Floored

At the show in Kensington last month I decided to spend my last money on a real stone floor for my kitchen.  I bought real marl flags...



At the show in Kensington last month I decided to spend my last money on a real stone floor for my kitchen.  I bought real marl flagstones from Richard Stacey.  

Also on the photo:  my AGA which I made from a kit by Gable End Designs (see my post here), my hand painted tiles after 17th century designs and my new kitchen chair made by Colin Bird.  



The example at the stand had the perfect colour I wanted for my kitchen:  predominantly grey with a little hint of yellow ochre.  I did ask if the tiles I bought would be similar to the example (which they assured me they would be) but I stupidly did not check the packages myself before I bought them.

  When I got home and laid out the tiles, this is what I got:  mostly yellow ochre in colour with just a few (the ten in the middle) in the grey colour I had wanted.  


I was a bit upset as these flagstones are not cheap!  But as I was contemplating sending them back (oh the hassle!),   my 'work with what you've got'  mentality kicked in again.  I decided to lay them and try painting over them.

As I forgot to bring my dolls house work book to the show, I had to guess the size of my kitchen, resulting in only having just enough flagstones for the floor.  And I really mean just enough!  I only have two little scraps left.  I did not tile the spaces where I will have the sink and cupboards.  


After having glued down the flagstones, I went outside and sanded them down with my sander as they were quite uneven.  As you can imagine that created an awful lot of dust but it was easy to do and the result is great!

As per instructions from Richard Stacey, I sealed and then grouted the tiles.  The flagstones looked pretty good then, but still too yellow to my liking.  I went ahead and put several washes of watery acrylic paint on top of them.  It worked a treat!  The grouting luckily did not take the colour, but the flagstones did!  You can still see the yellow but it is not that strong any more.  Perfect!

The last thing I did was to put a thin coat of floor wax on them so they have that soft shine like old floor sometimes have.


My next job was making the windows for the kitchen.  As I wrote in a previous post (here), I use real glass for my windows.   I am getting better at cutting glass, as this time I cut all three window panes perfectly without messing up once.  

This house will consist of a series of room boxes which will eventually form one big house.  When all the boxes are finished I will start on the outside, which at the moment is not looking too pretty as you can see.  


But I am happy with how the floor and windows look!  I now need to start on the kitchen cabinets and cupboards.  That will take some time.  To be continued...


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55 comments

  1. This is going to be a beautiful kitchen!

    Good to know about varying thickness in the flagstones; I'm waiting on some Richard Stacey brick slips.

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    1. I don't know if they're all varying thicknesses, but mine were. It could look really nice in a rustic setting, but I wanted mine to be a little more even. The sanding was messy, but easy.

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    2. PS: as you can see in the first photo (which was taken before sanding) most were of the same thickness. As I really could not spare any of the flagstones I used them all and just sanded them flat.

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  2. Wat jammer Josje dat de marmeren tegeltjes niet de gewenste kleur bleken te hebben bij thuiskomst. Uiteindelijk is het toch nog goed gekomen en heb je een prachtige vloer in je keuken. Je fornuis is ook prachtig geworden.

    Groetjes Xandra

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  3. Hello Josje,
    The kitchen is coming along wonderfuly! The floor might have been a lot of work and frustration, but in the end it looks spectacular!
    Big hug,
    Giac

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    1. Thank you Giac! How is your house coming along, I have not seen any updates lately?

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  4. creo que hizo usted un gran trabajo con ese suelo, queda muy bien
    un abrazo

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  5. Te ha dado mucho trabajo pero creo que ha quedado estupendo. Veo que la cocina es bastante grande así que lucirá todo más.

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    1. Gracias Isabel! Sí, la cocina es bastante grande, hay armarios en un lado y un fregadero debajo de la ventana.

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  6. Too bad you had to go to all that trouble to get the right color but the result it BEAUTIFUL!

    I ordered several of Richard Stacy's samples because I also want a flag stone floor. What sort of sander did you use on them? They look perfectly flat now.

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    1. I must say the stone is quite beautiful, even though I was not happy with the colour. I suppose I should have checked the boxes when I bought them, they were the last three they had with them so it is quite possible that these were the ones other people didn't want. Or not. Oh I don't know. It turned out OK in the end.

      I used an ordinary sheet sander with an 80 grit sandpaper I believe. As the stone is only a few millimeters thick you have to be a bit careful when handling the floor, but was able to use quite a bit of pressure when sanding them. The sandpaper got saturated rather fast, but I just used a brush to clean away the dust a few times.

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    2. Thank you for telling me that Josje.

      I wish I could see how you are building your new house, as you said you are doing it room by room. That would be so much easier for me to deal with in the small space I have to work in. If you don't want to show it on your blog, please feel free to email me pictures. A picture is as they say worth a thousand words. So I might just be able to figure out how to tackle my design in the same way.

