doors were also quite expensive and ostentatious. The two corner doors are false— added to maintain the symmetry of the room—but were just as expensive as the functioning doors. The drawing room is the only public room in the house that was designed to be used at night.  Unlike the downstairs parlor and dining room, this room has a chandelier.  And the many mirrors on the doors and walls helped to reflect the light and brighten the room during evening parties.