21 August 2012
In this 4th part of Erin's dolls house build, she tackles the Games Room. ...
Finally I have finished the Games Room, adjacent to the Ballroom. It’s been a wonderful room to put together, full of creative projects. I wanted to decorate this room with a touch of the Chinoiserie, while still maintaining a rather masculine and quiet atmosphere. Some readers may remember the ballroom flooring debacle, wherein I saved a half-finished parquet floor. My first jobs therefore were to finish off the floor and select a wallpaper to reflect the Georgian rage for all things Oriental.
Finishing the floor was a delight. I’ve decided that it’s a great pity that parquet flooring kits are as dear as they are, because there are fewer dolls house projects I have enjoyed more than building my floor in its intricate pattern. The centre of my floor is has a large star square made of walnut and cherry wood. Surrounding that are walnut parquet pieces, around those are cherry. I cut a border of plain walnut wood running along all four sides to fit, then gave it two coats of wax, which brought the natural colours of the wood out very nicely. I did find that the dampness of the wax brought up several parquet squares, having loosened their glue, but all that was required was to glue them back in place once all had dried again.
Happily, my first choice of wallpaper was out of stock, and so I was forced to look again. And so it was that I was recommended Fontaine de la Jeunesse from Jennifer’s of Walsall. When the paper arrived I was extremely pleased that my first choice had been out of stock; it is something quite special. It has a lovely sheen to it and the detail and colours pop out at you. Added around the bottom of the walls was walnut stained panelling. I felt the wallpaper needed this balance in order for the room to achieve the almost muffled feel I was trying to achieve. I wanted this room to be somewhere that weary revellers could escape from a packed, bright and noisy ballroom for a quiet game of cards and conversation.
One of the dominant colours in the wallpaper for the Games Room is blue, and this lent me inspiration for what to do with the ceiling. I decided to try an idea which I worried might end up visually brash, but crossing my fingers I hoped I could pull it off. I made a template of the ceiling from a roll of lining paper. Then I peeled the wrapper off of a blue pastel and laying it on its side rubbed it up and down over the sheet until it was fully covered. At first it looked very bad indeed, patchy and far too dark a blue. But I used a sponge and rubbed it all in until the patchy blue became a soft sky like swirl. Then I did the same again, this time with a white pastel, and repeated the process with the sponge. Finally I had the shade of blue I was after without any alarming sharp edges or patches. I was wary at first but I found that once it was in place, with the walnut stained ceiling coving bordering it, that it looked very well and added to the intimate, close atmosphere I had been striving for.
A lovely Chinese lantern provided the central light, with wall lights illuminating the back wall. Between the two wall lights is a small semi-circle wall shelf, upon which rests a statue of a bird, mouth open in song. This was a plain metal piece which I painted to coordinate with the room. In the corner to the right of the billiards table is a small Hepplewhite candle table which I made from a kit. Sitting upon it is a small Buddha statue, the only other nod to the East to be found in the room.
Towards the front of the room is yet another Hepplewhite table with two chairs either side made from kits. Laid upon the table is a game of cards ready to be played. Behind them, to the left of the fireplace you see a dartboard. Underneath it is a matching semi-circle shelf to the one which the bird rests on. This one however holds darts. If you look closely to the right of the dart board, you will see that someone hasn’t got very good aim – there is a dart lodged in the Mistress’s brand new wallpaper! Whoever the culprit was has made a hasty exit, for there is no one to be seen in the room.
And so, that is the story of the Games Room! Next up is the Sitting/Music Room, directly above the ballroom and another double width room. I’d like to add that I will be blogging more frequently from now on, giving updates mid-project rather than summaries at the completion of a room. The beauty of that is that you can watch me tear my hair out when I’m desperately searching for solutions, rather than simply see the end result which makes it seem so easy! I hope you have enjoyed this latest instalment.
Best wishes to all,
This feature was originally published in Dolls House and Miniature Scene magazine. If you like making miniatures, why not buy yourself a copy of the magazine. Or better still take out a subscription so you never miss an issue. For fans of Facebook and Twitter, or to email, print or comment on the feature, please use the buttons above to share with your friends.