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    3. They are just boxes I build in the size I want which eventually I will put together to form one big (it will be quite big!) house. But I'll do a post on it tomorrow and explain my plans!

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  7. Well, although the color was a problem at first.... It isn't that anymore! The Floor looks Fantastic and Beautiful to me! The Kitchen will be stunning! I'll be waiting to see more.
    Hugs
    Kikka

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    1. Thank you Kikka! I am thinking about the cupboards now, how I want them to look, what wood to use etc. It will be some time before I finish those. And I still have to tile the walls, that is a really big job! So plenty to look forward to ;-)

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  8. I like the floor. The color is fantastic.
    Greetings, Faby

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  9. Heel mooi geworden!!! Volgens mij heb ik dezelfde stenen vloer buiten bij de "Prison break" Vond ze prachtig en heel fijntjes.
    groetjes Sylvia

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    1. Dank je Sylvia. Richard Stacey heeft sowieso mooie materialen, maar dat hoef ik jou niet te vertellen ;-)

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  10. Wat een prachtige tegels zijn dat, de gele kleur zou inderdaad iets te veel van het goede zijn geweest. En zoals gewoonlijk weer van die mooie foto's met geweldig licht. Dank je!

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    1. Graag gedaan Inge ;-) Ja ik was niet blij toen ik al dat geel zag. Er zat ook zo veel contrast in, en strepen... Nee, niet mooi!

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  11. Hello Josje! Hindsight is a wonderful thing but you have to take the sellers word on the stuff he sells. At a crowded show it would be a lot of hassle to open it up and check without getting elbowed by everyone next to you! It's a shame you ended up getting mostly the wrong color but your hard work has really paid off, it looks stunning! Kind regards, Brian.

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    1. Thank you Brian! Well I don't want to be too hard on the sellers, as they are very nice people who sell beautiful materials. Just in this case it was not what I expected. But, lesson learned, next time I will check what I buy if possible.

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  12. Mooi Josje, wat een werk. Wat een uithoudingsvermogen. De AGA vind ik helemaal geweldig. Ik heb er heel lang op gekookt, maar nu, hier in Frankrijk hebben we een houtgestookt Godin fornuis. Al is het nog zo warm buiten, om half zeven stook ik de kachel op en kan over een uurtje koken. Dan staat wel alles open, anders wordt het te warm natuurlijk. Maar het is een droge warmte en dat is prettig. Groeten van Lilian

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    1. Dank je Lilian. Het extra werk dat ik had aan de vloer viel nog wel mee hoor. Gelukkig lukte mijn schuur- en verfwerk in een keer.
      Wat mooi, een Godin fornuis! Dat heeft ook wel z'n charme, iedere dag het fornuis opstoken. Ik begrijp wat je bedoelt met de droge warmte, ik heb zelf een (echte) AGA, en die staat zomer en winter aan. 's Winters is dat heerlijk natuurlijk (nu nog steeds trouwens!) maar als het echt zomers wordt heb je die warmte niet nodig natuurlijk. Maar omdat het een droge warmte is, is het goed te doen met koken.
      Ik vind het heel fijn dat ik continue de ovens ter beschikking heb. Die gebruiken we erg veel en dat merk je pas echt wanneer de AGA een dagje uit moet vanwege het onderhoud.

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  13. Loving the floor and the window....can't wait to see more!

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    1. Thank you Minnie! It will be some time before I have my cabinets finished...

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  14. This is so very inspiring! I do love the floor, maybe I would have been leery of taking the sander to an expensive floor, but then I'm also a jump right in and do it person. The kitchen is FABULOUS--

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    1. Thank you Linda! When you start laying these flagstones you have to cut some of them to size, so you do start getting a feel for the material. They were very easy to sand so I figured I could just as well try sanding them flat after I had glued them down.

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  15. Wow! Your floor looks just Gorgeous!!! And the color as you have it now looks just as though it was always meant to be that color! I prefer the gray tones myself..... they seem much more suited to the black of the Aga stove. I do admire someone who uses the "real" materials in her house! The windows of my Lovely Old Dollhouse are also real glass.... and because I didn't know any other method, I made the panes individually and they are all held in with real glazing putty!! There is always a sense that it is a little out of scale... but it is real.... which gives it a different sort of authenticity. I admit to also being curious about your "one room box at a time" method of constructing the house... how are they joined? Do the doors go through to the other boxes? My castle dollhouse is three (large) sections... or it would be impossible to move... but it makes the walls double thickness where they join.... and the joins are a bit uneven! As always, your work is very inspiring and Beautiful!!!

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    1. Hi Betsy, I have just been on your weblog searching for the windows you are referring to...Wow, that's an impressive job you did there! I know it is not easy to cut small pieces of glass, at least I don't find it easy at all!
      As for my 'roombox house', I will do a post on it tomorrow, explaining it all!

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    2. Hi Josje! I am sorry you had to search through my un-listed posts!! I have gone and added the list to my side bar... (It is now a Very Long List... I am not very consistent in my Labels it seems!) Thank you for taking the trouble and for prompting me to get my Blog better organized! I look forward to seeing your Room-box method!

