I have started on a new house. Ah, I can hear you say: "What, another one? But you haven't even finished your first house and just recently started building the second!" Well dear friends, you are right. I will tell you what happened...
Remember this beauty? I found her last year at the flea market in Lille (see my post on it here). I had her on display in my real house for about a year now, but wanted to use her in a miniature scene. She didn't really fit in either of my Canal Houses, so I thought of maybe using her in a small roombox.
Then there is this beauty. I know, she doesn't look like it now, but she has the right bone structure and just needs some careful dressing and styling to turn her into something wonderful. I bought this Georgian style house from a very talented man several years ago. He had started building it and partially wired it, but could not finish it due to medical problems.
Although the structure is quite large, the hall and staircase are huge, making the rooms -which have all different levels- on both sides fairly small. For a long time I had plans to make it into my own costume institute and house my beautiful costume collection. As my costume collection so far only exists in my head, the house stood in a corner of my workshop, collecting dust and housing spiders.
I had made up my mind to sell the house, when all of a sudden I heard a little voice saying "Please give the house to me? I will make it into a lovely, comfortable country house!" How could I refuse? I could see it so clearly: a well loved house, which has been in the family for many years. Set in the years before the second world war...
Yes, I had the builders in immediately, pulling down walls, raising ceiling heights...
But the real birth of the new house started with this little bundle of joy. A few weeks ago my carpenter friend gave me some pieces of beautiful (and apparently quite rare!) American Black Walnut veneer. I am always very grateful for these leftovers as they are perfect for my miniature projects.
I took advantage of the hot weather we were having up until last week, and spent some time in the garden cutting hundreds of parquet flooring pieces. I then spent a leasurely afternoon sitting in the shade, fitting all of the pieces together to make up a beautiful floor.
I built a Georgian fireplace mantel to complement the Georgian façade of the house. It looks very good in the room. I put some odd pieces in the room to see how it worked, and even though it really is a small room (as you can see clearly in this picture the room is on two levels as well) I think it will work.
I decided on a brick back for the hearth, to match the parquet flooring. The bricks I used are leftovers from the ones I used on the street in front of my Canal House. Never throw anything away ;)
With watered down acrylics I changed the colours of the bricks a bit to go with the warmer tones of the floor.
From my stack of fabrics I picked out the colours I wanted to use in the room. The pretty portrait was the starting point for it all.
For the chimney breast and the back wall I used this very attractive moiré print cotton. I love the subtle playful lively effect against the rather strict and architectural fireplace mantel.
On the other walls in the room I used this warm red cotton with linen effect. I must say how much I love working with fabric, I think I will use it all through this house. Must order a lot more though, as I am fast running out on my stock.
By looking at this last photo, can you guess what my overall theme for the house will be?