I discovered Nelson Villa at an auction in
The most surprising thing about it, bearing in mind that it is about 40 inches square, was that it was flat packed! On lifting off the roof there are two horizontal bars that are fixed at each end, undo the screws and the whole house just falls apart. This makes it much easier to transport thankfully.
On getting it home it was quite apparent that the house was going to need quite a bit of investigation to date it and trace its origins and then it was going to need complete restoration. The dating was quite easy. When I picked it up from the auction house the Auctioneer told me that it had been in the same family all its life and he very kindly put me in contact with them. They were a
Sadly it had been re-decorated a few times and finished with nasty 1970’s wallpaper and paint so re-decoration was essential. It was also missing its base board so a new one needed making, this was quite easy, a piece of good quality timber from a sawmill cut to size by them. My partner and I set about the renovation in earnest, Peter did the outside. He picked paints that were of the period and decided to leave the original green woodwork, this gives it the appearance of being original. The inside was my job. I contacted KT miniatures who have a good selection of original vintage wallpapers and bought enough to do the entire house. I spent time trying to re-discover the old and original wall coverings but sadly who ever had re-decorated in the 1970’s had stripped it first, even the wonderful windmill mural shown in the original pictures had gone.
I purchased some original floor papers from
When the house was re-assembled it was a joy. All the original furniture went back into it along with a number of additions. My collection of Walterhausen was added, a green 1930’s American kitchen went in and a pretty Gottschalk bedroom suite has been used in the child’s bedroom. The hallway is graced with a piano and a lovely Walterhausen sofa. There were some notable pieces of original furniture that was in the pictures of the house, the bedroom suite is in its rightful place, there is a lovely Union Jack pillow on the original red sofa in the lounge and a picture of a dog is back in the house.
We never managed to find out if Nelson Villa was based on an original house but since it came from
This is a wonderful big house that houses a huge collection of furniture and accessories, over 600 at my last count, and one that we both treasure.