Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Fox Manor

The First Floor - The Games Room

Hello everyone,

For my new followers, welcome to my blog; and to my regular visitors, thank you for sticking with me and making this such an enjoyable experience :)

The Gent's Games Room is on the first floor directly above the Sitting Room and the last room to be completed on this floor.  I was aiming for the décor in here to have the look of faded grandeur to it.  Like the Lady of the house, I don't like to do messy or untidy; but I know my Lady is tired of trying get her husband to update and redecorate his games room where he and his gentlemen friends love to retire to after dinner in the evening. :)  The ceiling is now smoke stained and the once pristine paintwork is now a dirty colour.  My, my, when men decide to light up their cigars and pipes, they do such damage to the woodwork and wallpaper....:(   I know, I know, I get a bit carried away sometimes! :)

The ceiling here was made by 'framing' the ceiling area with wood, and dividing it up with smaller wooden strips.  I didn't need to cut 45s here as the wallpaper on top would be finished like that.

I covered the wood by cutting up pieces from ordinary embossed wallpaper used in RL decorating.  In fact, I used this paper to cover the Entrance Hall ceiling.  The wallpaper pieces cover the bulk of the bare wood and are now glued down.
 I painted the whole lot with Crown Suede Effects paint in Chocolate Suede.  This paint left a textured effect, which I lightly painted here and there with walnut wood stain.  The paint is still wet here, and it looks a dreadful colour, but dried out better :)
  I painted the brass stampings with a bronze tone paint, glued them on and highlighted other areas of the paper with the same bronze paint.  I had to move the hole for the central light too...a job I seem to have to do quite regularly...is it just me? lol.  I wanted it more over the snooker table than further back into the room.  I have the ceiling completed, it's been painted, stained and highlighted!
 A close up....

The three ceilings at once...they are always in reverse (as I like to keep the front of the rooms to me as I work); the Games Room ceiling shown on the left here, is actually on the right when the piece is turned and put in place. The study ceiling hadn't been finished when I took this photo.

The floor was made up from left over parquet wood pieces from the Gent's Bedroom, and I decided (after two discarded attempts) to keep the pattern of the floor similar to the bedroom, but I placed the infill planks at an angle just to be visually different.  The wood was cherry and the infill, rosewood.  All stained brown mahogany...it was just too bright!

I decided to raise the 'card playing' area at the back of the room, just to give a bit of interest to the room and so it would be seen past the snooker table which is quite large and imposing in any room!  I really don't make things easy for myself, do I?

I have papered the room in Orleans by Les Chinoiseries.  Even though it is a floral paper, I think there is something dusky and masculine about it. 

I made thick cardboard templates for the raised seating area, as I intended to make this little structure from card and foamboard etc., but at this point....wait for it....my husband OFFERED to make it for me from MDF....well you could have knocked me over with a feather.  Never one to refuse a kind offer of help, I let him tear away, lol.   Sure enough, I had my two pieces for the seating area in a matter of minutes (instead of the hours it probably would have taken me to assemble!) :)  Mind you, I secretly love to paddle away myself, but the odd bit of help will never go amiss!

I used left over pieces of wood from the floor to cover the raised area - I must honestly say, here and now, that I really had no idea of how I was actually going to finish off this area, and it was really just a matter of fiddling about with the bits and pieces I had with some trial and error to see what I liked. The wood was cherry with walnut at the step area.  Again, all stained with brown mahogany.

After staining, I added the wooden 'scroll'? end pieces/room dividers (I'm not really sure what these are called) and glued on little findings just to define the area.  I was afraid it would get 'lost' in the room as it is generally a dark room anyway.....intentional I might add :)

The wainscot was made up from skirting board and dado rail glued to picture mount board and painted with the same paint used on the ceiling and given similar treatment with the woodstain.  The 'wood engravings' on the mid panel, are all that was left over from the embossed RL wallpaper....well, waste not want not! And, I was hoping it would help to tie in with the ceiling. :)

I think this is the best picture showing the colours of the room.....mind you, I certainly won't win any prizes for photography :)

The fireplace is a much softer yellow sandstone effect than I can get on the photos.  I made the 'slate' hearth from a piece of black mountboard, used black marker on the edges and then scored lines on it to make it look like it was made up from pieces of slate.  I am very happy with it.

