Downton Manor Interior Decoration - Part 5

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04 February 2013
imports_HAC_pic-20-2-_93607.jpg Downton Manor Interior Decoration - Part 5
The next room in the Downton Manor series that we are going to decorate is the Gentleman's Smoking room, it is on the first floor and is reached from the gallery landing, it lies above the ground floor dining room. ...
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Gentleman's Smoking Room

The next room in the Downton Manor series that we are going to decorate is the Gentleman's Smoking room, it is on the first floor and is reached from the gallery landing, it lies above the ground floor dining room. Often after dinner in a large house, the gentlemen would retreat from the ladies to a smoking room, it was decorated with masculine taste, having heavy drapes and furnishings in rich dark colours.

To achieve this theme I am decorating the room using a wooden panelling on the lower half of the room and a rich red paint called "Redcurrant Glory" for the upper section of the walls. The room will be sectioned into two, combining seating at the rear next to the large stone fireplace and a billiard / games table at the front.

  • Firstly I am painting the walls with the rich red paint. Give your ceiling another coat if needed before you lay the flooring.
  • The flooring I am using is wooden sheeting which is in a darker shade, both Streets Ahead and The Wonham Collection are now selling flooring in different shades, this does make life easier for those of you who prefer not to have the hassle of staining. My flooring was a dark wood strip flooring from the Wonham Collection, it retails at just over £8.00 for a sheet 45cm x 30.5cm.
  • I have polished the floor panel with an antique wax polish and buffed it to a mid sheen.
  • When you have secured the wiring for the ceiling light from the floor below, the flooring can be fixed in place. It is self adhesive, just peel off the backing and smooth down.
  • I am creating a two part room with a partition at the back, because of this we have to finish the back section and add the details to the rear section of the room before we fit the partition.
  • I have firstly added the fire surround, it is a magnificent large stone effect, perfect for the gentleman's room. We don't need to add a chimney breast as the fire surround has a deep recess.
  • Next we need to add the wall panelling, the wooden panelling is from The Wonham Collection. I have stained the wall panelling with a red mahogany stain, as I am trying to tone the panelling with the shade of red on the walls.
  • Unfortunately often when you stain these ready-made wooden items, you find there are areas that will not stain due to overspill of the glue used to fix them together.
  • Once the stain has dried the panels can be finished with the same antique wax that I used on the flooring. You can see the glue affected areas on the panel.




  • To overcome these marks left on the panels, I have mixed a small amount of acrylic paint as near to the colour as possible and painted the marks to blend with the panel.
  • The wall panelling can now be fitted to the rear wall. The corners have been mitred to meet the side panelling. 
  • The wall panelling is added to the side inner side wall, this is straightforward as you just have to mitre the corner and cut to length at the doorway.
  • The window wall is more difficult, I suggest that you cut a pattern as a guide before cutting you wooden panelling.
  • I have also added some wall lights either side of the fireplace.
  • Neaten off the window sections by making some window sills from some small pieces of balsa wood. 
  • I am fitting the partition slightly off the middle of the room, giving a little more space to the games table area. So we need to fit the coving to the rear section before we fit the partition permanently.
  • Cut a length to fit the rear wall, then cut two pieces the same length for the side walls with mitres to fit snugly with the rear wall, cut the coving just under half way down the length of the room.




  • When the partition panel is ready to be fixed, you will need to cut a piece of cornice for the back of the panel, this will meet up with the sides, just in case anyone should look through a side window!
  • For the partition I have used 2 door frames, available from your "Streets Ahead" supplier.
  • One will be fixed in the centre, with the door and the fanlight removed, I am using just the outer pillars from the other door.
  • I have stained these pieces and waxed them as I did with the wall panels.




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  • We need to make the upper section of the partition, this I have done using some 5mm Balsa wood, cut a piece the width of your room, and centralise the door section, cut the panel to fit the pattern on the rear of the door.
  • On the panel mark where the two side pillars will stand, and create an arch on either side to join the middle section.


  • Pictured with the door and pillars in place.
  • Place it into the room to check the fit.
  • If you are happy with the fit, the piece can be painted to match the walls.
  • Before we fit the panel, it will be easier to hang the blind that goes at the far end.




  • The tutorial for these festoon blinds with arched pelmet will feature in Dolls House and Miniature Scene Magazine.
  • Fix some coving on the back of the panel, the coving will also help hold the partition upright and in place.
  • Fix the panel in place. Add the cornice to the front section of the room and the festoon to the front window. Pictured with the lighting in the second photo below.
  • I am also adding some lighting above the games table, these should be available from your miniature supplier, if you have any difficulty in obtaining them you can buy them from my website, listed in lighting. 
  • This light is fine in style but it is too short in the drop from the ceiling, I was initially going to create a box frame to hang them closer to the table but looking at it more closely I realised that this would obstruct the view of the room so I have opted to mount it onto a ceiling rose, this does lower the light slightly but allows the visual effect of the room to be retained.


Instructions for creating the drapes will be published in the June 2013 issue no. 228 of DOLLS HOUSE AND MINIATURE SCENE magazine.


Please visit Carol Carke’s website for more ideas and inspiration for your dolls house.


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