Rococo

Just like I did in the dining-room,  I will use elements of the rococo-style in the drawing-room.  Rococo was used in Dutch interiors between ±1739 and 1780.  The origins of this abundant style can be found in France during the reign of Louis XV.  In the 18th century the fireplace held a prominent place in a room and much attention and money was spent on decorating it.

 

 

 

 

I bought a typical rococo fireplace at 'the Stolp' which is perfect for the drawing-room.  I painted it a pebble-grey colour.  I cut the plastic mirror with a jewelers saw.  I am making the mirror-frame with rococo shapes made from embossed paper , which with a little cutting and pasting gives me a beautiful frame.  I may change the golden colour to one with a bit more warmth, it looks a bit yellow to me now.

 

 

 

 

 

I finished building the fireplace surround, finished the mirror and papered the walls.  I have used a false wall again, it is so much easier to work with.  I chose the wallpaper because it looks like 'Velours d'Utrecht', a type of woolen velvet with an impressed pattern called 'trijp' .  This type of 'trijp' was often used on walls.

 

 

Painting the windows is quite a challenge and it takes me a lot of time to finish them.  The outside is painted green and the inside will be white.  The trick is not to get the white paint on the green bits and vice versa.  I spend days doing little touch ups .

 

 

 

 This room again will have parquet flooring.  The pattern will be a little less complicated to make than the others I've used.  In reality these parquet floors were quite rare in the 18th century because they were extremely  expensive.  On the picture on the left I am laying out the first squares of the parquet flooring.                                                                        

                                                               

 

Just like with the other floors in the house, I have first made a paper template.  On the template I drew the floor-pattern and glued down the strips of wood.  I now have to start cutting the wood for the inner squares.  A lot of work because they will all be at a 45° angle.

 

 

 

Everything cut out and glued!    I first sanded the floor with quite a coarse sandpaper, following with a finer grade until the wood feels silky smooth.   Make the floor dust-free and apply a few layers of clear wax, finished!!  On the picture below you see the floor in the room, beautifully polished.

                                                                                  

 

 

I have started making the panelling on the walls.  I'm using card (normally used for framing pictures), thick paper and some thin wooden moulding.  The panelling will have the same colour as the fireplace.  Unfortunately, after a long search, I was unable to find the same paint I used on the fireplace.  It is no longer in production.

 

 

Luckily I was able to find a paint colour which is a very close match to the one I used originally.  However, it only comes in half liter cans!  That will give me enough to paint the whole house!   Anyway, I'm glad I found the right colour so I can continue.

I have finished the panelling and I've also made a door and a door surround.   The shapes of the mirror and the fireplace are echoed in the paneling on the door.  If you'd like to see how I've made the door, please click on the picture.  The description is in Dutch, but the many photo's should  explain a lot.

 

With part of the money I won in a miniatures competition,  I bought a porcelain figurine by Tricia Street.  This dancing beauty forms a pair with a figurine in Chinese clothing.  For me the pair symbolize Martha van Grootheest de Kleijne's acquired freedom and wealth  and her connection to China  (see: Singel 224 - The History).                                         

 

 

 

I've made curtains from an old piece of grey silk I had laying in the attic.  I dyed the fabric a grey-green colour using some acrylic paint mixed into water.  The curtains are slightly greener than the picture shows them.  To make the pelmets I've used the same pattern as I used in the dining-room, only this time I used a plain fabric and a golden cord trimming.  The shape of the pelmet is echoed in the fireplace and door surround.  I still have to make the curtain tie-backs.

                                                               

 

I have started making a comfortable sofa.  I first made a sketch of what I wanted, then made a wooden frame, trying to copy my sketch as closely as possible.  I used some measurements from my real sofa as a guide.  An old broomstick had exactly the right size for the armrests.

 

 

 

 

I covered the entire frame with the same silk I used for my curtains.  Even though on the photo the colours look very different, they really are the same.   At the miniatures show in Arnhem this autumn, I bought some lovely ribbon and fine cord .  I will use them on my sofa and on some cushions I intend to make.  The cushions will be rather frilly and feminine.  So far I am quite happy with my first attempt at making a sofa. 

                                                                                                                         

The sofa is almost finished.  I just need to add some feet, which I don't have yet.  I have made some pretty cushions.  The larger one I made with the same silk I used on the sofa, painted with a green and gold motif and finished with some golden cord and tassels.  I made the small cushion from a beautiful silk brocade which I dyed a matching colour and finished it with some frilly ribbon.

