Sunday, 21 December 2014

Countess's Bedroom re-visited and Happy holidays!

Hello everyone,
I hope you are all doing well and ready for the holidays. I must apologize for not commenting on your blogs as of late. Since we got back from our vacation we have been running around for real life bathroom renovations and the holidays...I start my Christmas break this week and will get back to commenting very soon. I've missed it.
In spite of the hectic schedule I did steel an hour here or there to do a little work on the Manor. Today I present to you the updated Countess's bedroom:


I was never completely happy with this room. I thought the main problem was the fireplace and over mantel. I did not like the grey marble against the wallpaper, and the over mantel I made was nice but I felt it too bulky in contrast to the other elements I had in the room.  I was looking at a bo0ok on Marble house and while looking at the dining room I new what I wanted. Before I begin, here are some before and after pictures of the changes I made:

The room before
Not happy with the fireplace

a little fancier

Not happy with the wall around the bed

a bed fit for a countess

As you can see, and I'm sure it does not come as a surprise, the "change the fireplace" turned into a small renovation of the whole room. Well, let's start at the beginning...
As I mentioned I was not happy with the fireplace wall. I loved the shape of the rococo mantel so I ordered an identical one, but as I was browsing I found an over mantel that matched it perfectly. I purchased it and decided to finish it to look like Numidian Rose Marble

It is a very intense pink colored marble and I love it. Originally I just wanted to highlight a few details in gold, but after looking at those pictures of Marble house I decided to add more gold to make the room more opulent and I think it works with the style of the mantel and over mantel. Here is a comparison shot of the before and after

I think the new one has a much grandeur and more feminine feel to it. When I was test fitting it I noticed the wallpaper between the new pieces was ripped when I pulled off the old. My solution was to make a big piece of "marble" and glue the mantel and over mantel over it.

This was just a piece of illustration board with doorframe molding on it. I liked the effect and glued it in

Originally the applique's over the window dressing were white with gold detail, but when the new fireplace went in I thought they would look better all in gold. The oval frame over the mirror is a gold broach my mother gave me to use in the Manor.

Just a note on the mantel, over mantel and applique's. If you use Sue Cook or Jim Coates castings you get perfect, smooth miniatures. These are from Unique Miniatures. They are rough, need sanding, filling and I also had to heat them with a hair dryer to soften them up and strengthen them. They are beautiful but there is a lot of prep work involved with Unique miniatures, but I think you can get good results if you take the proper time to clean them up.

The Bed Nook

I was really happy with the fireplace wall so I turned my attention to the bed. I tried putting up artwork, curtains...nothing really impressed me. While I worked on the fireplace I had an idea: Why not surround the bed in marble as well.

In the picture above you can see I took illustration board, cut to the height of the room and drew on the position of the bed. Here is a shot of the back

I could have just left it flat, but this gave me the opportunity to create a cavity for sconce wires. I then turned it over and placed the architectural elements I had to create a design I liked

The wonderful corbels are from Jim Coates and the little angel applique at the top was on my original over mantel for this room. I painted the architectural element with gold paint and marbleized the rest. I was lucky enough to find a site that analysed the colors of marble. To create the Pink Numidian marble I used a coat of  Coral Blush, then a coat of Antique Mauve, and finally French Mauve, all from Americana Paints. I applied them using different sea sponges and I used an old brush to create the veins.

Someone commented that my marble had very long veins and not many secondary or tertiary veins. I agree! I've noticed the more veins I add the less I like the look of my marble and it feels less real. Also, in real life, I tend to like pieces of marble with very little veining.

In the picture above you can see what it looked like. I was ready to glue it in but figured this was the perfect time to make sure it was going in the best spot. I tried it on the back wall

I liked that the bed was more private and by the window, but I thought it was too much pink and red on one side of the room so put it back where it originally went

The sconces match the chandelier I have for the room and I think they look perfect. While the marble piece was good, I felt the top of the bed was missing a canopy. I got some Styrofoam balls and cut a quarter piece of it. I then chose a fabric that worked with the bedding and cut it into triangles.

I covered the quarter ball with the Ultimate Glue and placed the fabric on. Wherever the triangle pieces met I glued on some gold twisted cord I had and then topped it with a small jewelry piece.

In the next picture you can see the back is unfinished and the braid is glued under the canopy. If you can't see it, it's good enough.

Wall Panels

Everything was coming together, but the walls still bothered me. I know many homes have chair rails to protect the walls, but in my mind a chair rail should separate 2 different wall colors or finishes. So, I taped of the chair rails and baseboards and painted the wallpaper in between them white. It took 5 coats of paint but was well worth it. Then I taped off the chair rail and painted it with gold paint

I also added appliques over the doors. Again I originally painted them white with a little gold detail, which took forever, just to realize they were better all gold. to fill the white wall under the chair rail I purchased Unique Miniatures wall appliques. I'll repeat myself, I painted them white and detailed them in gold, just to realize they were better all patience!!! They looked a bit lost on the white wall so I took a thin cardboard ( the back of a workbook) and marbleized it to match the room.

I glued them into place and finally, I was happy with the room.

It has that grand feeling I was looking for but still does not look too vulgar. I think the Countess will be pleased.
I had another copy of the painting in the original over mantel which was perfect in the room, so I framed it and glued it over the desk. I actually think it looks better
And that is another room done. There is no better feeling then finishing a room which was just not right.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas everyone. The staff is busy getting the ballroom ready for the party
 I won't be posting until after the holidays, so I just want to wish everyone all the best for a wonderful holiday season. I thank each and every one of you for all your kindness and friendliness. I truly do have the best followers ever. Many Hugs to you and your loved ones, and here's to a wonderful, peaceful 2015

As I mentioned I will be on holiday as of Wednesday and have many mini projects ligned up...I won't say just what, but here are a few clues...

There is one room...just one...that I never liked at all in the manor

Thank you all my dear friend. I'll see you in 2015. I have to run now, Ozzy is in the window again waiting for Santa

 Huge hugs to all,