Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Backtracking a Little Bit

Happy Spring!  Woke up today to an inch of new snow on the ground with a whole foot possible tonight!  Oh wells, best just not to think about it --right?-- and dig in on the Bedchamber...

Because I changed my original plan and hung two chandeliers downstairs in the Library instead of one, I had to make a whole, new plank floor for my Bedchamber.  But this gives me the opportunity to show you how I wired the chandeliers, since Elga and Fi are on that subject.  (Sorry the photo is so blurry --I had to take it, one-handed)!  Anyway, as you see I made small trap doors over the chandeliers and routed out a shallow 'junction box' to house the wires in case something goes awry --as it often seems to do.  The traps are hidden under rugs and I like to pretend my dolls are in constant peril, LOL!  Ray gave me the junction box idea back when I started wiring my first room, the Entrance Hall, its checkered, marble floor can be glimpsed to the bottom left. It's worked out great in all the rooms, so thanks a bunch, Ray!

And now, the fun part!  after cutting the illustration board to fit all three walls (and doing several, careful 'dry fits' to make sure everything lines up), you can start decorating.  I always start with the 'back wall.'  I papered the illustration board panel with my toile wallpaper, which I'm absolutely coo-coo for.  It was completely worth the six, long weeks I waited for it! I like to use Super 77 Spray Mount from 3-M for my wallpaper but I know some of you hate it!  Here's a little tip: instead of cutting the paper to fit the panel, wrap it around the panel and secure with white glue in back.  Not only will the paper never peel away, it finishes the visible edges off beautifully.  The moldings are from the Lawbre Company, the skirting is an inch wide and makes an elegant statement in an otherwise plain room.  The cornice, also from Lawbre, is a classic egg and dart design.  I hung a picture frame molding about an inch and a half from the top of the wall and here is where I started the wallpaper.  This leaves a nice, wide frieze at the top of the wall, which I decided to leave plain.  Less is sometimes more!  I already showed you the lovely door surround I made from bits of scrap.  And I can never resist playing with artwork even at this early phase: the silhouette portraits are vintage 1950's pieces from an old, dismantled dollhouse.

The 'plain' wall across from the fireplace will have the bed placed here.  Unfortunately, the skirting was ot long enough to make the span so I will have to do some filling and sanding at the joint. I use gesso (a mixture of white paint and white glue) for filling gaps.  Here's another important tip: don't glue down any moldings permanently until you have dry-fitted them first --slip all your walls into your house and mark in the corners with a pencil where the moldings butt together in the corners.  Make sure they match up precisely before gluing anything down! You will be constantly putting in and pulling out your walls --don't expect to get it all right in one try.

Here's the fireplace wall, under construction. The window seats are simply trimmed and I tried to unite all the different elements: windows, seats and mantle into one, cohesive composition  I ran out of cornice in the upper left and so had to order another length!  Don't you just hate that? 

I remembered to take a photo of the hearth, under construction. It's all just illustration board and card bricks.  I paint it up in scrumbled shades of grey.

It's all starting to come together!  Here, I slipped the illustration board panels into the carcass of the house for another dry fit.  Lookin' pretty good in the 'hood! I don't glue the cornice in til the very last thing because you want a tight fit with no gaps. The floor needs a few more coats of lacquer, some joints need filling and touching up...and then I can tackle the wiring!  



jeffry said...[Reply]

Hi John,
It looks wonderfull. Love the wallpaper, mine is in a different color though. I also like the windowseats and looking forward to see what kind of color(s) you will be using for the furnishing in this room.

Fi.P said...[Reply]

Hello my Lovely,

I am of course swooning over your Bedchamber, as I have said before, I'm in love with the window seat idea. Its all looking beautiful and your tips on putting the room together is so helpful.The wallpaper IS to die for and I will definitely be following your tips on the underfloor wiring.

I can't believe it's still snowing over there, you must be freezing your tootsies off!! I have just booked out flights to Sydney for the Dollhouse fair...yes I'm dragging the whole family up there but they will be sight seeing whilst Im gathering up some miniatures!! Have fun at Chicago!!

ML Fi xx

Catherine said...[Reply]

I can see why you adore that wallpaper! It is GORGEOUS! Everything is that room is beautiful. I LOVE the window seats. I am never going to forget to leave myself access to the wiring thanks to you and Elga.