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    3. Oh I'm sorry I put you to work! My labels list is very long also. I try to use the ones I've got, but new ones sneek in every now and then.

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  16. Oh Josje, you are amazing. The kitchen floor and windows look beautiful. You have inspired me to get back to work on my cottage house project. Thank you for your post. I can wait to see more of your wonderful and creative project!

    All best,
    Brad

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    1. Thank you Brad! Wonderful to hear you are getting back to working on your project! Have fun!!

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  17. Hi Josje! I agree with you about the yellow ochre in the tiles. Too much is not at all nice. I love what you did to them by adding that grey. It makes them absolutely perfect. It makes all the difference in the world. They look so rich and as they should! Your window panes look so authentic because of the real glass. This will surely turn out to be a dream kitchen!

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    1. Oh I hope so :-) Still a lot of work to do though. But, it is a lot of fun and even planning and deciding is something I really enjoy doing.
      Thanks Lucille!

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  18. Josje wat een geweldige oplossing heb je gevonden voor de tegels.
    En het resultaat is ook prachtig geworden.
    Groetjes Thea

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  19. Voor mij zien de tegels er prachtig uit. Van het kleurverschil is hoegenaamd niets te zien. De kachel ziet er ook al zo beeldig uit. Ik popel om het vervolg te zien. Veel succes nog
    groetjes Ingrid

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  20. Oooh, wat zou ik ook vreselijk balen als je niet krijgt wat je denkt gekocht te hebben! Maar dat je niet bij de pakken neerzit is duidelijk ;-) Wat een prachtig resultaat hebben jouw inspanningen, ik vind de vloer ontzettend mooi geworden! Gelukkig had je precies genoeg tegels......

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    1. Ja echt precies genoeg! Het was zelfs zo dat ik een paar gebroken tegels toch gebruikt heb omdat ik anders niet genoeg had. Nou vond ik dat juist ook wel leuk hoor, een gebroken tegel hier en daar. In een echte oude vloer heb je dat uiteraard ook!

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  21. I love that you use the "real thing" on the floors and windows. They're beautiful!

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    1. Thanks! Well if the real material is available and can be used well in miniature, I will use it. But I'm not averse to faking it either! ;-)

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  22. Hello Josje,

    What a shame about the floor tiles, I guess as they are a natural product they might vary in colour, but what a pain!! Still, you have done an excellent job in finishing them, the floor looks wonderful! I love that chair too, it works very well with the flooring. I admire the fact that you use real glass in your house, I find it far too difficult to cut and stay in one piece! I look forward to seeing more as the room develops.

    regards
    Andy

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    1. Hello Andy, yes, you're quite right about it being a natural product having colour variations. And I don't want to be too hard on the sellers as they are very nice people with beautiful products!
      I love the chair too. It is the type of chair you will find in every old Dutch kitchen, so I just had to buy it ;-)
      As far as the glass goes, this is my third set of windows I had to cut glass for, and I am getting better at it. The first set of windows cost me several sheets of glass and a lot of mess! I now use a drop of petroleum on my glass cutter which helps the wheel cut better (I got this tip from a pro). Oh, the things we learn in miniatures!! ;-)

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  23. How are all the rooms going to be attached together. Once a room has three finished walls, a floor and finished ceiling, you can't screw it to the room next to it. I can't imagine you are planning to glue them together.

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    1. I don't plan on attaching them to eachother. I have had several of the boxes stacked like you see on the photo and they don't go anywhere. When I have the carcass around it it should be as solid as a house ;-) I have thought about attaching them by putting in a few screws from the back (which in my case is against the wall so not visible) but I don't think it will be necessary. I have also thought about using magnets. I have used them on the extension to my first canal house and they work well. You could use a strip of metal with two small screws on either side to attach two boxes to each other.

      It is something you need to think about before you start work on your boxes.
      I want to be able to easily take the boxes out again if I need to (to get to the wiring for instance), so if I am going to attach them to eachother, it wil be something very simple which allows me to take it apart when I want to.

      I will be attaching the sides of the carcass to the boxes as the windows have to line up exactly. I will either use magnets or hide screws behind the wall anchors. I don't know yet, and it will be several years before I get to that part ;-)

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  24. The floor's wonderful. Absolutely perfect. The idea of putting the boxes together is great.

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  25. Hello Josje! Your work is always the creme of the crop when it comes to outfitting a space! The caliber of your work is outstanding and the way that you have employed trouble-shooting to over-come a major obstacle( ie. not enough tile with an inconstant color) is very encouraging and always entertaining!
    The aga and the floor are totally convincing and the kitchen space as a whole is shaping up to be remarkably pretty!

    elizabeth

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    1. Thank you for your compliments Elizabeth! It is good to be reminded sometimes that when something seems obvious for me to do, it may not be so to others.

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