Sunday, 6 November 2011

Gallery floor, a little bit of house and family history.

Hello all.
I hope everyone is well. I haven't had much time to work on the Manor in the past 2 weeks. Last weekend we spent both days outdoors getting the yard ready for winter, and yesterday I spent all day decorating the house for the holidays. Yes, some think it's a bit early, but Christmas makes me happy and that's all the reason I need!

Actually, I've been working on the floor for the Gallery, the room just above the entrance at the top of the stairs. I say this all the time, but it took forever! About 18 hours in total.

I wanted the wood floor to match the pattern of the black and white marble floor of the room underneath. As with all the wood floors I used the iron on wood strip rolls you get at hardware stores. They work great, except that the rolls are so thin it's hard to get it to lie perfectly straight when you cut it, so adjustements were necessary for almost every single piece of the floor. Attaching them is easy, I just put the wood side of the piece against the iron for 6 seconds, till the glue starts to go white and bubble a little, then I attach it to the illustration board sub-floor.

I booked my last 3 vacation days on the 14,15 and 16th of the month, so next weekend I should tackle the attic floor devisions, Gallery panneling, and then either assemble the Library bookcases or carve the Caryatides for the music room.
That is all in terms of progress, but I did promise everyone a little information about the house and the family who will live there...
First of all, the design and location of the house came from 3 of my favorite movies. For the location of the house, I wanted it to be on the edge of a cliff, like Windward House from the 1944 movie The Uninvited
The location of the Cliff is somewhere in Cornwall England, inspired by Manderlay, the estate from the 1940 film Rebecca. Basically, the cliff is at the end of a vast estate with a beech at the bottom of the cliff and is surrounded by woods, orchards, Gardens and seperate buildings to house the staff.

The house itself was VERY inspired by Thornewood Castle, the House used in the Stephen King mini-series Rose Red.

Thornewood Castle
Thornewood, for me, is the most beautiful house I've ever seen. I just fell in love with it and I thought it was perfect for a doll house.  ...sooo many shingles to cut.. 
Because my Manor is in the country  and set about 1895 to 1905, I decided the house has plumbing in the kitchen and a bathroom in the attic floor. For lighting they used candles because gas pipes for lighting only reached the rural areas later on. The house had Central heating (Furnace in the basement and heat grates in the rooms) which used coal, but because the the house is in the country and it was so readily available, all the fireplaces in the house are wood burning.

As for the family, They will be a family of 5 (1 son and 2 daughters) who are not nobility, but come from prosperous families who have made their fortunes in the textile and timber trades, and also investments in shipping. I'm still working on the individual members of the family and staff. Mostly they are inspired by my favorite movie characters. I've given a lot more thought to the staff then the actual family. My biggest source of information was the book "Victorian House" by Judith Flanders.

I called the house Dewell Manor. Originally, I thought it would be fun to use my own name for the house, but Giacomo Dell'accio just sounded wrong for an english manor house. So after looking up popular victorian names, I decided to use the maiden name of one of my favorite people in the world, the mother of one of our dearest friends from Manchester UK, Yvonne Dewell. I thought Dewell Manor (pronounced duel) had a beautiful ring to it and she was kind enough to let me use it. She also helped me with the story behind the family.
Once again it's past my bedtime. I will definetley share my progress by Wednesday the 16th.
Thank you all for your encouragement and you great comments. I hope this post wasent too boring. I wish everyone a great week and send you all the best.



  1. I am never bored when I read one of our posts!

    The floor is just gorgeous!!! When I look at all the work you have done I can't even imagine how many hours you have spent so far. All worth it considering how lovely it is.

    OMG!!!! That movie "The Uninvited" scared the *&^ out of me when I was about seven. It gave me the creeps for years. I still remember that ghost on the stair case.

  2. Hello Giac, congratulations for the wonderful progress of your home, I just saw the previous post, sorry if I went first from your blog. I like the inspiration that you chose for the house and the characters, confirming the wonderful job you're doing, I found their story interesting, now I'm curious to see the characters!
    Good continuation of the work, and as always forgives the translation was made by google ...

  3. C'est toujours intéressant de savoir d'où vient notre source d'inspiration et le choix du nom de notre création.

  4. Hi Giac

    The floor is lovely and I love your inspiration house, brick and stone are my favorite combination My house is based on the Iowa Governor's house called Terrace Hill.

    PS: don't burn your hand on that iron!!!!!

  5. Hello Giac :)
    I love reading your posts. Wow that floor is wonderful. Cant wait to meet your characters. I just know they are going to be super interesting.
    Hugs Maria

  6. Hi Giac!

    The floor is amazing --eighteen hours? OMG, it was well-worth your effort-- it's perfectly lovely.

    I hope that since Manderlay, from Rebecca was one of your inspiration houses, that Mrs. Danvers will be in attendance to the Dewell Family!

    This was a fascinating post, Giac --we all hope you will tell us more about the Dewell history.

  7. Thank you for the great comments everyone. I'm glad you liked the floor and the mini history. Whenever work is taking longer I'll write a bit more about the Dewells.
    Too late Elga, I got a little too close to the hot surface several times. I love terrace Hill!
    John, funny you should mention that, the very first character I decided on was a housekeeper named Mrs. Danvers. I think she's one of my absolute favorite characters ever! But mine will be nicer, but just as efficient.

  8. Hi Giac,
    Your inspiration house reminds me of one here in Oklahoma. This part of the county has some pretty great house that were built back in it's boom days. You should google the Harweldem Mansion Tulsa Oklahoma. Lots of images inside and out. It can be rented these days and I have been to a few events there. There is even a secret passage in the wood panneling in the dining room. Anyway - your floor looks great!
    Keep up the good work.

  9. Great article and the tips are very comprehensive. For sure many entrepreneurs with small and big businesses are going to benefit from this. Keep it.


  10. Giac, I love the floor, it looks perfect, as does everything in your house!! The time you took was worth it! If you are basing part of the house on Maderlay, just make sure Mrs Danvers isn't lurking around in it, or she'll be causing trouble!!! ;) Dewell Manor is a great name!

    regards, Andy

    PS what Christmas decorations have you used?

  11. Another wonderful floor Giac. I keep popping back to look at the others for inspiration! It's well worth all the time and care you've taken with it.

  12. I have just found your blog and has now become a follower. I am stunned about the great work you have put info your manor. Everything I have seen on your blog until now it just beautiful. I will certainly return to your blog again

  13. Hello everyone,
    Thank you once again for your great feedback. It really keeps me focused on doing a good job.
    Troy, I loved Harweldem Mansion. That style has always been my preference.
    Andy, I use Christmas trees, wrapped presents and sometimes I full size tree decorations small enough to work in miniature. I would concider using a string of lights as long as it came with a battery pack I could conceal...I read that the ones you plug into your house directly take up a lot of energy and might make the other lights less bright. When Dewell Manor is done I also want to hang wreaths on every window and in the Grand Staircase.
    Thank you Irene, the floors have been the most tedious work so far, your appreciation means a lot.
    Welcome Reiko, thank you for your very kind words. I look forward to seeing your castle evolve.
    Have a great day everyone,
    Best wishes to all,


  15. Oooooh ... I love that creepy movie ... isn't that the one starring Ray Milland and Gail Russell, where the ghostly scent of mimosa comes wafting around at the most inopportune moments? Can't wait to see what more you do with this one! You do know of course, at least one window has to have diaphanous curtains billowing into the room! : )