Featherstone Hall Hotel part 7 – the library: a gentleman's retreat (1)

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18 November 2011
The library provides cosy corners for the gentleman guests to snooze, play cards and snooker – anything but read a book! In this next part of the fabulous miniature dolls house sensation that is the Featherstone Hall Hotel, Julie Jackson decorates the library...

Totally opposite to the gloriously gilded splendour of the dining room across the reception hall, the library is decorated in a much more sombre style which is more suited to its gentleman's club theme.

Traditionally a Victorian/Edwardian gentleman's club was almost a second home, where he could relax, mix with friends, gamble, and in some clubs, stay overnight. They also were often a convenient retreat for men who wished to get away from their female relations. It's the type of environment the male guests of Featherstone Hall would retire to after dining. 

Decorating the library 

The plan for this room was to have a lot going on in every nook and cranny. In order to accommodate this idea, the room was going to have to be divided up. Julie had already bought the furniture so she started the project by having a play in the empty space to see how it would fit. 

Julie worked out she could fit a gambling den in the back right hand corner, which made a cosy nook to accommodate the sleeping reader and left the snooker setting to fill the foreground of the room. Partitions were created with MDF strips, which had been machine cut to the room by height by the local DIY superstore, so all Julie had to do was cut them to the length required. 

A snooze in the library for one guest 

Julie sized the gambling den width to take a door and the bar on the front face, and the depth was measured to hold a set of bookcases. A false back wall was also added to the reading nook. After marking the partition wall position on the floor, an access hatch was then cut into the back wall of the house to take a transformer for the lights in the unseen area of the gambling den, and a hole was cut for the door in the front partition strip. 

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Once the partitions were cut, the visible gambling den walls were wallpapered and some stained and varnished floorboards were glued down. Floorboards were then added to the rest of the room, leaving a gap at the back where the false rear wall would go. 

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The walls were covered with a rather sombre striped wallpaper, ideal for the rather stuffy ‘club’ style. A strip of embossed paper looked like a plaster frieze and the bottom edge was finished with a narrow strip of wooden moulding. All of these were painted cream to match the ceiling. Wall lights were added, along with skirtings and doors. Half a carpet was added to the floor for the gambling den and glued down. Through the door you can just see a couple of gentlemen playing cards with a table, chairs and wines glasses on the table. The partition walls were then glued in place and the whole room finished off with skirtings, plaster frieze and coving. 

Now the main part of the library is ready to furnish and dress with a bar, bookcases, snooker table and guests. 

Next, see part two of the library decoration or go back to part six, where Julie decorates the dining room.

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