Ogden and Sarah’s oldest son, Ogden Jr., developed an interest in design and returned to the United States in 1882 to begin a career as an architect and interior designer. His family followed in the autumn of 1884, though they continued to return to Europe regularly.
Ogden Jr. became a successful architect and designer, most famously articulating his design philosophy in The Decoration of Houses, which he co-authored with his friend and client, writer Edith Wharton. He also designed homes and interiors for his society friends, including designs for the Hampshire House in Boston and the bedroom interiors at the Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island.
From the mid-1880s through the early 1900s, Ogden Jr. worked on the interior decoration of the house, emphasizing classicism and Colonial Revival. He removed the billiard table from the billiard room to create a library in the 1890s, making it a less formal space for relaxing and reading. The family’s leisure pursuits were typical of their class and social standing. Brother Hugh was a violinist; Tom a photographer; sister Dorothy enjoyed gardening and collecting; Alice, travel, reading, painting, and needlework. Ogden Jr. continued to travel and settled in France in 1920.
The family’s lifestyle was supported by many servants. The house staff included a cook, chambermaids, chauffeur, parlor maids, and a weekly laundress. In 1888 the Codmans added a new servants’ wing. The new kitchen included a new coal/wood stove and hot water heater, and a bathroom with servants’ living space above on the second floor.
In 1899 Sarah Bradlee Codman began work on an elaborate two-year project to create a walled Italian garden on the northwest side of the house. Ogden Jr. advised his mother on the design which included fountains, a canal, pergolas, and statuary. The garden reflects the Codman sense of classicism and order, sharply contrasting with the picturesque forest and meadows surrounding it. Dorothy, like her mother, enjoyed tending her own garden. She designed a less formal “cottage” garden which was modest in size, but quite sophisticated in design. Dorothy used old-fashioned flowers in the Colonial Revival style, and planned for a succession of blooms throughout the seasons.