In this next part of the Featherstone Hall Hotel series, Julie explains step by step how she created the miniature conservatory of this marvellous dolls house hotel...
Of all the rooms in Featherstone Hall Hotel, the dining room (which we focus on in part five) is the most complicated. This spectacular dining room has doors out to a conservatory. The idea of creating the outdoors indoors is quite appealing, as everyone loves optical illusions and visual deceptions. Julie takes you through the process of creating this stunning conservatory.
The project started with a ready-made orangery from Streets Ahead, which was cut in half and the solid roof removed. The shell was placed inside the dining room (with a photo of a country house garden behind it to see if the optical illusion effect would work), the depth was marked on the floor and the height of the starting point for the outside scenery.
Once the depth of the conservatory was sorted, the back wall of the dining room was created using a couple of room height pieces of MDF and a large exterior doorway. Two LED strip lights were added on the conservatory side. Thinking ahead, a hole was cut in the back wall for access to the light fittings.
Once the preparation was done it was time to start decorating. The landscape scene was taken from an old holiday digital image of a country house garden. It was printed out on several sheets of self-adhesive paper and used to line the back end of the dining room. Some extra blue sheets were printed for the sky.
The glass roof to replace the original solid one was made from a glazing sheet with imitation iron struts made from Plastruct. Real granite paving slabs were used for the floor. The conservatory was then glued in position.
The roof was attached to the conservatory with clear tape at the far end to make a hinge before it was glued in position, and was then glued up to the ceiling at the dining room end. It needed to be fixed to the ceiling to look correct through the fan light on the doorway.
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Dressing the conservatory
Having only half of a conservatory to fill, there wasn’t enough room for the original string quartet or even the grand piano. A compromise was made with lots of plants and a duo with cello and violin being used instead. It was quite tricky to get two gentlemen to sit in their chairs and hold the instrument appropriately. Superglue prevailed and both the cellist and violinist are holding their bows and give the impression of actually playing.
Flowering shrubs were added to the orange trees and a selection of exotic palm ferns from the Dolls House Emporium range to bring colour and perfume for the diners to enjoy. Once the conservatory was fully dressed, the lights were checked to see if they worked properly before being glued to the back wall.
That’s the first half of this most difficult room completed, in the next part Julie will continue with the dining room, guests and food.