02 September 2012
This month we concentrate on the Butler's Pantry in the miniature masterpiece that is the Featherstone Hall Hotel. ...
Not being totally familiar with the downstairs workings of an Edwardian country house, I had to do some reasearch into what would be needed to keep the upstairs running smoothly. In a very short time I realised that I simply did not have the space to show everything that went on downstairs; I therefore decided with the two spaces on either side of the central hallway, one would be the kitchen and the other the butler's domain.
Traditionally the butler's pantry was used for storage, cleaning the silver, wine log, and merchants account books. I divided the space into two rooms, one for an office/sitting room, and a second as a scullery used for washing, cleaning and polishing.
The Butler's Pantry
The pantry is the first of the two rooms accessed from the central hallway. Opposite this door is another in the partition to provide access to the scullery beyond.
The floor was already tiled when I started the basement. I cut a hole in the back wall of the house and drilled a hole through the partition wall between the pantry and scullery. This enabled me to pass the electric cables through to the transformer which sits behind the scullery back wall.
First I papered the side walls with a simple print of green oak leaves over a darker green textured paper with a green painted dado rail to cover the join. I papered over the doorway to the scullery then cut through with a scalpel afterwards.
The cosy fireplace with stove is in the centre of the back wall. I started by deconstructing an inexpensive fireplace with a resin fire. It was repainted sooty grey stone with blackened brickwork and stone hearth. I then reassembled it to include an electric fire. To complete the look I made an 'U' shaped false chimney from Plastruct sheeting and papered it match the walls.
The Back Wall
Before inserting the back wall I pre-drilled the holes for the wall lights on either side of the chimney breast, and one in the bottom left hand corner for the table lamp cable. To install the back wall, I tied a ribbon around the panel from the top to the bottom (ribbon is important, as string is too round), then glued the floor and ceiling and stood it up in position using the ribbon to pull it forwards into place. The ribbon was cut and slipped out easily. When the wall was in position, I noticed that my vertical cuts were not great, so I covered some plastruct batons with the wallpaper scheme and stuck them in the corners to cover the gaps. See the first photo below.
The fireplace was added with a false chimney above, and the decoration finished with dark green dado and skirting. The lights were installed both on the back wall and the ceiling. See the second photo below.
Finishing the Room
- I dressed a pair of small tables with chaotic piles of newspapers and magazines
- A small green and mahogany rug visually pulls the Snug area together.
- The Butler Ronson senior is sitting in his favourite armchair.
- The Chair opposite is threadbare but provides a comfy spot for Ginger the cat to snooze.
- Rex the dog is bothering Ginger the cat and and an old newspaper is glued over one arm.
- On the opposite wall is a small rack with some of the Ronson's personal belongings.
- The mantle has a framed print above and various belongings including a clock, pipe rack, some postcards and letters.
- The office area is filled with two bookcase desks.
- One is open to show ledgers and paperwork.
- The swivel chair at the desk has the seat recovered in green leather to match the room.
- There is a visitor's chair matching those in the hallway outside.
- A lamp stands on the base of the second bookcase.
- In the foreground is rush matt covering the floor between the hallway and scullery.
- This is a working room, so I have installed a wall mounted telephone.
- Ronson junior brings this to life by standing taking an order from upstairs.
- Above the door to the scullery is a bank of bells which in real life would be linked to the guest rooms above.
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.
Enjoying the Featherstone series? Sign in to the new Featherstone Hall Hotel visitor’s book, and leave a comment, visit: http://www.dee-dawdesigns.com/page16.htm If you would like to see the project for yourself, Featherstone Hall Hotel will be on display at the Autumn Miniatura show between the Dee-Daw Designs and Dolls House & Miniature Scene stands.