Simple but effective...the darker line to the left hand side, has been scored out so I can place the wiring for the fire down into it.

A partially stocked bar!  Give me time :)

Good representation of colour - except for that glare on the back wall!

I lowered the snooker/billiard light so it would be out of the line of sight for the card area, (and that's where I felt it should be anyway!) and that's partly the reason I raised that area too.  I attached a finding to the light fitting and added the chain as well.

I have used a lot of little findings and brass stampings in the Games Room.  I think this particular room lends itself well to these little touches.  On their own you'd imagine them to be feminine and dainty, but somehow I think they look right at home here. :)

My daughter, Siobhan informs me that this is her favourite room in the house; partly because of the ceiling and the raised area at the back.  I have to say, that I seem to love each room as I do it, and at that particular point in time, the current room is my favourite....if you know what I mean.

When the house is finished, I imagine I won't be able to pick an outright favourite room - it would be like trying to pick a favourite child....lol :)

 The top banner on the family crest reads 'Sionnach Abu' pronounced shunny aboo - which is loosely translated as 'The Fox to Victory' in Irish.  Then the name of Fox is on the bottom banner.  It looks very white here, but it is actually printed on old parchment which is a soft cream colour.
Someone has polished off the contents of that decanter - there's not even a drop in the discarded glass either!  :)

I hope you have enjoyed my Gent's Games Room.  I still have a few more bits and pieces to buy......

That's the first floor finished (or 2nd floor for my USA readers!) - would you believe, I have my house (with basement) on a low coffee table for display.....I now need a set of steps to get to the next two floors :) I'm only 5'1" and this house is really big.  I imagine that this is going to really slow down progress now...I hate steps even if they are little ones!!

All the best and take care.


Friday, 25 July 2014

Fox Manor

Study Update

Well folks,

I just thought I would show you a couple of wee pictures of the Gent's Study, complete with his telescope.  I knew I had this somewhere, but just couldn't find it when I uploaded the pictures on completion of the room.

I also want to take this opportunity as well to thank Simon for his kindness in giving my blog a shout out on his.  When I first joined the blogging community, I was told that you were kind, thoughtful and helpful - I have to say that I am happy to agree and am proud to be among you.  So, thanks to Simon, I can now welcome my numerous new followers to my blog, and I hope you all enjoy :)

The telescope is made by Jeff Mewies, its beautifully made and I'm very proud to own one.
The Study looks blue on my screen, but as we all know, it's green....

This must be the shortest post ever.....for me anyway.  Have a lovely weekend everyone.

All the best


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Fox Manor

The First Floor - The Gent's Bedroom

Hi everyone, thank you to all for your kind comments on my blog, I really do appreciate each and every one and a big welcome to my new followers!

The Gent's Bedroom is situated directly above the dining room.  This room was just not big enough for me, lol what's new!  I initially wanted a washing area as well as an arch through to a dressing room.  But this is what I ended up with...

I ended up putting in an en suite into the bedroom area, and made a false door to go into my gent's dressing room......ok then, my imaginary dressing room lol.  The door to the right leads to the hall at the back of the study, as described in my Gent's Study last time.

I know I wanted to squeeze a lot in here, but you have to draw a line.  Too much looks wrong and cluttered, and too little can look boxy and plain.  I hope I have struck the right balance.

I painted the ceiling and back wall in Aubusson Blue an Annie Sloan Chalk paint.  It was an absolute nightmare to work with - a gorgeous shade (just what I wanted), but a nightmare none the less.  Maybe it's just me, I don't know.  When I finally got the finish just perfect, I installed the ceiling piece for the three rooms, then started to seal my MDF.  I know, I know, I should have done that first...lesson learnt!  It japped, and I didn't notice until the next day when I was sitting at my work table, a huge cluster of splatter dots across my lovely ceiling.  I could have cried.  The patch job is passable, but I'm so disappointed in it.  I'm hoping it'll be mostly hidden behind the wall....:(

I made the floor in the little en suite from cardboard tiled with the 'marble' tiles, just as I did in the halls previously.  I have used black/grey with white/black/blue.  They look lovely against the blue of the paint.  I also glued a white ceiling in here made from thick cardboard, the same size as the floor, so the walls will have a 'square' guide to help keep it glued in place.

