building Canal house Dining Room Herengracht
Anno 2020...February 28, 2011
...but I am not promising anything! To give you an impression of what I have started to work on last week, I have adapted an original arc...
...but I am not promising anything!
To give you an impression of what I have started to work on last week, I have adapted an original architectural drawing from an 18th century canal house.
On the right you can see the front half of the canal house as it was built in the 17th century. In the 18th century a grand staircase and back house were added on. In the back house the kitchen is situated on the ground level, below the great hall.
I made a cardboard model to see how big the house would become. It is quite big. Although not much higher than my first canal house, this second house is much wider and deeper at 150 x 55 x 145 cm (59.1 x 21.7 x 57.1 inches).
For inspiration and research I have read a great many books and online sources. I love doing that. One of the pictures I came across was of this neoclassical room from 1791. I really like the dimensions here, formal but still very intimate. I decided that part of my canal house would be decorated in this style.
In my first dollshouse the windows are made with acrylic glass. Very easy to cut, lightweight, practically unbreakable and cheap. The only negative: it scratches easily. I decided to have real glass in this new house. As the granddaughter of someone in the glass industry, I thought cutting the glass would be easy. Not!
Even though I asked "opa's" spirit several times to come and give me a hand at this glass cutting business, he must have felt it was better to learn from my mistakes...;) In the end I did manage to cut the glass the right size.
The first room I have started to work on is the dining room in the center of the house. The windows are facing the courtyard.
In the second half of the 18th century, a window was made up of 4 window panes in width. The height of the windows would depend on the height of the room, but were always kept rather big to let in lots of light.
To make working on the house and rooms easier, the house will be built as a series of seperate room boxes. When they're all finished, they will fit together to form the complete house. A slight stumbling block was the construction of the double doors opening between the dining room and the front room. My problem was solved when I found this picture from 1794/95 which shows sliding doors!
The painting by Adriaen de Lelie (which hangs at the Rijksmuseum) shows the art gallery in the canal house of art collector Jan Gildemeester. Through the open sliding doors the front room can be seen. It was probably the first time sliding doors were ever depicted, which would fit in perfectly with the time and style I want for my dining room and front room.
Both paintings are illustrations from the book 'Het Nederlands interieur in beeld 1600-1900' uitgeverij Waanders.