 

 

 

On the left another silk brocade cushion, this time I added some golden cord.  Barely visible in the photo, but on the silk for the larger cushion I printed the wallpaper pattern using my printer.

 

                                                    

 

 

 

Beautiful chairs!   I bought three chairs at Comptoir de Rouvray, one of which can be seen here on the right. 

I painted the chair in the colour of the drawing-room and then sanded it back a little.  I used a tiny bit of gold as an accent here and there.

I used the same silk fabric I used for the curtains and the sofa for the seat and back of the chair.  I trimmed the seat with some picot braid which I painted a green/gold colour.

                                                                                                                                    

 

 

                                                                                                                                                  


 

                                                         

 

I've also been making a tiled back for the fireplace.  I started out by using my computer, but my computer skills are not good enough to make it exactly how I wanted it.  So I reverted to cutting and pasting the old fashioned way, using good old scissors and glue.  Et voila, just how I wanted it!



Of course I will still add a floor and a fire basket.  The 'mouse hole'  is for wiring the fire.

 

I have to confess the floor in the drawing-room is not looking too good at the moment.  It has warped quite a bit.  Ignoring my own advice, I used thick paper instead of the firm cardstock I always use to glue my floors onto.  (Too lazy to go to the store).   It's not so bad, I can still glue the floor down, but I like to be able to take everything out so I can reach the wiring.  I should listen to my own advice more.

 

Here are two other very elegant chairs I bought at Comptoir de Rouvray.  The caning on the seats and backs are beautifully done. 

 

One of the chairs will remain in the drawing-room, so I have given it a make-over to match the rest of the furniture.   Like the chair above, I painted and sanded this one as well.  I made a loose seat cover with the same silk fabric and picot braid as the first chair.  The idea for the seat back came from a glossy magazine, perfect for my chair!

 

 

 

When I saw this beautiful étagère in a magazine, I knew I wanted to make something similar for the drawing-room. I started measuring and making some sketches immediately and even though my design  turned out a little different from the original, it still looked quite elegant.

 

The étagère   will be a corner cabinet.   Because I used a wood with quite a deep grain, I put on a few layers of gesso before painting it.  The gesso (and some sanding) helps to give it a nice smooth surface ready for painting on which you'll hardly be able to see the grain of the wood.

 

 

 

I decided not to paint the C scrolls  (which are so typical for the Rococo style) onto the étagère  , but to make them out of clay.   I gessoed, sanded and painted everything before I glued in the shelves.  I used the same colour paint I  used for the chairs, fireplace and panelling.  The edges on the shelves and the scrollwork are painted gold and I aged the étagère   using umber and green paint.

                                                                                         

Even though the étagère  isn't finished yet (I still need to make a vase filled with flowers to put on the top), I put it in the drawing-room to get an impression of how it looks.   I am really pleased with how it turned out. 

 

 

The paintwork on the fireplace, panelling and door looked a bit new compared to the étagère  , so I aged it all the same way I did the étagère .   It now looks as if the étagère   has always been in the room.

 

 

 

Above the door I've made an overdoor mirror  in the same style as the mirror above the fireplace.   This mirror too has been made from plastic cut into shape with a jewelers saw.  The plastic mirror material is easily scratched, which the picture on the right shows.  Fortunately, in reality the scratches can't be seen that well (or maybe I need glasses...).   

 

 

                  

For the ceiling I combined the two techniques used on the mirrors and the étagère , which gave the ornaments on the ceiling a little more volume.  In the picture on the right the ceiling looks a lot darker than it actually is.   It needs a beautiful chandelier in the middle....

  

 

 

 

The curtains now have tie-backs.  I've used hair spray and some glue to make the curtains hang a little better.  I still have to finish the window frames.

                                                               

 


I bought a lovely real marble table top from Trees Beertema (Unicorna), and made a side table for it.  Again, I painted it using the colours sandstone and gold and then weathered it all.

 

 

Next to the fireplace I made a little corner with a small table and some personal accessories.  The two photographs are of my son (the one on the right during the feast of St. Nicholas, a very special feast for Dutch children.  It's where the modern day Santa Claus comes from!) and my favorite 'Droste' chocolates.  For the pictureframes I used hand-dyed silks.  I made the beautiful orchid during a workshop by Anja van den Doel.  (See also the 'Workshops'-page.  This page is in Dutch only, but lots of pictures!).

