Curtains for the floor...

Progress on my second Canal House is slow.  But I suppose that is what happens if you don't work on it, isn't it?  Having said that...

Progress on my second Canal House is slow.  But I suppose that is what happens if you don't work on it, isn't it?  Having said that, I did get some work done...

I wanted to have plain pinewood floor boards in the dining room.  Something which you often see even in the grander houses of the 18th century.  During my last private visit of the beautiful canal house on the Herengracht one of the caretakers of the house told me that pine floors were very expensive in the 18th century as all the wood had to be imported from the Nordic countries.  





I started making the floorboards from wooden slats from discarded blinds.  With some knots drawn on the bare wood the floor was starting to look like pine.   The wood did look a bit too new so I did several tests with different finishes to find the perfect used look...





I found the perfect finish to simulate an old, unwaxed pine floor.  Or so I thought.  On the sample it looked perfect.  When I applied it to the floor, my carefully drawn knots almost disappeared and the overall colour was too dark, too new looking.  So that floor is not staying.  I will probably sand it and start again.  Or put down another floor, using a different wood.  I don't know yet.  




I also started making the curtains for this room.  This time I used a fine blue cotton which I lined with  white silk.   For the roman blinds I hand dyed silk to match the colour of the wallpaper.  Getting the right hue on the fabric was a lot of work and involved several dye baths, drying the fabric in between each bath.  I dyed just enough fabric to make the three roman blinds for this room.




After a break of a few weeks, I wanted to get back to working on the dining room.  As I was setting up the room to decide what to do next, I just could not find one of the roman blinds.  I looked absolutely everywhere for it, but it was nowhere to be found.   Out of frustration I decided to clean up my workshop instead.  As I grabbed the vacuum cleaner, my eye fell onto something blue inside the dirt cup.  





Yup, the missing roman blind.  I just cannot understand how I could not have noticed that being sucked into the hose.  It's not exactly tiny like my poor little teddy bear from several years ago.  
After a quick rinse and dry the curtain was fine.  Thankfully, as I did not have any fabric left to make a new one, and with hand dying it is almost impossible to get the same colour again.




So, on with the windows and doors.  And the floor of course.

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48 comments

  1. Oh, Josje, your room is Gorgeous! The color of the curtains with that wall paper is just Divine! I Adore the Chinoiserie pattern of the wallpaper... and love that it looks old! I am not sure how the floors of the eighteenth century were "treated" over there, but over here in the "New World" pine floors were the usual floor type and were left bare. Life in most places was still pretty rough and nobody took their shoes off at the door! Dirt and sand and grit was tracked in all the time, and sweeping was the method of cleaning. Wax was too rare and expensive to use on floors and paint didn't last long due to the grit underfoot. The pine would age to an amazing orange color called "pumpkin pine" by later generations. And the floor boards were wide too, as the trees were still plentiful and huge!
    Anyway, I am glad you found your Roman shade before you dumped the bin! Your work, as usual, is so very inspiring! I mean, dying your cloth to match the wallpaper... Wow! That is going the extra mile for perfection!

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    1. Thank you Betsy! Yes, untreated floors do make sense, even in a city! Streets were not as clean as they are now. Although from what I read the Dutch housewives and maids were particularly fussy with cleanliness. I think the floor boards are bare pine here too, no wax or anything. I will have to pay better attention when I visit one of the houses next time. What I was trying to achieve by applying the finish was the look of century old floors. I do know the orange pine colour you are referring to, but that is not the colour of the wood that the floors in these houses have. Maybe it is a different pine wood here or the colour has to do with the many years of scrubbing. I must look into this more!

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  2. Hi Josje, So nice to see your post - and yes, you are inspiring! The wallpaper panels are lovely and the floor also looks perfect. Only you will know what will satisfy you.
    I was revisiting your blog a few days ago to replay the printing on fabric post (thank you for that) and noticed in 2009 you were knitting a little grey cardigan. Josje, did you finish it?
    All the best.
    Janine

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    1. Thank you Janine! Ha that grey cardigan...no that is still waiting in a drawer. It is part of my attempt to capture one outfit of the winter and summer fashions each year. As that is from 2009, not finished and I haven't done any since, I'm not doing very well on that idea, am I? ;-) I still want to do that though, and I am forever saving images of collections I love and fully intend on miniaturizing one day...I will have a timeline of fashion in miniature. One day...

