In October 2009 my husband bought me a very grand Georgian house for our Wedding Anniversary! I am giving it all the Georgian feature, cornices, coving etc. But then it has modern luxury furniture. A luxurious country manor house in the wilds of the English countryside! (16 rooms plus grand staircase!)
I have been gradually decorating and furnishing it. Here are some of the rooms that I have completed – and some photos from two years ago showing how I have added to it. The curtains are still waiting to be made!
To the left of the stairs is the Grand Salon. Here it is 18 months ago:
It now houses my budding Judith Dunger collection. I am still looking for more!
The room also has lovely things by Small Time, Veronique Cornish, 1 inch Minis and David Iriarte.
Keith of Small Time made the wonderful working elephant clock. The Chinese grey clock that is in the Chinese bedroom is his too.
Veronique Cornish made the two black and gold vases on the mantelpiece, either side of the clock, and the sensational Chinese vase, with gold leaf.
The handles are gold dragons. This is such a special piece. I bought it at the new City of London dolls house show last February. The whole day was a birthday treat. The vase is signed, and unusually Veronique does not date her pieces but this is dated with my birthdate!! How brilliant is that! And also my Chinese Year is the Dragon! So all in all it had to be owned by me!
Kris Compass of 1 inch Minis made the two gorgeous silk covered sofas - I was her first commission! She made them from a picture I sent her. So talented. I have made and have had made black and gold cushions to complement the decor. Kris also made the red sofa and chair in the nursery playroom and the leopard print sofa in the Chinese Study.David Iriarte made the very fine tall black and gold candlesticks.
To the right of the stairs is the dining room. Here it is 18 months ago:
Since then, I have added many things to this room.
Four of the dining chairs are, dare I say it, Dolls House Emporium! (I don't care for DHE. Too chunky, clumsy for me). They were the only chairs I could find that were in the right scale funnily enough. They are quite small and delicate for DHE.
Arlette Shelton re-covered them for me in a white heavy ribbed cotton that I had. I think these were the last thing she did in miniature, before she gave it up and opened a fish and chip shop in Cornwall, by the sea!
Two other chairs were recently added, made by Maggie Melinda in the USA. Another talented artisan. The cushions were from a suite I had made last year. But they were so lovely and matched the dining room colours even better.
The little display cabinet with the shelves on the left is a Bespaq. The other two cupboards were painted especially in my colours, by an English lady who does not have a website. She traded under the name DAEW Miniatures, but I cannot access her page now, and even if you search nothing comes up. She painted almost like Judith Dunger. She did the lacquer work and her red cabinets and black cabinets were just wonderful. The only difference is that she bought the furniture and painted it. Hence it was not as finely made as the Judith Dunger pieces.
I have a solid silver Monteith by Jens Torp on the left hand display cabinet. And a gorgeous flower bowl, since bought at the City of London show. The blue and white china is all by Stokesayware, in Asiatic Pheasant and Willow pattern. We had Willow pattern china at home. It was my Mum's favourite. (Do all miniaturists replicate things from "real life" do you think? I certainly have!)
The toile chairs were from Simply Silk, another lady who has become a friend. Her stand is amazing, full of wonderful beds, soft furnishings etc and is well lit and shines at a show! I had them for another project, but changed my mind and then thought these chairs would fit well in the blue dining room and they do!
In the central hall a grand staircase leads up to the first floor.
My guard cat, at the top of the stairs, was made for me by Pearl of Literature in Miniature to represent my real cat, Jasmine, who died last year and we were devastated.
Jasmine was quite a delicate cat in her ways. And she "talked" to us all the time, telling us "all about it"!
Pearl is another talented lady. She just got the perfect stance of my beautiful, gorgeous "girl"!
The Chinoiserie bedroom is above the grand salon, on the left of the first floor. The wallpaper is unique to me. I had it professionally made by Susan Bembridge.
Again, makers are:
Cilla Minst (the glorious bed),
Elisabeth Causeret The lovely white vases with roses in. (I also have a collection in the bathroom.)
Kim Selwood made the dressing table and stool, the lovely sideboard to the right of the bed, from an Italian design that I liked and he copied, and the little upholstered chair by the table. He left it so that I could upholster it in my own printed material to match the bespoke wallpaper. I have a wardrobe too that was not in the room when I took the photo, but I have since returned it to that bedroom.
Emily Art made the glorious "Barbotine", the green vase with the birds that you can see in the fireplace in the later photo below.
