The furnishing of the house continued this week with the focus on the Drawing Room this time. In many respects this is the easiest room in the house to deal with because even when you make a piece of furniture to fit in one particular spot, it can still be moved and look just as good somewhere else. This is a relief from the other rooms which due to the position of doors and fires means that furniture made to fit in one place will be totally the wrong size and shape to fit anywhere else in the room. The downside to this is that you can keep rearranging furniture for hours and hours and hours and never actually get anything done.
This photo shows one possible arrangement for the furniture both made and collected for the room and below is a slightly different arrangement:
Which looks best? I can also swap the chess table on the back wall and the spinet harpsichord on the right wall too. See what I mean about hours of indecision?
Regardless of exactly where they end up in the room, these are all the key pieces of furniture for the room. The chess table and matching chairs on the back wall (currently) along with the cream coffee and side tables are high quality items. The little davenport desk in the back corner is a fairly standard cheap piece, as were the two armchairs. Although the davenport desk is untouched, the chairs have been totally transformed. They started out with basic red velvet upholstery and really red (and icky) mahogany stain. The chairs were repainted in gold and a jewellery finding was added to the top front and also on the back for some extra detail. The cushions were reupholstered in a pink brocade. Now they look far too good for anyone to ever sit on.
Two totally handmade pieces in the room are the long chaise and the spinet harpsichord. Experimentation proved that there was no room for a "full" harpsichord, so the answer was to make a smaller spinet harpsichord for the room. As usual, it's made out of balsa wood with some pre-bought legs. Getting it to this point was easy, but it's resisting being decorated. The white is too stark so it will need to be repainted and then of course it needs it's top putting in place, strings adding inside and a keyboard. I just need to decide what colour/s it should be. The chaise is also balsa wood with ivory silk dupion upholstery. I'm not sure whether to stick with this or to replace it with a proper sofa. And by the way, it won't be sitting on a pair of half barrels forever, it will have proper legs someday, I just need to buy some more first!
I've also made a start on the last room in the house that was still a complete blank slate, the laundry. The laundry is at the right hand end of the basement. If the overhead rack on the left looks at all familiar, that's because it was a rack in the kitchen of the pre-renovation Dawncrest Castle. Now it is a rack to hang laundry to dry when the weather's too bad to take it outside.
A washing copper has been made and installed in the back corner. I had trouble finding a good and reliable image or description of a Georgian laundry to follow for this, so what I made is based on what was used in the later Victorian era. It may not be quite right, but it does seem to look right at home. The cupboard may or may not stay here, it's one of those items I bought ages ago because I took a fancy to it, but have never found just the right place to use it.
On the opposite wall is a bench which currently holds a small press, but eventually a sink will be placed here and the press will go on another bench at the front of the room. The purpose of the press was to squeeze as much water out of wet clothes as possible so they would dry faster. I want to make another, larger floor standing press for those bigger items (like bedsheets), but looking at the room now, I'm worried that a whopping great press in the middle of the floor is going to make the room look too crowded and block too much of the view into the rear of the room. Maybe if I take the cupboard out and push it up against the side wall . . . . . . ?
The rest of the week was spent (still, or maybe again) mentally rearranging the furniture in the remaining rooms. I think I have figured out how to fit everything I want in the study, including a desk, but I'm still not really happy with the plans I have for the Bedroom and the Nursery.
A Randomly Selected Newspaper Headline:
The following is a randomly selected newspaper headline from many years ago:
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