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  3. I love the blue curtains and the windowed doors - and really the whole room looks great! Thank goodness you found the roman blind and that it was okay after washing.

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    1. Thanks Penelope! It was so frustrating when I couldn't find it! Thank goodness for bagless vacuum cleaners ;-)

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  4. I love the blue curtains and the windowed doors - and really the whole room looks great! Thank goodness you found the roman blind and that it was okay after washing.

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  5. Whew close call there! Glad you found the missing curtain and everything is looking great!

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  6. Josje wat een mooi geheel is dit geworden...........
    Prachtige kleuren........gelukkig heb je de gordijnen weer,,,,,,,het zou zonde zijn als je geen gelijke zou hebben.
    Groetjes Thea

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    1. Dank je Thea! Het is nog lang niet klaar natuurlijk. De gordijnen staan nog los want eerst moeten de ramen afgemaakt worden. Als dat gordijntje echt weg was geweest had ik nieuwe stof moeten verven.

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  7. Me encanta el aspecto,el color y el ambiente que crean esas cortinas,resulta muy acogedor!!!
    Besos.

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  8. Oef daar ben je door het oog van de naald gekropen met dat gordijn, ze hangen weer mooi. Prachtige kamer, ik vind je vloer wel erg mooi maar weet uit ervaring dat als je ook maar een klein beetje twijfelt dat je dan moet veranderen anders heb je d'r altijd tegenzin bij.
    Ga je nog naar Ulft, ik ben zaterdag geweest, waren nog een paar 'kinderziektes' maar da's normaal bij een nieuwe locatie, heb weer veel moois gezien. Hopelijk volgende keer wel weer meer buitenlandse stands, daar kom ik toch ook voor.

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    1. Ja gelukkig heb ik een zakloze stofzuiger in mijn werkkamer en zag ik iets blauws piepen...
      Nee, niet naar Ulft dit keer. Het is voor mij erg ver rijden en ik vind inderdaad in het voorjaar de beurs vaak wat minder leuk dan in het najaar. Fijn dat je wel veel moois hebt gezien en hopelijk ook nog iets leuks hebt kunnen kopen. Ik hoop nog een paar verslagen op de verschillende blogs te lezen.

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  9. Esa habitación es espectacular!! Parece real y te transporta a una atmósfera evocadora y relajante. Magnifico!!

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    1. Gracias! Todavía tiene que hacer un montón de trabajo, pero es un buen comienzo.

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  10. Fijn dat je je gordijn terug hebt gevonden. Ik kan me voorstellen dat de stofzuiger de laatste plaats is waar je zoekt. Je kamer ziet er prachtig uit.

    Groeten Xandra

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    1. Dank je Xandra! Ik had het geluk dat het zo'n zakloze stofzuiger is waardoor ik iets blauws zag in het stofreservoir. Hoewel ik in het verleden al vaker iets heb opgezogen had ik daar nu inderdaad niet aan gedacht.

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  11. Can't believe you found the blind! Wonderful! And I know you'll figure a way to get the floors as you wish. I use coconut oil and walnut ink on mine but that stains much more darkly than you are after in this case. And the oil gets soaked up or dusty after a long period requiring further applications, something I imagine to be not suited for your miniature spaces. Maybe beeswax rubbed and burnished??

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    1. Hi Shelley! Ah yes, I could try coconut oil too. I just used that on my real kitchen cabinets and it works beautifully for keeping the water stains at bay. Much better than bees wax. Of course with the floor I'm trying to achieve something different than on my kitchen cabinets, but I will try it and see what the effect is. I'm not familiar with walnut ink but I'll look that up. I have plenty of walnuts ;-)

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  12. No sabia si era real o mini, está todo muy acertado, el papel, el suelo, los grandes ventanales, esos cortinones antiguos... precioso.
    Un abrazo
    Maite

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  13. Well it is unfortunate that you are unhappy with your floor boards Josje,; they look Wonderful to me! However, I totally understand it when what you see inside your your head, is not translating its self, as directed, through your hands, so I know that you will keep at in until you finally get those two to finally agree.
    But what a close call with the curtain panel!!!
    And Oh, the joys of have a transparent vacuum canister! :D

    elizabeth

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    1. Yes I will redo those floor boards. But first a visit to Amsterdam to see the real deal.
      And yes, in this case the transparent vacuum cleaner came in very handy!