Veronique Cornish made the Geisha ornament and the Chinese teapot. I since have a darling pagoda with teeny tiny animals and teeny tiny figure sitting in it!
On the small table are white and gold Jubilee cup and saucers from Stokesayware, and a Jens Torp silver teaset.The Chinese grey clock in this bedroom is by Keith of Small Time.
I did 99% of the soft furnishings. Simply Silk made my lovely cushions. I re-covered the chair by the mirror. The carpet is faux suede in a dark cream colour. The chaise longue is not an expensive one, just one I spray painted and covered in striped silk to match the bedcover and ruched window blind.
On the right of the landing is the Chinese study in gold.
Kris Compass of 1 inch Minis made the leopard print sofa I have recently added to this room, along with several more pieces by Judith Dunger - the desk and chair, the large cupboard, small black chest of drawers, small black table and cane-effect chair (these were originally sold as a set with the desk, but I have it at the back of the room so that you can see it better. In front of the desk it blocked the view of the cupboard.)
The striped armchair is by Arlette Shelton, and the red desk is by Janet Reyburn - again to my request for a red Chinoiserie desk, so this is new and not secondhand. She had a green one, but I wanted red! Again, unique to me. The mirror hanging on the wall above it is by Lucy Askew.
On the second floor are smaller rooms – a white girl's bedroom, the bathroom with an ante-room, a hall with the stairs to attics, and a library.
The girl's bedroom:
The entrance to the bathroom:
Do you like the mood lighting in the bathroom? Very minimalist.
A detail of the bathroom:
And the upper hall, with the stairs to the attics!
The attic floor belongs to the children! They have a playroom, a yellow bedroom, a nursery bathroom and upper hall, and a nursery.
The red sofa and chair in the nursery playroom were made by Kris Compass of 1 inch Minis. I made the dolls house from a kit. It is Spanish style, adobe.
The yellow children's bedroom:
The upper hall bathroom is still to be finished, very boring at the moment!
The nursery bathroom suite is by Anne Funnell - Lenham Pottery Models. She made my Art Deco bathroom too! The striped wallpaper is "human" size wallpaper but was small enough to use in miniature! This is the same wallpaper that is in the green billiard room.
The basement houses a wine store, the kitchen, a card room, and the billiard room.
The wine store has a wine cage that I made. I buy bottles and label them myself. I cannot afford to drink my favourite wine anymore - Puligny Montrachet - but can have it in miniature!
I put a false wall at the back, so that it looks like there is more to the house, with a door to a "back" corridor and another door to the "outside".
The kitchen is set up for breakfast.
Elizabeth of ELF Miniatures made this for me, to a design I had seen in a Sunday magazine! Elizabeth is brilliant at interpreting one's ideas.
My real kitchen is all white, not like this though. It is ultra modern, all clean lines and no handles!
I made the matching napkins, teatowels, cushions, using cotton material that I manipulated and printed to get the right scale and design.
On top of the fridge is a tiny set of cottage ware, made by Janice Crawley. There is also a teeny pottery aga! from Unique Miniatures - Val - usually has only "one off's". The white ovenware is from Pride of Plaice.
The cushion on the sofa was made for me by a friend - you should see her miniature houses! She does not like to show them off though. You will never see them in a magazine or online.
I painted the abstract picture above the sofa, and called it "Jelly". It is oil on card . The other abstract (above the right hand shelf ) is a photo I took at the 2012 Olympics Velodrome. Goodness knows who moved this fast!!!! But when I uploaded all the pics I took, here was this one. I loved it so much I had to replicate it for the house!
The wallpaper in the billiard room was the same as in the nursery bathroom, which I painted in a metallic green. I love metallic paints!
The billiard table was bought on eBay! Not cheap, but it is painted to look like malachite. The maker was John Gullacksen, and it is dated Dec 17 1994. He made human desk toys and this was a piece of his work.
The working clock here is by Hall's Miniature clocks. The small table on the right hand side is by De Cave. The painting above the sofa is a photo of a picture that a friend has in his holiday home. It is very big in real life, hence the big frame here.
The card room has a false wall too with a doorway leading to the "back corridor".
Four chairs that all looked the same to start with! Can you spot which rooms they are in?
The house is more or less finished. As well as curtains, it still needs the light fittings. I have some glorious J. Getzan crystal chandeliers. I am letting myself go after the discipline of the Art Deco house and I have certainly tried! I have redecorated one room already! And I am still searching for Judith Dunger pieces!