Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Basement

The Downstairs Halls

Well, I hope everyone's keeping well.

Sorry it has taken so long to put up another post, but I have been as busy as a nailer!

Now I have to say from the outset, that my Manor is not specific to any particular era or date.  I am decorating it just because I like the look.  So any comments about items or décor not being correct, please, please realise that's not what this project is about.

I have been working so hard on my basement - I decided to start at the bottom and work my way up... I had been itching to get to the main house, as I thought the basement wouldn't really be that enjoyable to decorate and 'dress'.

I have five rooms and a tiny room, which I have used as a hallway or connection to the rest of the house.

The rooms are going to be as follows:  the back left hand room is the housekeeper's room, the back right hand room is going to be the entrance to the basement as there is a door there - that's to make sure that the gents do not dirty the grand entrance hall of the main house when they come in from riding or shooting.   There is a large hall in the middle of the basement which is going to be kept just that, a hall to connect all the basement rooms.  The last two rooms are to the front of the basement, they are the kitchen to the right and the scullery/pantry to the left.  I really wasn't looking forward to doing these rooms at all, as I thought they would be dull to dress - how wrong I was, they have been the most enjoyable rooms to do so far.

I thought I would decorate the basement as much as I could without the lid/top on.  I have discovered that even if I wanted to tackle one room at a time, I really can't.  The wall covering and floors need to be done before I put in the doors - just to make life easier - I can't imagine trying to paint or paper around a finished door!  Life's hard enough...

Look at the size of this baby!  And this is only the basement

An aerial view of the tiny hall at the back of the main hallway.  Papered, floored with a chair and picture to finish.  It looks really effective glimpsed through the main hall.  It has been tiled with glossy pieces of 'marble' glued on a card cut to fit the floor and glued down, and I think looks fab.  Perhaps something like that for my grand entrance hall?

This is the back entrance hall.  The joints on my wood were dreadful here.  They were my first attempt at using my little mitre box and craft saw.  I didn't fill one in, just as a reminder of starting out on this project.  (This goes against my grain as I like things to be perfect...so it may get filled in later on if it really bugs me). I thought I would iron on this flooring directly to the mdf of the house.  What a baaadddd idea.  It moved and the iron took some of the paint off the outside edge of the building.  Anyway, I won't be doing that again.  Lesson learnt.  ALL wooden floors should be fixed to cardboard first.  The checked paper here was bought off the internet before I discovered Les Chinoiseries and Brodnax.  It bled a bit when I was applying it to the walls.  I have a library of wallpapers now and a vast collection of furniture bought for this house that I could nearly open my own shop.....but the funny thing is, when I have an idea in my head and I am looking for something specific, I just don't seem to have what I want - typical woman eh!  A wardrobe full of clothes, but still has nothing to wear.  The lower panel was painted with Annie Sloan chalk paint in 'Arles', a rich gold colour.

My little fireplace fitted and wired up....the first of many, I hope.

The hooded chair, placed strategically, to hide the bad joints in the corner!

That's the finished lower entrance hall, with working clock.  The lady of the house is just back from her trip to Paris - lucky lady; and the gents are just back from shooting.

My large hall which connects all the basement rooms together.  You can just glimpse the tiny hall at the back, which, in my mind goes on further back into my Manor.  The flooring here is also by Richard Stacey, each little tile put down by hand, grouted, then coated with a matt varnish to seal.  The wallpaper is 'Romance' by Les Chinoiseries from Spain, I just love their papers and fabrics - Brodnax has some lovely ones too.

Just a note here - when I was putting in my doors, they wouldn't fit!  I nearly died.  What happened was that the flooring was a millimetre or so deeper than had been allowed, so I had to take my craft knife and start scraping off the top of the door opening...not an easy task for a novice, I can tell you.  Sore hands and the odd piece nipped out of tired little fingers, ouch!

I added a skirting board and dado rail to a length of timber, painted it with Annie Sloan chalk paint in Duck Egg Blue (it's really a green to me) and put on the lower part of the wall.  Can you see the little chair through the door in the back of the hall?

The roof's on, and the coving, ceiling rose and light are all in place.

A few items of furniture, and my hallway is complete. 
I really hope you have enjoyed my blog and I hope to have more updates very soon.
All the best,
(I don't know why the typing is centring itself!)


1 comment:

  1. Hello Vivian,
    these first 2 rooms are wonderful. I love your floorplan ideas and think it is very appropriate for the house. You have a great sense of color and I like your finishes very much. I had planned to go over all the joints one day and "fix" them to look perfect, but I've realized when the rooms are full they disappear and you just don't see them. I love your choice of wallpapers...I have the "Romance" in my morning room and the color you chose for the wainscot is terrific. Both halls are fantastic. Great work!
    big hug,