Sunday, 11 September 2016

Step by step: drawing room

Unlike the reception room and the music room, the drawing room at Womble Hall inherited many features from the original Victorian house, where the drawing room was combined with the study. When planning Womble Hall I knew I wanted a room where the ladies would enjoy their perpetual tea. In this early picture, one of the first weeks after I started, the general idea of the drawing room is clear. It's left side, middle floor.

There is a tea table, two dolls, and a sofa in the background. I didn't know what wallpaper or floors I wanted in this room. As with the other rooms, I started with the chimney breast. I used the front that I had bought a long time before, when I didn't yet know I could make fireplaces myself, but since it was there it would be silly not to use it. I knew I didn't have enough wallpaper, but at that point I was just testing things.

I made herringbone parquet floor for this room from self-adhesive shelf lining because I hadn't yet realised that all floors in this house would have to be hardwood. Proper floors. But as a test it looked ok.

In this picture, from October 2014, the shell is not glued yet, the wallpaper is temporary and only covers one and a half walls, the doors and windows are not properly inserted. At this stage, I had a very vague idea what this room would be like. Both tables are upside-down wooden candlesticks, from my very, very first forage into a flee market.

After that, I didn't do anything on this room for a very long time. You might think that I would work on one room at a time and finish it before moving on, but that's not how it happened. In this case, I didn't return to this room at all until I had glued the shell and was decorating ceilings before inserting floor dividers. For this room, I made a pink ceiling with white ornaments. I had doubts from start about this ceiling. It looked fine on its own, but somehow it didn't quite fit in with the room. But I let it be for a while. We are now in March 2015, and by then I had put in wallpaper, made wall panels, and it started looking like a room.

The wallpaper is a free printie, and I made the panels from a 1:1 wallpaper sample. The window is probably inserted, but not the door.

This room was, as I realise now, the easiest and most straightforward, and therefore, again, it took some time before I returned to it. Meanwhile the tea party just went on. But in May I decided to move the floor from the grand entrance to this room.

Once you have started having hardwood floors in your house, paper floors are unsatisfactory.

After that, there was another long break with this room. I guess, again, it's because it looked almost finished, and I was busy with rooms that didn't. So the next step, in October, was when I started working on the mouldings: skirting and  coving.  First, I had to add a few centimetres to the floor that came from another room. Then I used my ingenious, if I may say so myself, technique of coving with the same 1:1 wallpaper that I had used for panels. I am not good with coving, and I have avoided it as much as possible. It's soooooo much easier to work with paper, and I think it looks acceptable. Maybe even good.

There are small differences between the pictures, but each time the room looks tidier and more complete. The only major work to do with this room was to insert the door, but to do this I had to finish the adjacent room, and it took some time. Although I did make a curtain rod for this room.

However, the most revolutionary step in the whole project was lighting, which happened in November. I don't have a separate picture of the drawing room illuminated, but here is a picture of the whole house.

But as you see, the doors are still not inserted. Moreover, at approximately the same time I discovered Adam paper which implied a series of ceiling renovations all over the house. In January 2016 I made a ceiling for the drawing room, replacing, without much regret, the old pink ceiling.  This is what it looked like:

After I had finished the ceilings and the mouldings, the main project was officially completed, if there is such a thing. After that, I mostly focused on Chippendale furniture, among other things replacing the old faithful plastic coffee table with a Queen Anne tea table. The room was by then rather crowded, as Victorian rooms are. The serpentine chest by the right wall is also a Chippendale piece.

And this takes me to the present, September 2016, two years after I started.

You can say that not much has changed, and that's true. This room has given me least headache of all, and there is probably not a lot I am going to add. I may replace the table and chairs with Chippendale pieces when I have made them. I might add more paintings and other ornaments. Of course I can replace the sofa, but it has such warm sentimental memories that I think I will leave it as it is.

No comments:

Post a Comment