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  14. Gasping in delight as I usually do looking at your pictures.
    Your is truly a work of art and love
    Rosanna

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  15. Dear Josje,
    What a masterpiece ! That floor looks amazing. Just like a real floor. The pine floor will get darker by the sunlight after a number of years.
    Your curtains are perfect.I love self fabric paints. You know that all different techniques can be used in building a dollhouse. That's why I love doll houses. Using all the techniques and learning about them. You don't have to use your skills in the big world.
    Hugs Dorien

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    1. I totally agree Dorien! To me that is also a big part of the fun, all of those techniques to explore and use!

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  16. You are pure inspiration, thank you!

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  17. I'm glad you saved the curtain! I have sucked up many things with my vacuum too!

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    1. The miniature devouring monsters...I wouldn't be without one though ;-)

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  18. Has tenido suerte con localizar la tela. El salón resulta muy acogedor.

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    1. Sí tuve suerte. Gracias Isabel!

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  19. Hello Josje,
    The color you made is perfect. I'm happy you found the missing fabric. t looks wonderful in the room and while the floor is not what you want it to be, it did come out beautiful.
    Big hug,
    Giac

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    1. Hi Giac, Well, you are no stranger to changing the floors ;-) Mine is not as complicated as yours though. I will get it done (eventually). Thanks!

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  20. Hi Josje,
    The room/colors look wonderfull, great wallpaper!
    It's allways tricky to vacuum clean your workshop space....glad you found your piece of fabric.
    Like you said with handdye it's impossible to get the same color.
    Lookig forward to see more of this room.

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    1. Thanks Jeffry! Yes, they always tell you to put an old panty hose around the nozzle, which of course would work very well in the dolls house. But this time I was vacuuming up lots of sawdust etc. The fabric must have fallen on the floor because I didn't notice it going in there. As for seeing more of this room, that will be a while yet probably, I haven't done much to it...

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  21. Your curtains looks great Josje, I am so happy you found the missing roman blind. Good luck with the floor, I am sure you will find a solution.

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    1. The curtains are still propped up against the window, so not actually hanging yet but I need to finish the windows first. Still thinking about how to do the floor. I'll just start again on that I think.

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  22. It's good to see you back working on your property again and I'm really looking forward to seeing more.

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    1. Thanks Irene! I have been absent from Blogger a long time too, I am slowly catching up...

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  23. Bonjour Josje
    J'ai beaucoup ri en lisant votre message . Comme je ne parle pas Anglais , j'ai regardé vos photos avant de traduire votre message . J'ai pensé que vous vouliez nous montrer une nouvelle technique pour faire des rideaux . Haha ! J'ai été très déçu en traduisant votre message mais j'ai beaucoup ri de mon erreur .
    J'adore la couleur de vos rideaux . Je suis très admirative de vos porcelaine de Chine . Elles sont merveilleuses .

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    1. And you made me laugh. Sometimes I come up with different ways of making things, but not as novelle as you thought. Sorry to have disappointed you, haha!
      I hope to have a lot of blue china in this room. I will need to start painting.

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  24. Erg mooi Josje! Ik vind de vloer ook erg mooi, maar ik snap het als het niet is wat je voor ogen hebt. Hoop dat het lukt met een nieuwe vloer. Joh, dat is echt niet grappig als je iets niet kunt terug vinden en een gordijn is inderdaad niet zo klein.. echt fijn dat je het hebt gevonden en niet weer terug aan de verf moet, dat lijkt me aardig onmogelijk ja, om weer dezelfde kleur te krijgen. Je display van items is erg mooi trouwens, je hebt een goed oog voor presenteren, valt me altijd op. En wat valt het licht prachtig op de vloer op je foto's, geweldig!

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    1. Nogmaals dank u! ;-) Werk aan deze kamer ligt al de hele zomer stil, ik ben er gewoon niet tevreden mee. Ook de gordijnen zijn niet naar mijn zin. Geeft niets, daar vind ik wel weer iets op.
      Wat het licht betreft, ik zet altijd een daglichtlamp naast de ramen met vaak een heel dun wit zijden lapje ertussen. In dit geval diffuus licht, waardoor je een mooie lichtval creëert en sprekende kleuren houdt.
      Ik kom snel weer eens jouw blog lezen Monique! Dat is ook al maanden geleden...

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