I cannot imagine how depressing a foot of snow has to sound to you after waiting so long for spring. I hope it won't last long. XXXXX

Daydreamer said...[Reply]

OOOOH La La! It is looking Fantastic, John!!! (Maybe you will get so much snow you can't get to work...!) Your window seats are Gorgeous, and the wall paper is Beautiful... such a warm and pretty color! I can't wait to see the furniture you have chosen for this room.... and I LOVE the antique silhouettes!

Gee said...[Reply]

Hi John!
You are so right about that wallpaper,and it gives the room such warmth.

Thanks for all the helpful tips, my sidewalls are always precisely measured yet in the final fit they are always a bit too long (!?).
So I will keep your tips in mind in the future.

I too love the window seats, they are so stylish; also
love the tiles around the hearth and I'm always drooling about your moldings against the wall/ceiling.

Very curious about how the room will look finished, but it is already fab as is!

Great choice of materials and well worth the wait.
Huge hug,

P.S.: I hope lots of sunshine is coming soon

Lucille said...[Reply]

John, so sorry about all the snow. It's rather hard to take at this time of the year. Hope this does not happen in Ottawa.

John, it seems like you have the answers to a lot of questions that I have been having and which have been keeping me from progressing on my poor shell of a house. How wonderful to learn that I can put my wallpaper on illustration board and the same thing with the ceiling. Could you please tell me what sort of glue you use. Is it real wallpaper glue?

Your house is a beauty. I adore your wallpaper. You have such fantastic taste. Don't forget to answer my question. I absolutely have to start the wallpapering stage become I am getting very down about the whole thing.

Indy_Poppy said...[Reply]

Thanks for the hints and tips. I'm now on the lookout for illustration board. What type of white glue do you use for the wallpaper? Is it a wood type glue? Do you put any glue between the wallpaper and illustration board on the front? Thanks for info, IndyPoppy

Anna said...[Reply]

John, the bedroom is beautiful. It already looks like a room in a stately home.

Good to know about the wallpaper - I'll use that tip in my next house for sure!

Margaret said...[Reply]

Another gorgeous room in the making, it is great to see your work in various stages, and your fireplace looks wonderful.

Wyrna Christensen said...[Reply]

It is a beautiful room. The floor has a lovely beautiful glow. All the stucco you have on the ceiling and on the walls give a beautiful whole, It get it very elegant.
Thank you for all your good advice. I look forward to seeing more.

Josje said...[Reply]

Hi John! The wallpaper is gorgeous, the window seats are gorgeous and I love the trap door idea! I know how important it is to have access to the wiring as I have had the pleasure of having one of my lights short circuit. The wires were completely melted together! Thankfully I work with panels so all walls and floors slide out, but it proved to me how important it is not to glue anything down when there is wiring behind it!

I have a question for you, I was wondering how you do the corners of the wall panels and the cornicing? I looked at your photos but it looks like you don't have any mitering at the corners?

Spring finally arrived here yesterday in bucketloads! Rain, rain and more rain. Won't complain though because the farmers really needed it.

Ilona said...[Reply]

Your fantastic wall paper has a very pretty color, it gives a warm and cosy look in the bedroom. You also can stay in your miniature bedroom and dream about it, while the snow is falling outside, John ;)!
Thanks for sharing the tips about the wiring, it one of the most common "problems" for the most of us.
Hugs, Ilona

Liduina said...[Reply]

The room in your post looks stunning. And it is such a good idea to decorate paper templates and put them in the room when they are finished. I wish I had done this with my own doll's house....

Flora said...[Reply]

Hi John,
as always you have done a wonderful job.
I find brilliant the idea of ​​working on individual walls and compose all the elements: it has more freedom of action.
Yesterday I took half an hour to hang a towel to a shelf hanging on the wall of the kitchen!
I find it funny the thought of a man who works in the kitchen, just like me, between lunch and dinner :-)
Good snowy Spring

Giac said...[Reply]

Hello John,
what an incredible room. The wallpaper is so warm and welcoming, but still elegant. You really are a gifted miniaturist and your attention to trim and moulding is fantastic. Merriman Park honestly deserves to be displayed in a museum so peaople can enjoy it's beauty. Fantastic.
Big hug my friend,
Honey Badger

John said...[Reply]

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the lovely compliments. I thought I'd answer some of the questions that popped up:

@ Lucille: Sorry about the confusion! I use the 3-M 77 Spray Mount to adhere the wallpaper to the panel but you could certainly use wallpaper paste if you prefer.
Fold the 'leftover' paper around the back of the panel and leave about a 1/2'' strip and this I glue down with Aileen's Tacky glue. Don't get 'down' about your project: it's fun, remember? :) Just start somewhere and it will all come together! Good luck!

