Dollhouse Blogs

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Attic: Morning Room and Sewing Room

Hello everyone,
I hope you are all doing well. First of all, thank you all so much for your kind comments on my last post. It really means a lot to me. Real life renovations have been keeping us very busy, but I did manage to make a little time for Dewell Manor. Yesterday I finished the 2 first rooms in the attic floor, the Morning Room and the sewing Room:
Morning Room

Morning Room

Morning Room
 The Morning Room is over the dressing Room, so the windows next to the fireplace look over the sea, and the other window on the opening wall panel will overlook the Rose Garden. Through the back door is a hall and the Nursery door, so the lady of the house could sit here and play with her children early in the day. Through the door facing the fireplace is the sewing room, so she'll be close by for morning fittings.
Sewing Room

Sewing Room
Working in the attic was an interesting challenge. Contrary to the 2 main floors, the structure went up before I had envisionned the rooms. Originaly the attic was going to be storage space and the morning room was going to house the electrical elements. So after I realized I would be wasting a lot of space, I decided to rework the attic floor and started making holes in the wall.

The Morning Room is in front of a window in my real life living room, so I wanted to add some windows to take advantage of natural light. I was going to make 2 small dormers, but in the end I decided to open up the side of the roof and add a section so that the fireplace in this room will line up with the chimney for the Dressing Room and the Kitchen underneath.

First I cut out the opening

next I added the back wall with the window openings and the chimney. This bump out will be finished in brick with battlements which will add to the castle-like look of the building

I used mdf for the back window wall, and illustration board with lumber strips for the sides of the bumpout. I figured cutting the mdf and getting the angles perfect was not worth the effort. Everything, inside and out, got coated in primer.
When the bump out was built, I painted the walls and  I made a false ceiling for the room. This hid the larger lumber I used for the roof structure.
I cut illustration board to the right size, then glued leftover pieces of Mdf tot he back so the ceiling would be solid, and most importantly it would minimize warping. I also used small pieces as supports

When it was dry, I used screws and glue to attach the support pieces to the roof structure. Now the ceiling was solid.
The next step was fix the bottom half of the walls. I don't like angled walls that go to the floor, so I cut illustration board to just about 4 inches high, then, using leftover mdf pieces for support and strength, I glued them all around the room. This was I have walls to push furniture against. When that was primed, I wallpapered.

The next step was to get my components ready. I made the windows and doorframes, faux marbled a Braxton Payne fireplace and faux finished all the lumber and baseboards I would need.
The first step was to finish the ceiling. I put the structure upside down and started gluing the lumber in place.

Ceiling beams and spacer
The first pieces I glued down, always using gel super glue and the Ultimate Glue, were to cover the gaps where the illustration board walls met the angled mdf roof panels. Next I added the cross beams. I decided how many beams would look nice and cut a spacer to help them all line up. When the ceilings in both the Morning Room and Sewing Room were done, I flipped it over and started work on the floors.

I was concidering making simple wood floors, but when I went to test fit the illustration board subfloor I realised , because the walls were angled and I had the nook to contend with, It was impossible to position it in one piece. I cut a 1 1/2 inch strip of the subfloor and added a border detail where the  section would meet. 

The final step was adding baseboards and lumber to the bottom half of the wall. If you look in the picture with the caption "Ceiling beams and spacer". you can see that the wallpaper was cut in sections instead of gluing around the room in large sheets. This made it easier to work with the angled walls, and all the gaps would be covered by lumber.

On this floor, only the Nursery and Bathroom will have doors. This way, you'll have a better view of the "hidden" rooms and hallways. And here are the empty rooms

And that is all for now. It's funny, but the whole time I was working on the attic rooms I was afraid they would be tight. I only realised how big they were when I put in the furniture...clearly, I'll need more pieces to fill the rooms.

 This might be my last post for a while. Jo and I are going on Holiday June 5th and will be back the week of the 20th. I'll make sure to catch up to all your blogs when I get back and keep working on Dewell Manor.

