03 January 2012
In part 11 of the Featherstone Hall Hotel series, Julie moves her attention to the Duchess Suite, an elegant room within this spectacular miniature Georgian dolls house...
After completing the Duke's Suite, Julie Jackson felt quite confident about tackling the room across the hall, the Duchess Suite...
The Duchess Suite was designed to be the complete opposite to the Duke's Suite with a more feminine look, light delicate colours, and en-suite bathroom, dressing room and fireplace.
As with the Duke's Suite, false walls were created within the room to add an en-suite bathroom and an alcove for a dressing area. The width of the dressing area was set to snugly fit two mirrored shop units, so they'd look like built-in wardrobes. A hole was cut in the back wall to take the transformer and give access to the lighting cables in the non-visible area of the bathroom.
The wooden floor
Before starting the ensuite, Julie stained and varnished the wooden floor – what a disaster! The new gloss varnish reacted to the stain and curdled turning it to toffee, so Julie had to scrape it off and start again. Lesson learnt – always do a test piece first!
Decorating the bathroom
Once the floor was sorted out, Julie decorated the bathroom with white gloss walls, a white skirting board and white floor tiles. Very little of this room will be visible, so Julie just bought a washbasin unit to match the bedroom furniture rather than a whole bathroom suite. A gorgeous gilt mirror sits above it, and accessories were kept to a minimum.
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The partition walls were then fixed in place and 'papered' with silk in a two-tone cream strip. The fabric was cut to approximately wall size, spray glued the back and applied it to the wall. Any rough edges are finished off with skirting and moulding. The doorways were finished with a frame and the fabric cut neatly away from the window before adding the window frame.
The ceiling is finished with a stunning tromp l'oeil paper, the lights fixed in place, and the edges of the paper covered with painted strip wood. To hold this all in place while the glue dried, wedged bamboo skewers were used.
The curtains were easily made by gluing matching braid to two rectangles of silk brocade. The untrimmed top edge was glued over to form a tube and the curtain rail made from a wooden dowel slotted through. These were glued and scrunched up with no need for sewing. Tiebacks were attached halfway down and held in position by gluing to the wall. The curtains were glued in place ready for the furniture and people in the next instalment.