Sunday, 20 March 2016

Drawing Room beginnings

Hi Everyone

As I mentioned before the first room I am working on is the drawing room. Not for any reason other than it is usually the most impressive room in my houses and as such invariably requires more space and planning - the other rooms are easier to fit in around it. This room will have the best pieces of furniture in it (I dread to think of the cost this will involve) and whilst being formal it must appear to have been there for decades, slowly coming together over different generations living in the house. One way of creating this appearance is to have different types and styles of art. This helps to add interest but also creates a sort of believable depth to the room. On a practical note, I try not to use "white" paint too. White in the sense of "pure" or "brilliant" white. Nothing with any age is a clean crisp white and there are so many variations on the market now that I have plenty to choose from.

So, these are a few quick snaps to show my ideas for this room. I've gone back to my old favourite wallpaper that I love. The fireplace is the one I commissioned from Sue Cook Miniatures a couple of years ago and the large picture above it are all fixed in place, along with the door frames.

Please excuse the brick back, this is just temporary until the proper one arrives. The moulding detail on the chair rail etc needs to be finished but it gives an idea of the style of the room. I am trying to make it look like an old William Kent interior (the interior theme of the whole building). The empty picture frames are just there to show the arrangement.

The picture below shows the door to the left of the fireplace that leads to the staircase. I can't tell you how long it took me to come up with the right colour for the door. I finally went with a mix of brown (light and dark) black and crimson. the door handles will be put on later. I'm not sure about the height of the room and am currently thinking about raising the ceiling a bit more to include an arch running all the way round with decoration on it. What ever I end up doing there has to be space above the doorways for the pair of painting in oval frames.

The next picture shows the door to the right of the fireplace which leads to the morning room. To the right of this door I am going to put a lovely piece of furniture from John J Hodgson that I'm excited about, with a hugs mirror above it. Again, please excuse the rough looking paintwork, this isn't finished yet. In the decorative panel above the door frame I put a Prince of Wales feathers emblem, painted and guilder to fit in with the frame. I am and "out and proud" Royalist and thought it would be fun to include the feathers in the decoration. It personalises the already beautiful work of Sue Cook and gives the impression that perhaps royalty were entertained here at one point in history.

After a lot of agonising I opted for a dark oak floorboard effect paper from Susan Bembridge. This room will be covered in rugs and furniture and I didn't want the small ope spaces of the floor competing with anything else. I think it also has a nice stability to it that, despite being relatively plain, gives an "honesty" base to the room, if you know what I mean.

I'm dreading the curtains! The window is a bit small for the room and because it works with the original height of the ceiling. I will need to fix it by putting a blind over part of the wall above it to hide the fact that the poor windows are not really fit for purpose.

Thanks for your lovely comments on my last post.

Have a lovely day


  1. This is looks like I'm looking at a real house. :)

  2. OOOOH! Gorgeous!!! The wallpaper does have that "old but gracious" feel to it! And the decorations over the doors are quite stately and elegant! I do LOVE the Drawing Rooms that you do, Simon! That piece for the wall that we haven't seen yet is probably a drop-dead Divine piece and I look forward to its reveal! As for the window being "inferior", I think there are many houses where the windows are designed for a "look" on the exterior and then the interior "decor" has to be adjusted to make them look right in the interior! Who is tall enough to see out of the upper part of a window anyway? a lovely swagged pelmet or Roman blinds will work. And I know there are historical houses where the upper window "treatments" were actually carved from wood to look like folded cloth! Great work, Simon, I can't wait to see more!

  3. Oh, Si, another post so quickly....we're being spoiled! lol Seriously, I love the arrangement of the room and the colours you've used are just lovely, just my taste :) I agree with Ms Daydreamer, about the window and curtains, and I'm sure you'll find a drop dead gorgeous way to dress your window. Looking forward to more Si!
    All the best

  4. Gosh, you're not letting the dust settle, are you? Fantastic progress and your ideas are, as ever, fabulous. This is going to be an excellent build, I can tell.

  5. Great work as usual Si. You have used just the right mix of elegance and homeliness - it looks like a real ancestral family home. You are right, the paintings (and accessories) give the room personality and character. It sure will be beautiful.

  6. Un trabajo impecable.
    Un abrazo

  7. The room is looking really great so far. I like the feel of the wallpaper and the gold accents in the woodwork along with the gold picture frames. Great contrast with the dark wood door and accents in the floor.

  8. It feels just right. The wallpaper gives it the perfect ambiance, along with those beautifully framed paintings.

    I am curious about special orders from Sue Cook. Do you mean she with reproduce a certain design other then the ones she offers? Phew, if that's the case what great news that is. It is a gorgeous surround!

    1. Hi Catherine
      Re the fireplace from Sue, I just emailed her and asked if she'd be interested and then a picture of two as examples. She's amazing! This particular fireplace is available on her website now!
      Good luck

    2. That's wonderful Simon. Thank you for telling me.

  9. Bonjour Simon,
    Même si cela n'est pas terminé, cela donne déjà une très bonne idée du résultat final qui sera magnifique sans aucun doute. J'adore les épisodes de votre aventure. A bientôt.

  10. Fabulous wallpaper Simon, no wonder you decided to use it again. Love the painting above the fireplace. Regards Janine

  11. This is going to be really grand. Beautiful! Pam in Norway

  12. Hi Si,
    The room is coming along magnificently. I love the architectural elements you chose and the paper is fabulous.
    Big hug

  13. I understand your choice for the wallpaper, it's gorgeous! Elegant and not overpowering and good choice - and arguments - for the floor, I think it looks very nice. If you would find it too flat, you could always carefully scribe the seems to give it a bit of relief, but it already works great like this! There's more, but let's just say I really like where you're going, great choices!
    ps: I forgot to say in my comment in your previous post that it's very nice to 'see' you again! :D