I said it before and I'll say it again, I'm incredibly touched and thank you for your support. I apologize if I don't respond to your comments, but I have to chose between responding to comments or visiting your blogs to keep up to date.
Also, a big thank you to those who chose my blog for an "Inspirational Blog" award. When I get back from holiday I will pass the award on and share 5 habits of mine. Be afraid, be very afraid.

A big hug to all of you, and keep up all your great work, you are all a source of great inspiration.

aka Honey Badger


  1. Beautiful work! It would have been a waste to not have the attic rooms. The flooring looks so rich and warm.

    Have a wonderful holiday!


  2. Hey Buddy
    Another great post. You accomplish so much in such a short space of time. Good call on building out the wall like that, it gives the room more depth, not to mention more options for furniture etc. I love the beams, and more of those lovely windows you do so well.
    Have a great break and hurry back with another post - no pressure!
    Best wishes

  3. Wat een prachtige zolder heb je gemaakt. Mijn complimenten.

    Vriendelijke groeten,


  4. ¡Hola Giac!

    Te ha quedado un trabajo realmente magnífico, cómo siempre! Las habitaciones se ven muy lindas y espaciosas. El diseño del parquet del suelo ha quedado impecable, muy sencillo y elegante. Eres un verdadero maestro de la miniatura! Espero que lo paséis muy bien en las vacaciones!

    ¡Un abrazo enorme, mi querido amigo!

    Hello Giac!

    You have been really magnificent job, how always! The rooms are very nice and spacious. The design of the parquet of the soil has been impeccable, very simple and elegant. You are a true master of the miniature! I hope that you pass it very well during the holidays!

    A huge hug, my dear friend!

  5. Just lovely Giac. I love reading your step-by-step guides and seeing the photographs of your achievements. Great work as always =0)

  6. Hello Giac
    J'aime beaucoup les chambres mansardées , peut-être parce que lorsque j'étais jeune ma chambre était ainsi ! je ne sais pas si le marbre jaune existe ?? mais je trouve que la cheminée est très gaie et cela rend très bien

  7. Hola! Me encantan todos tus trabajos, se ven tan perfectos e impecables, que da gusto contemplarlos.
    Perdona pero podrias poner un traductor de Google u otro para poder leer mejor lo que escribes, gracias.
    Un saludo

  8. Wow, your work is beautiful, all the details are perfect!!!

  9. Oh, Giac, I just love the rooms, they have so much character with the beams and angled roof. I hope your lady is going to do some petit point in that lovely morning room.

    Enjoy your holiday, you won't miss much from me as I am gone from the 1st to the 17th of June. Going to spend a whole day in the garment district in NY, it is going to be great fun.

  10. Great work. The floor is perfect. I like the wallpaper in the sewing room.
    Happy holiday and have fun!
    Bye Faby

  11. Dear Giac,

    Nice floor !! It's looking wonderful as always. Have a nice holiday !! We're leaving next week.
    Hugs Dorien

  12. Hi Giac, i'm loving what you are doing to your attic, it's getting has perfect has the rest of the ground-floors. Keep up the good work. All the best

  13. Me gusta. Es perfecto, estoy deseando verlo con todos los muebles. Felices vacaciones. Besos

  14. hello Giac,
    it´s wonderful amazing i love the detais congratulations, have a good week.

  15. It blows me away when I see some of the things you do. thank you very much for the step by step photos..(some of us aren't as talented as you and it really helps to see those things)

    Marisa :)

  16. Hello my friend!
    These new rooms are wonderful and I love the beams. You still amaze all of us with your ingenuity! I applaud your talent and results.
    Have a great time in Europe and eat lots of "pasta"
    Hug from Ray

  17. I just love your attention to detail. It's beautiful!

  18. Hi Giac! Great work with step by step photos, it helps a lot to see what you mean. I have built an old canalhouse by myself and it has an attic with very little space. So I can use this information for my house ;), thanks.
    Have a great week and holiday. Greetings, Ilona

  19. Hello Giac,

    Amazing work! Wonderful photos too!

