08 December 2011
In part 10 of this fascinating miniature dolls house series exploring Georgian mansion, Featherstone Hall Hotel, Julie Jackson creates the Duke's Suite – a sophisticated space fit for a... duke!
The Duke's Suite was always going to be a bold, strongly-coloured room as befits its masculine title, and when Julie saw a range of mahogany and burr walnut effect miniature dolls house furniture from the Wonham collection, she knew it would be perfect...
The colour scheme for the room flowed from the furniture, the mahogany floor, skirtings and doors, and the gold walls to reflect the walnut panels on the bed.
A bold scheme needed a bold occupant and so Marcus Fortescue was born! A bit of a ladies' man, gambler and was only as good as he needed to be – a 'hero' straight out of a Barbara Cartland story! Of course his valet, Pemberley, would always keep him on the straight and narrow.
The layout of the room was simply a bedroom with an ensuite. Julie had wanted to squeeze a fireplace in, but after having a play to sort out the layout, she couldn't manage it. With colour scheme and layout planned, and occupant in mind, Julie started decorating.
Decorating the ensuite
Julie had already painted the ceiling of the Duke's Suite and cut a hole in the back wall to enable a transformer to sit behind the false wall of the bedroom. She painted the walls of the bathroom white and tiled the floor area with some leftover white tiles from the reception. Julie also added a stained and varnished mahogany floor in the bedroom, stopping short of the tiles so that the false back wall would sit between the two.
To finish this area, Julie added white skirting board, a strip of embossed paper above it and topped it with some white painted strip wood for a dado rail. The visible item in the ensuite is the washbasin. It has gold legs, taps and towel rail and was dressed with a cast metal shaving set, a large decanter of cologne, and a bar of soap. Adding a tiled shaving mirror, a towel and a bathroom shelf from Plastruct sheeting with bead bottles. The final touch was a gilt mirror and toothbrush holder.
Before fixing in the false back wall, a doorway was cut to take a basic internal door. The doorway was positioned up against the side wall so Julie only had to make two cuts. Once Julie had made sure all the doors/walls would fit in properly, the walls were decorated including the loose false one. As a change from wallpaper silk was used.
The pieces were spray glued before attaching them to the walls. The back wall was fixed in place before the stained and varnished door was inserted in the doorway. The skirting and bedroom door were also fixed in place.
Once everything was fixed in position, Julie finished the room decoration with wooden coving, a strip of embossed paper below it, and gold painted strip of wood for dado and picture rails. The window frame was completed with mahogany stained and varnished surround made from strip wood.
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First, Julie made a roller blind from folded cloth glued to the frame. Over the blind is a pair of gold brocade curtains, glued in place and finished off with a pelmet of upholstery fringing. The tie backs are made from the same fringing as the pelmets.
The mattress was removed from the frame and covered the head end with bottom sheet fabric, and the bottom end with the quilt fabric. Then, strips of bottom sheet fabric edged with lace were folded and glued into position to simulate a valance.
To make the quilt and top sheet, silk brocade was used and turned under one long edge for the foot end. Trim was added to the two short sides and a strip of sheet fabric was folded and glued to the head end of the quilt. The cut edge was finished with lace and folded under the quilt short ends. The whole quilt was then spray glued and positioned on the bed.
Pillows were made from a rectangle of sheet fabric with a strip of quilt fabric and lace down the centre. Wrapped around a rectangle of 10mm thick foam and the ends of the pillow sealed with glue and pinched together. A bolster was made and a round cushion for the centre of the bed. The cushion was finished with organza frill glued on the back.
Dressing the room
- A panel of Trompe L'oel plasterwork from the Dolls House Emporium was glued to the ceiling
- A small white plaster ceiling rose with a drilled hole to take the chandelier wire
- Large carpet fixed with spray glue to the centre of the room
- Bedside tables, dresser and wardrobe
- Bedside lights
- Glass decanter for a water bottle with a glass tumbler
- Two large gilt framed oil paintings
- The occupant of the room has just arrived and there is lots of luggage
- A valet stand with a dinner jacket
- A chair with Gladstone style black leather bag, and on the dresser all that a gentleman would ever need
- Travel grooming box, box of cigars, pipe, ashtray, clock, shoe horn, hunting boots
The final touch to the room is the occupants. Marcus Fortescue is relaxing on the bed while his valet Pemberley unpacks.