Thursday, June 28, 2012

Federal Dining Room

The Dining Room is starting to come together!  Would you care to take a little tour and have a look-y?

Of all the rooms in Merriman Park, so far this one is decorated the most 'modern,' in the early nineteenth-century Federal Style.  The American Federal period corresponds to the British Regency and the French Empire styles.

My inspiration for this setting came from 'real-life' rooms in Washington D.C, Virginia and New Orleans (!)

I started this room way back on Christmas Eve, when I drew up these rough sketches on the back of some holiday wrapping paper.  Obviously, I had no idea of the scale of the wallpaper pattern because I drew it pretty large!

Planning a space is half the fun for me.  Sometimes I make fairly elaborate plans and other times a quick, cursory sketch is all that is needed.  Other times, I just have a vague 'feeling' of what I want to do and start with no written plan at all.  I'm the master of the 'No Plan' Plan!  

Paneled wainscoting was falling out of fashion by the early part of the nineteenth century, and fanciful wallpapers were being used from floor to cornice.  Because of this, I choose a 'beefy' skirting board, almost an inch high!
All the moldings and pilasters are from Lawbre Miniatures.  You cannot beat their fine quality. Their web catalog is a little shall we say in need of an update but I bought a hard copy back when Merriman Park was merely in the planning stages.  It has been an endless source of inspiring ideas.

I have already gone on and on about Braxton Payne's gorgeous fireplace mantels --this one in his 'Greek-Revival mode.

The chandelier and sconces were purchased from Luminations by Mr. K.  I had thought about installing a 'shoo-fly' over the dining table.  This was a large fan that hung over the table and was operated by pulling cords by servants.  But the shoo-fly lost out when I spied this Swarovsky crystal-bedazzled beauty!
It was my very first time with the Pretty Pleater --and you always remember your first time, right?  I used gold rings from the bead store on a brass rod, an idea I shamelessly stole from one of my inspiration rooms.  Except for stitching the rings to the top of the panels, these curtains were a no-sew breeze to whip up!  (Thanks, Ray)!  Ray Whitledge did a fab tutorial on the wonderful world of the Pretty Pleater on his blog and I followed his instructions to a T --except I used spray starch instead of hairspray. (Oh. My. God. I haven't used hairspray since, like, the '80's)! Speaking of the 80's and hairspray, let's have a look from the archives of The Hair-Do Hall of Fame, shall we?
Being pretty isn't easy.
"I'd just like a little off the sides, please."
Does this ponytail distract from my alluring eyes?

But I digress.

Anyway, wasn't it nice that the folks over at Master's Miniatures, where most of my dining room furnishings came from, supplied me with some extra gold gimp so the drapes match the rug I mean the chairs?  I think so!
Hopefully, the photos that my 'photographer friend' snaps will turn out better than mine!  Perhaps by then I will have amassed a few more accessories to round out my Dining Room!
And that concludes the tour... y'all have been the best tour, ever, and I really do mean that!  Buh-bye!


Gee said...[Reply]

Another lovely room... you spoil us, John!
I like the fact that the curtains (great job btw!)and the chair seats are of the same color, that brings harmony.
Great furniture and the carpet and wallpaper go together wonderful.
I find it hard to find wallpaper that makes a good match with rugs/carpets but you made a good choice.
Can not see the lighting fixtures well because of the light but I am sure they are superb.
What is in the picture frames if you don't mind my nosyness?
And last but not least: I think your photographs are quite good :). You must be really pleased with your house as it is coming along so well.
Hugs dear friend,

John said...[Reply]

Hi, Gee!

Thanks for the compliments! Guess I forgot to mention the artwork --oops! The mirror and painting over the buffet are by Jim Coates and feature hunting/military scenes. Pretty butch, right? Over the chair is a portrait of Thomas Jefferson (who inspires my floor plan), which I moved from the Hall, and two oval portraits of 'family relations.'

Simon said...[Reply]

Hey honey!
I saw this Post listed the other day but it wouldn't open, almost like you had deleted it or something. And now it is far back through the list of blog updates I have to get through. I hoe other people dont miss it? might be worth trying to re-publish it somehow?
Anyway, yes, very funny how we both did it at the same time. I really love the look of your room. especially the wallpaper. My new house is going to have more panelling than paper and im gutted really as I love it!
Your chairs from Masters look great. Good choice.
I am going to buy my pretty pleater today and then start looking for fabric. did you use a silk based fabric?
Your pictures are great byt the way, mine are tending to come out really dark at the moment, and a bit blured - im rubbish with technology!
take care sweets
Simon x

John said...[Reply]

Hey Simon! Weird about my post...I usually get more comments than I have so something must be up! Technology. Anyway, thank you and yes, I did use silk. It's a stripe with a sloght irredescent gold running through and I love it! My pics aren't that bad, for a change, huh? Good luck with the Pretty Pleater! Pretty Pleater --lol!