    Now, that is what I call and Attic…Beautiful with lots of scope for furniture and all those accessories that create the perfect scene.

    I particularly like the idea of the sewing room. They were quite common in the bigger and better homes in Victorian times. Every lady of a certain social class had a seamstress who would come to stay at the house to make Milady's gowns for the up-coming season.

    I hope you have a great holiday with lots of fun, sun and fabulous food.


  20. Great photos and great change with the new windows! Beautiful work, Giac! Love the wallpaper in sewing room.:)
    Have a great holidays!

  21. You never fail to delight me with a new post. These new rooms are gorgeous!!!
    Have a wonderful time on your trip!
    Catherine XXX

  22. Giac, again you have created two beautiful rooms. I am so impressed with you sharing your techniques, it helps those like myself that are far away from major centers that offer shows and workshops, a glimpse into how it's really done. Thanks for sharing your work.

    Enjoy your vacation, I've especially enjoyed my time away from work this week, and I can't wait for my European vacation in August, so you especially enjoy yourself.


  23. Hello Giac!
    Thank you for sharing so much of your ideas and techniques. Your new rooms are so beautiful, wonderful in colours and fine in shape!
    And the floor is gorgeous!

    Have nice holidays!

  24. Giac, The rooms are so perfect! I love the way that they have turned out! Have a wonderful Holiday!

  25. Giac your rooms are fabulous. Your work as always is amazing. I love the paper you chose. I admire your work very much. Have a wonderful Holiday with plenty of relaxing and sun :)
    Hugs Maria

  26. Giac I have no words to praise your work. I love anything you do and how you do it.

  27. First, as usual, great job and fantastic explanations (and fantastic sense of inadequacy, sigh!) ...
    I think the work in progress is the most exciting, because it gives way to put the gray cells to work and pull out the bright ideas :-)
    I really envy your workspace (I live in a tiny apartment and I have to move around all the time!) And I understand that the view from outside is not bad: ocean and garden of roses, wow!
    Surely you can give yourself a nice vacation, satisfied with the work done :-)
    It may be that your return you will find some surprises ...
    There is a room in the manor, which I love more than others ... You Guess which?
    Mini lovely hugs

  28. Sometimes our projects have their own development - and it's so good your attic "told" you it was in need of some changes... ;O) These two rooms are amazing and your pictures are so perfect for making us understand what you're doing and how you're doing it, thanks for this wonderful post. Have a great holiday!


  29. Honey Badger, you did it again! I love attic spaces and yours are put to excellent use...great wallpaper selections and of course I'm a huge fan of that particular Braxton Payne fireplace, too. Your photos as always are amazing. Hope you and Jo have a fabulous time on your trip! --Now, sashay, away...

  30. Hi Giac, You work neat and fast!
    My workspace.. or well, ... my dining room table... always looks as if bombs were just dropped... As always I've enjoyed reading your explanation of how you came to this result very much, thanks!
    What a huge space and yet, you managed it to look warm and cosy.Love the wallpaper you used in the morning room, the soft colours make the room so inviting.
    I hate the fact that we'll have to miss your posts for a while, but what the heck, you deserve some free time after all that work ;)
    Hope you and Jo have a great holiday with lots of fun!

  31. Wow, Giac! You make it look so Easy!!!! Your attic rooms are Wonderfully accurate to the era! (I have been in attics just like this!!) I can picture the children making lots of Victorian disorder .... which will help you to fill the space! You really will have a Ton of Accessorizing to do......
    Keep up the GREAT work.... well, After the Great vacation!!! :):)

  32. SuperWow!!!! your work is amazing!! it is so accurate and elegant...really fantastic! I know that this is a common comment, but I don't have better words to describe your wonderful construction!
    see you soon

  33. Hi Giac, these rooms are wonderful, how always!!!!! I love all you do, your works are perfect in all their details! you are making a masterpiece!!!!! Have a nice holidays!