I glued down my toilet and papered the back wall with St. George by Brodnax.  Even though you won't even see the toilet, I know it's there :)  I also papered both sides of the arched wall, again I want any reflection from the mirror to be true; and I lined the raw edges of the arch with plain paper and painted it with the dreaded blue...

I fitted the walls around the en suite and papered the rest of the room in Irise by Brodnax.  The colours are the same as the St. George in the en suite.  You can see the little plug hanging on the door - this was put into the skirting board behind the bedside locker so I can put a little lamp there.

I made the flooring.  I had black walnut plank flooring I had bought on ebay some time ago, and, true to form, there wasn't quite enough to do the room, so I edged the floor in walnut parquet squares and then I had to glue the plank flooring to paper to raise it up to match the border edging.  With that all glued down and waxed, I put the back door in place. 

I painted the back door, mouldings, ceiling rose and skirting board in a slight cream white for the Gent's Bedroom.  I didn't want stark white in here, I wanted a gentler tone.  Sounds a bit of a contradiction for a man's room, but there you go :)

The door was going to be on the plain painted wall, so I papered it with the same paper as the en suite. 

Now I was into unchartered territory - what's new there lol :)  I wanted to make a curtain to drape over the en suite arch.  I firstly made a pelmet from mountboard, glued on a couple of brass stampings and painted it the dreaded blue...I'm a glutton for punishment, I know :)  I wanted the look of wooden mouldings on the pelmet.  But when I made the curtain, it didn't feel right, (plain curtain, plain pelmet) so I sanded back the painted stampings a little and highlighted them in old gold paint.  Yes, out came my lovely gold paint again....:)

The curtain is made from silk muslin.  Boy, the trouble I had trying to use my pretty pleater (for the first time, I might add).  The fabric just keep jumping out of it, it was dreadful, so I resorted to pinning down a piece of squared paper to foamboard and pinning the fabric to it.  Not an easy task.  Maybe it gets easier with the more curtains you make?  Eventually, I got the soft draping look I was after and sprayed the fabric with my Moroccan Oil hairspray.  I have the loveliest smelling curtain in the country lol :)  Being my first curtain, I'm so glad I opted for one and not a pair!

I made the tieback for here as well.  I chose a deep red colour.  There is a hint of red in the wallpaper.  This was fun.

I scrapped this idea for the tieback loops....I couldn't get this cord I made through the hole in the beads :(

 Once I settled on the little beads etc that I wanted to use, I cut a length of silk embroidery thread and folded it about five times or so and then took a separate piece and tied it together in the centre.

I made a little wire loop to help pull the cord through the beads I glued together.

I threaded that up through the bead and glued it in place.  I made the top of the tie back by looping it up and through the other bead.  The pictures are better at describing what I did than me :)

 Pulled through and trimmed..

Looping the cord back on itself to form the two holders. 

I put a little hairspray on the loops to keep them in place.

I glued the tieback in place....this baby is going nowhere :)

The lights in the en suite are casting a lovely diffused light in here.
I installed the fireplace and put the light for it under the skirting board.

I love the way I have the curtain draping softly.

A lovely space I think :)

Some of the border in the floor seems very light...but it's not, it must be my dire photography..again!

You can see the hall door from here, and walk through to the Games Room from here too.....very important!

This room has quite dark furnishings....in fact this whole floor; the Games Room, the Gent's Study and the Gent's Bedroom I have now called the Gentleman's Floor; and has a quite subdued and, I hope, moody and masculine feel to it.

Again, I have a few more nik naks to gather for in here, but I'll get there in the end :)
Well folks, I hope you enjoyed the making of my Gent's Bedroom.  I am thoroughly enjoying all the challenges I set myself for each room.  I do try to stretch my abilities into trying something different.

All the best and take care for now.


PS I forgot to mention that the bed has still to be dressed!  I'm thinking maybe a deep red silk eiderdown type of bedding, well see.....