                                                                                                 

I painted the watercolour of the 18th century man in 2004.  The dimensions of the painting are 5 by 6,8 cm. (about 2 by 2.7 inches).  I finally framed it and hung it here in the Drawing-room.  You can see some more of my watercolours on the 'Diversen' -page.  (Sorry, in Dutch only at the moment)   Click the picture to go there (or click on the picture below to continue the tour of the house).

 

 

I found it very difficult to find lights within my budget.  Inspired by the wall sconce I made in a class with Jens Torp  (see The Bedroom) I decided to make wall sconces for this room too.  For these sconces I used the same technique I used on the mirrors above the door and the mantelpiece.

 

 

The candle lights are glued to a little saucer which has a little hole drilled through it to accommodate the wiring which is led through a piece of plastic tubing to the rear of the mirror.  I used a little bit of heat on the plastic tubing to bend it into shape.   

 

 

In December 2007 I entered  Marmod's Mini Magazine's big St. Nicholas Swap.   Johanna pulled my name out of the 'hat' and secretly worked on my gift:  two beautiful 'antimacassars'.   "An antimacassar is a small cloth placed over the backs or arms of chairs, or the head or cushions of a sofa, to prevent soiling of the permanent fabric.  The name is attributable to macassar oil, an unguent for the hair commonly used in the early 19th century , as the poet Byron called it, "thine incomparable oil, Macassar."

The fashion for oiled hair became so widespread in the Victorian and the Edwardian period that housewives began to cover the arms and backs of their chairs with washable cloths to preserve the fabric coverings from being soiled. Around 1850, these started to be known as antimacassars.

They came to have elaborate patterns, often in matching sets for the various items of parlor furniture; they were either made at home using a variety of techniques such as crochet or tatting, or purchased. The original antimacassars were usually made of stiff white crochet-work, but in the third quarter of the 19th century they became simpler and softer, usually with a simple pattern in wool or silk."  (information from Wikipedia)    

 

In 2008 I participated in the St. Nicholas swap  again.  This year it was Jody who made me a gift.  She made me a lovely wooden doll in a box with a tiny dress to go with it.  Below is the box complete with doll and dress on top of the St. Nicholas poem she wrote me. 

In Holland it is tradition to write poems to accompany the St. Nicholas gifts. The author is allowed "to have a field day with his subject (the recipient of the gift). Foibles, love interests, embarrassing incidents, funny habits and well-kept secrets are all fair game. The recipient, who is the butt of the joke, has to open his/her package in public and read the poem aloud amid general hilarity. The real giver is supposed to remain anonymous because all presents technically come from Sinterklaas, and recipients say out loud "Thank you, Sinterklaas!", even if they no longer believe in him." (information from:  'The feast of St. Nicholas'.) 

Jody did not tease me in her poem, but wrote a beautiful poem on our mutual love for making miniatures. 

 

Here is the wooden doll Jody made for me, sitting  in my corner cabinet.

 

                 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

                                      

 

 

 

I couldn't find any chairs I liked for the Drawing Room, so I made the chair after an example I found on the internet.  The style of the chair is Louis XV.  As the sizes of the original chair were provided online, I could make this copy exactly in 12th scale. 

 

The fabric I used for the armrests and on the frame of the chair were the last scraps of silk I had left from making the curtains. 

 

 

 


After finding a fabric I liked better, I recovered the chair and made a sofa to go with it.  The new sofa replaces the one I made a few years ago. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The beautiful little tea table was made by Mark Gooch.  It is a so called 'concertina' table, by sliding the clasp underneath the
table, it enables the sides to straighten and double its size.


The silver tea service is by Mike Sparrow.  It has a beautiful melon shape and has a lid with a tiny ivory  knob. 

 

 

 

 

 

I painted the tea cups (above) during a class with Cocky Wildschut.  The plate on the wall (left) has been painted by Cocky.   The lidded vase was painted by me, again during a class with Cocky.  It is a copy of an antique Chinese lidded vase I have in my home in full scale. 

 

The tulip vase was made by  Henny Staring.  I made a few parrot tulips for it.   I cut the petals for the tulips from paper and painted them with water colours.

 

 

                                                  

                                                                                                                                                    

                              

 

And So to Bed!                                                                                                       

 


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