@ Indy_Poppy: I think I just answered your questions, too, but if you have any others feel free to email me --my address is in my profile.

@ Josje: I skipped through that part because I did a tutorial recently on 'coped' corners. Basically, I butt one end of the cornice to the wall, and then I use a coping saw (hand jig saw) to cut the profile of cornice so it butts over the other piece with no gaps. I explain it better in the post, it's just a few back. As for the corner, when I am ready to install the panels I use a cloth tape (Gaffer's) on the backside at the corners. Hope this helped!

Hope that covers me if you have other questions! Well, guess I better go shovel the sidewalk!


Confidential to Fi:
LOL! Ditch the fam and go shopping for gorgeous miniatures! Have a blast in Sydney!

Confidential to Honey Badger:
Chanté, you stay!

Anonymous said...[Reply]

John the room looks perfect!!! I love the right wall with the fireplace and window seats... as I´ve said you have an excellent taste!!!

A big hug!

Iris March said...[Reply]

Hi darling John,

So sorry about your weather--everytime I check my weather report I always check yours too! I am hoping yours improves.

I am also sorry to be so long in posting--I am about to be back on track and in this "real" world of miniatures.

I LOVE this room, and as you know, any room with "dog ears" gets my vote! I like that "trap door" tip and the one about turning the corners of the wallpaper behind and gluing down and coping the corners of moulding. You have great ideas and execution.

Here's a HUG to keep warm!

Muriellisa said...[Reply]

C'est absolument magnifique. J'aime beaucoup l'ambiance de cete pièce. BRAVO. Je retiens l'idée pour l'accès au luminaire de la pièce de dessous.

Andy said...[Reply]

Hi John.

This weather is Freaky! spring is really trying here, but the grey skies and cold winds won't let it get a grip! At least we don't have any snow! Hope you can dig your way out to Chicago!

The room looks amazing, love the paper, looks great on the walls. Well worth the long wait! Like your cornice too! Now the trap door idea is practical and fun! Very clever way of gaining access to the wires below!

Love that mirror too!!!

Thanks for all your tips

Andy xx

miraclechicken said...[Reply]

SWEET!!!! I love love love the window seats :) The wallpaper is beautiful.
Sorry about the snow.... I was basking in 83F temperature with...SUN yesterday!!! Otherwise I've been 15-20 degrees below normal this whole miserable spring. And as the system that hit you makes it's way to me, the bottom is falling out of my glorious heat and I'll be back to wearing 5 layers INDOORS :(

John said...[Reply]

@ Linda: Hope you don't have to put the poly back up!

@ Andy: Certainly the snow will be gone by THEN!? Sorry you guys are in the muck, too...let's hope for a nice SUMMER!

Pedrete said...[Reply]

¡Hola John!

El dormitorio se ve precioso con ese papel y esas molduras. ¿Ves cómo muchas veces, menos es más? En muchas ocasiones lo más sencillo es lo más elegante, y este dormitorio estoy plenamente seguro de que será elegantísimo!!

¡Un abrazo enorme y enhorabuena!

Elga said...[Reply]

John, your room looks absolutely divine, on my next house I sure am going to use the panels for the walls. I love colonial style but think I am going to build the South African Dutch interpretation, just found a wonderful book on the subject as a free download.

Hope spring is not too far off!

Irene said...[Reply]

What a great idea to use trap doors for the lighting. Too late for my Hambleton Hall but bang on for Netherton!

The bedroom is going to look soooo good and I did enjoy looking at your works in progress. Love the window seats too.

Troy said...[Reply]

It's looking great John. Thank you for posting. I like the "trap door" idea - both for the practical use and the thoughts of peril for your mini residents.. lol
Keep up the good work. Take lots of pictures at the Chicago show for me!

La casa de Elisa said...[Reply]

me encanta te felicito ..y gracias por contar tus trucos ¡¡¡...un beso