Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Step by step: dining room

This will be a long story. The reception room, music room and drawing room were relatively easy. But the dining room has some advanced features - one of many that make this house so interesting - that not only demanded careful planning, but also led to a number of major mistakes. Hopefully this will be all the more exciting to follow.

The main idea of the dining room goes back to my Georgian house, which was made to display the Chippendale furniture. So the centerpiece of the room was the Hepplewhite dining table:


In the early picture of Womble Hall, you can see the future dining room to the right on the middle floor.

You can also see that the room has a back corridor. According to the instructions, there should be a staircase in this corridor, but no matter how I tried, the staircase wasn't visible if you put in the partition, whether with the door on the right or on the left. I have seen a version of this house with no partition and the staircase against the back wall. But I liked the corridor so much that I sacrificed the stairs in favour of the corridor. By this, I also chose to make my life difficult. But this would be a long time in the future.

If you have read my previous posts you would not be surprised to know that I started the room with a chimney breast. It was the first chimney breast I made from scratch, and I was and still am very pleased with it. I used low-resolution printed wallpaper just to test it, and I also placed some objects in the room to see what it might look like.

In this picture from September 2014, I had inserted the partition, but there is no back wall behind it. The door is a plastic door from another project, just to test. And the floor is paper, the same as in the old Georgian house.

I did some work on other rooms before the basement arrived, and then I spent many weeks on the basement. So it wasn't until late December that I returned to the dining room and then had to start planning carefully. For instance, at this stage I had to decorate the rear corridor. And of course I had to use proper wallpaper, and although the initial trial was only temporary, I actually liked it. So the result was this:

The doors aren't properly inserted yet, but I had to fix the rear door pretty soon since it had to be finished before I put the partition in place. Which wouldn't happen for a while. But just to make it look nice, I white-tacked wallpaper on the right-hand wall and added some objects.

In this picture, you can see that I have a chest in the rear corridor, and there is a light there (battery LED light). The floor is temporarily borrowed from another room. You may ask why I kept moving floors from room to room, but it was to see the effect. Compare this picture with the previous one, with bare floors. You cannot really judge whether the decoration works.

Note that the shell is not assembled yet. It means that the wallpaper is not glued in the corners, and generally everything is shaky.

In the picture of the half-assembled shell, in March 2015, you can see how I had hung wallpaper with flaps that would later go on the back partition. And you can see the wallpapered back wall of which only a little bit will be visible through the door in the partition.

Next I had to insert the floor partitions, so I wanted to decorate ceilings on flat surfaces. This was the ceiling for the dining room. Two months later, it fell down.

This picture, from May 2015, shows the partition without the chimney breast. I would soon attach it permanently to the partition. The rear corridor is sealed off and can only be reached through the door, which turned out to be a problem. I believe this was the most difficult room in the whole house, where I also made the most mistakes. But the happy ending was this:

The partition in place, the rear door in place, wallpaper in place, ceiling successfully repaired. Time to make the floor!

It all sounds very easy, but remember, there are hours and hours of work between the pictures. This floor took a very long time to make.

But after that, I didn't do much on this room, apart from adding some more furniture, until we did the lights, and I have a nice picture taken through the side window:

 Then I made a new ceiling, as I did with all other rooms:

I added skirting boards (proper) and coving, made from 1:1 wallpaper.

We are now in December 2015. New Year dinner is served. You can also see new curtains on the window.

Since then I have mostly added new Chippendale furniture. For instance, I replaced all chairs and the side table, made a cellarette, a dumb waiter, a serving table, and another serving table. I had to put the side table elsewhere, and it still looks crowded.

I will probably add some pictures on the walls, possibly sconces on both sides of the mirror, but there is not much else I can squeeze in this room. I will make more food. I also need to repair the male Dutch doll to keep his female friend company.

1 comment:

  1. I've been a keen follower from the start. Even so, it's still interesting to be reminded of how far you've come in this project. It all looks wonderful.