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.



  1. Hello Vivian,
    this room is a mini masterpiece. The ceiling is spectacular and so authentic to a great manor. I love it. the divisions of the room with the raised area are great and really make the room multifunctional. I also love the wallpaper in here. You did fantastic work my friend...when I first saw this room it made me think of the breakers in Newport. you got the feel just right. Bravo!
    Big hug,

  2. Well done, Vivian. It makes me want to shoot some pool and I haven't done that for 30 years.

    The room is beautiful.

  3. Great way of doing a fancy ceiling! The raised area makes the room much more interesting and makes sure that whoever is up there gets a really good view of the pool table!

    Not quite sure what you mean by slow progress though. It has taken me 22 years to decorate half of my house, admittedly with a lot of projects that had nothing to do with the house, but I bet you'll be done with this house in no time at all, even with steps to slow you down!

  4. Wow! What a wonderful mood you have created in this room! I agree that all the brass details are perfect! Your paint job and construction and Design of the ceiling is Masterful! It really turned out beautifully!!! I think it was just right to put the light low over the billiards table and to raise the card area in back! It really looks like a place the men would "live" happily in!!! What a great house you are building!
    (If I were you I would construct a low "scaffold" platform for your security and safety while you are working on the higher rooms! A little like the raised card playing area!)
    This house is really going to be a masterpiece!

  5. Beautiful room! You are right that it feels very masculine, even with the floral wallpaper and findings. I am amazed at what you can do, and how fast you can do it!

    Excited to see more!

  6. Bonjour,
    je découvre votre maison et je suis émerveillé. Cette salle de jeux est une réussite, je suis en admiration totale devant le plafond et particulièrement sa couleur et sa patine. Félicitation.

  7. Hello Vivian!
    This is a beautiful room in your house! That ceiling is exquisite. You have achieved a very masculine feeling room with these colors, patterns and furnishings.
    Very well done!
    Warm regard,

  8. Hi Vivian,

    You have done a fabulous job with this room! I love your use of embossed wallpaper…very clever and very well done :-) Any gentleman would be happy to have a snifter and play snooker in this rich retreat.


  9. Vivian it's a great room all thats missing is a few stuffed heads on the walls or a suit of Armor and some weapons, can't you just see them getting drunk and playing with the swords :)


  10. Ciao, Vivian! Hai fatto un gran lavoro! Adoro il soffitto, veramente bello!

  11. Hey V
    I just came back for another look and found I didn't post my comment! Sorry!! I think I closed the window down before it must have sent fully!! I love this room! The ceiling is really incredible. You have really gone the extra mile and the raised seating area is genius! I always get hung up on making something that fits neatly into 4 walls which is why I'm having trouble with my French house! You have such a free way of working - or at least that's how it comes across. Ha ha
    I've used embossed wallpaper for ceilings before but never thought about cutting out individual pieces for a more designed look. I might be trying that idea ;-)
    Hope all is well with you, I'm glad you liked that John Fowler book. It is full of such pretty rooms - too much inspiration for 1 mini house!!take care
    Si x

  12. I have just found your blog and I have to say WOW what a fantastic room. I love the ceiling and the raised area. You have so many wonderful ideas Thank you for sharing.
    Hugs Maria

  13. El trabajo del techo es espectacular.La sala está preciosa, encantadora.

  14. Love the ceiling - it's really effective and looks great in your room. You've achieved a very masculine feel in there and it was a good idea to lift your little corner area - that way we don't miss seeing anything!

  15. after following Giac and your blogs, I feel like I should stop building dollhouses! such patience you two have!!!!

    I love the ceiling and the woodwork...and everything :)