I hope you all had a wonderfull weekend. First of all, thank you so very much for your great feedback. You are always so kind to me, and I really appreciate it very much.
Today, I finished the Chinese Tea Room.
This room was inspired by the Chinese Lacquer room in Monplaisir Palace. During my research, I read a lot about exotic corners in wealthy Victorian homes and when my aunt Lorraine brought me back a wonderful book from her visit to the Peterhof, I knew the room would be just perfect for the small attic space.
Last post, I left off having just finished the chinoiserie panels and the main wall sections.
The ceiling was sent to me by a very dear friend. It is very Tudor, but after painting it white and accenting the plasterwork in gold, I think it worked out well. The next step was framing the chinoiserie panels with gold painted molding.
Normally, I start by looking at all the materials I have and design my rooms with that in mind so that I know exactly what I'm doing. This time, I started with a design and just jumped in. I was so happy with the look of the wall section that I completely forgot one little detail...rounded panels! I took my painted molding strips and used my Xacto knife to make cuts 3/4 of the way down, 1/8 of an inch apart. I then used gel super glue to carefully curve them into place. I wasted a lot of molding because it snapped a few times, but in the end it worked.
In the picture above, you can see I carved the edges of the top and bottom molding strips to line up with the design, then I applied 2 coats of Gesso to fill in the cuts. After some sanding, it didn't look too bad. The last preparation step was the corbels on the walls. I ordered brackets from Sue Cook and painted them gold. I used Delta Ceramcoat paints for this room because they dry fast. However, the metallic gold paint tends to be thick, and a skin forms on the top faster than on the other colors...it still went on well. After they were glued on the wall, I took a strip of lumber and cut it to create a small shelf over the bracket. Eventually each corbel will have a piece of oriental pottery on it. In the meantime, I used items from my collection to give you an idea of what it will look like.
The next step was the floor. Once again, I used iron-on wood strips from the hardware store, however I tried a new technique I plan on using in the Library. I started by drawing guidelines 1/4 of an inch apart on my illustration board subfloor. Next, I looked online and glued down 1/4 inch strips to create an oriental inspired pattern. I then mixed 2 parts black oil paint to 1 part Liquin. I covered my design using a small brush and wiped it off after 5 minutes. I waited 2 days for it to dry then filled in the rest of the floor.
I was happy with the result because the border was dark, but you could still see the wood grain come through. The only problem was that the paint was still a little wet in corners, so next time, just to be safe, I will wait 1 week before filling in the floor.
And here is the installed floor. Normally I use 2 or 3 coats of shellac, but this time I applied 4 coats to get a more golden color. When the floor and the 3 walls were glued down and had time to dry, I turned the attic section upside down and glued down the ceiling piece. I then cut illustration board to cover the angled sides of the room. I could have painted the mdf, but by covering it with illustration board, I hid the gap created by the thickness of the ceiling and the side walls.
Another idea I had was for the cabinet that will house a collection of teapots. It is the same principle as my butler's pantry.
The room measure 14 1/2 inches by 9 3/4 inches and is rather busy. For this reason, I decided the only furniture I will use is a table and 4 chairs, a tea trolly or small serving stand, and possibly a birdcage. I had an old walnut table lying around, so I took off the top, painted the base black and added gold detail, then faux marbled the top. At first, I was going to make it and the ledge beneath the fireplace white marble, but decided it would stick out too much in miniature. Therefore, the fireplace bottom is the wedgewood green color I used to make the chinoiserie, and for the tabletop I used black, forest green and white to create green marble. 3 coats of glaze and 1 coat of clear wax to finished the look.
And, as usual, here are pictures of the empty room.
Originally, I planned to hang gold curtains on the sides of the arched doorway. However, that doorway is the only view to the room behind it. For this reason I might just leave it open to get a good view of the large windows I cut out.
And that's it for the Chinese Tea Room. I won't lie, this room was a lot of work and a lot of patience, but I'm very happy with the result. My next step is to prime the rest of the attic section, and then I will work on the Nursery, Office, Bathroom, and the Parlor behind the Tea Room...then, I begin the exterior.
Once again, thank you so much for following my miniature adventures. I hate computers, but I must say it's a real priviledge to get to know all of you and your wonderful artwork. I look forward to reading your posts and I wish you all a wonderful week.