Sunday, 31 August 2014

Rough estimates

Today I have moved most of the furniture from the Victorian and Georgian houses and from the nursery room box to the new shell. The lower part of the back wall is fixed with masking tape, and not all internal walls are in correct position.

It is hard to take a good picture, and you almost cannot see the attic floor, where there will be, left to right, nursery, servants' room and guest bedroom.

Yet moving in and moving around has helped me to understand how much space I have and which space will be best for which room. Although I have made several drawings and a 3D model it is next to impossible to visualise what it will look like. In the coming few days - or likely weeks - I will move things around, because I need to make some major decisions before I can go on. For instance, where will the fireplaces be, since I must make chimney breasts and plan the rest around them. I must decide where the lights will be and which light goes into which room and how many more ceiling lights I may need. (Other lamps can be put in later).

Most important, this is the time to choose the interior decoration. Because I am bringing together Georgian and Victorian styles I can have the best of both. A classic reception room (to the left on the ground floor) and a crammed Victorian drawing room, just above. I will probably paint the entrance hall and the reception room, but wallpaper the other rooms.

I was sceptical about the two small rooms in the middle of the second floor and even considered taking the partition away, but that left me with two ridiculous doors side by side (this is one of the changes in the new model). It suddenly occurred to me that one of these will make a perfect bathroom, quite logically next to the master bedroom.

The rear rooms are clever since they create a sense of additional space. There are stairs in one of the rear rooms that cannot be seen from anywhere so I am not sure yet what it is for. But for instance, the book case, one of the first pieces I made many, many years ago, that would look too large and clumsy in a front room, looks perfect through the arch. Well, it looks perfect at the moment; we'll see whether I am still happy next week. I have also, tentatively, put some cupboards in rear rooms, but I am not sure it will work when the doors are in place. Rear rooms and fake door are always interesting. I may add some fake doors.

It is all very exciting, but also a bit sad. The Victorian house is a mess, and the Georgian house is empty. When I have made my decisions I will have to put everything back, and it will take months before it can be moved in permanently. It feels a bit of a betrayal of old, faithful friends. But that's the way it is.

If you wonder why there is no kitchen, it will be in the basement that hasn't arrived yet.


  1. Hi Maria, I've only just discovered your interesting blog - how have things progressed with Downton Manor ? I am thinking of buying this house myself but have lots of questions that the manufacturers are not helping me with ! Basically I want to know if its possible to move some of the internal walls around without the whole house collapsing. Also to know the exact height from the base of the house (without the basement ) to the floor of the attic rooms, because I use a wheelchair and the top rooms may be too high for me to reach into from a sitting position.
    It's all Sooo frustrating ! Any information you can give would be really helpful.
    Hoping you can help, Gill

    1. Gill, can you please email me on I will reply to all your quiries. I have had a lot of trouble with the manufacturer, but it's a great house, and I am having fun.