Pedrete said...[Reply]

Divino, sencillamente divino!! No hay más que añadir!! Un besote y enhorabuena!!

John said...[Reply]

Thanks, Pedrete!

Josje said...[Reply]

Hi John,
I've been away for a few days so I can't say whether your post originally showed up on my reading list, but I just saw Simon's post referring to this one.

The room looks great and your curtains turned out beautifully! I love the colour combinations. The chandelier is gorgeous! I really like what you've done with the wall opposite of the fireplace, bringing back the green of the curtains and creating another focal point.

I'm not that familiar with Lawbre, but the mouldings look great!

Looooove the hairstyles, hahaha!

John said...[Reply]

LOL! I think you would be particularly lovely with that second 'do, Josje! Thanks for the nice comments!

Daydreamer said...[Reply]

WOW! WOW! WOW! I LOVE it! The Chandelier is to die for!!! Of course, I'm "eying" them right now as I have to invent a tiny one for my Tree House!!! But Seriously, this room is GORGEOUS! Warm, Elegant, Sophisticated, beautifully balanced.... I could go on and on!
I also noticed your Header showed up on my list but no post showed with it. I would have missed it but for the notice from Simon!
Anyway, I would say you have accomplished an Awesome amount here... including success with your "Pretty Pleater"!!! The drapes are Very Elegant and I LOVE the color!

Fi.P said...[Reply]

Hi John,

I am in fact speechless.......not because of those fabulous doo's you popped in, but because of your stunning dining room! Every time i see it it looks more incredible. I think it goes down as my favourite room ever!!

I love you sketches too!

ML Fi xx

John said...[Reply]

Fi, darling, I see you pulling off the first look. Or not. Is it a 'do or a don't? Glad you liked the room so much but my money is on the next one -the Music Room! Girl, it a hot mess!

John said...[Reply]

Hi Betsy! Thanks much --I can't even imagine a chandelier as small as you need, but I'm sure you will find one, or make one in some ingenious, Daydreamer way!

Iris March said...[Reply]

This gets better and better! I love the dining room--everything is pulled together and so wonderful. Now, an invite for dinner is in order!

I love your drawings. It is nice to start with some drawings to help things go well. I tend a bit toward the "no-plan" plan also, mainly because I am so impatient to get started, hoping that everything will just work out somehow.

OK, ready for the Music Room, now.

Lots of cheers for the dining room,

Steinworks said...[Reply]

I love it, Im so happy to hear that you don't plan anything except for the sketches (cause I don't plan anything either)

I really love how the house is coming along and I'm actually LEARNING about the era too

Marisa :)

John said...[Reply]

Thanks, Iris!

I already have a good start on the Music Room, as it happens!

John said...[Reply]

Hello Marisa!

Are you learning about the Federal Period or the 1980's?

Debora said...[Reply]

Wow John, that's a very elegant room there! I really love the sketches you've done. Very good representation of the final result.

The niche for the side board opposite the fireplace... and all the other additions that are setup symmetrical give it a very calm and distinct atmosphere. Very pretty and the reed moldings and coving fits just perfect. And I love your color combo.

btw the pictures are rally pretty good John. I've poked and enlarged them till original size and they show just how wonderful and well thought out this room is!

John said...[Reply]

Thank you, Debora! I don't know much about photography --obviously-- but I remember Irene telling me about the 'flower' setting on the camera and that seems to work out pretty good.

Glad you like the room!

Heather said...[Reply]

This is stunning! It looks like a real room.

And the hairdos are great to!

John said...[Reply]

Thanks, Heather! I am transfixed with your Deco-Glam house!

Not sure if those are hairdos or hairdon'ts, but maybe you should give that first one a try...if it doesn't work you still might be able to pick up free cable, right?

Giac said...[Reply]

Hello again John,
We watched a "Who's the Boss" marathon last night, so I've had my full of 80's hair for a while.
The Dining Room is spectacular. I am so happy you built from scratch rather then be confined to a kit space. Your structure and composition are superb. Congratulations on the curtains, they came out PERFECT! I love the color palette you chose.
An EXCELLENT job my friend.
Big hug,