  34. Eres un verdadero artista con las miniatuiras, es siempre un placer visitar tu blog y ver tus pequeñas obras de arte, enhorabuena.
    besitos ascension

  35. Nuevamente has realizado un trabajo excepcional, quiero resaltar el bonito papel que has escogido para la pared. ¡Felices vacaciones!!!. Un saludo, Eva

  36. Giac, dear Honey Badger! I have just finished reading your post! You are so very enterprising. When you decide to do something, you do it. When you see something does not work, you change it. I am so inspired at the moment that I want to take an axe to my dollhouse. No, I'm just joking. But a saw would do. Yes, Giac, because of what I have just read here, I am certain that I will be making changes. And, perhaps even build stairs. Who knows what I will do but because of your inspiration, I will do something. You have fired me up! When you are away on vacation, I will read your whole blog! Here's to wishing you and Jo a wonderful holiday. You are so very blessed to be going to Paris!

  37. Hello Giac, I love the fact that you always give us loads of pics. These have been duly digested on the "huge" setting and I've scanned every detail!

    They are wonderfully large spaces to play with and the modifications to the roof are excellent. They give the roofs that realistic "attic-y" feel. You are going to have so much fun furnishing the.

    Have a great holiday and I'll keep looking at your pics till you get back.

  38. I love the morning room, it really captures the feeling of the houses of that era that I have visited.

  39. Hi Giac, I see I am late to the party again!!

    great work as ever. What a transformation! the morning room looks like it will be a very cosy place, and the sewing room is good too, all very posh!

    is illustration board the same as mount card? I hadn't ever thought of using it before, certainly would be a bit easier to cut out smaller pices than MDF!

    Enjoy your holiday, hope it's a restful break. and we shall all look forward to developments at Dewell Manor when you return! ;)

  40. felicidades por estos trabajos tan bonitos y siempre tan bien explicados.


  41. Giac, it is truly a honor to have your comments about my work. When I look at your work, I wonder if is real life size or not,grin, that is how realistic it looks. AMAZING!grin

  42. Hi Giac,
    you have done excellent job. This miniature world gives perfect decoration tips for "real life" renovations too! you got so great eye for the late victorian era! ^^
    i so love this decade, as i love your dollhouse.
    you could build these kind of houses for sale too! this is as close to perfection as dollhouses only can. couple of days a go i was thinking that these kind of miniature dollhouse is also great decorative item for a home. its wonderful idea to have victorian home and inside the home there is victorian dollhouse :)
    hugs, xoxo

  43. The details are stunning, they might actually work for a real house! I have rarely seen such a perfect reproduction before! :)

  44. Hola Giac! Inspirador y maravilloso! Es un placer ver el resultado de su perfecto trabajo. Disfruto mucho al leer las explicaciones del proceso. Tengan unas excelentes vacaciones! Disfruten!
    Un abrazo!

  45. Giac, these two rooms are fabulous! And they are big--you will have such fun filling them up. Love the Les Chinoiseries wallpaper and the beams add such wonderful interest--they draw your eyes upward like the inside of a cathedral. Wonderful work, as always.

    Have a great vacation, and keep your eyes open for minis!

  46. Hi! Thank you so much for visiting my blog again!! I am always admiring your work!!! Well, i am glad Praline and Caramel& Co made you smile!( it works for me, too!!) All the best, hope your day will get better!!

  47. Hello Giac, thank you for you have become a follower of my blog, I came to know your blog and fell in love with your dolls houses. Now I'm your follower too. My blog is promoting a lottery, if it be thy will participate, I'll be happy. Thank you and kisses in your heart.

  48. ¡Qué fantástico ático! me he quedado maravillada, estaré pendiente de verlo terminado, felicidades :)

  49. Just popped by to wish you a good flight, a great time in Europe and a safe return!

  50. This comment has been removed by the author.

  51. Ya tenia ganas de ver tus avances, impresionado me has dejado ;)

  52. I've just found your blog and love, love, love what you are doing! I started a Victorian manor from scratch 15 years ago and it has had to be stored because of various issues, but have been planning one in 1:48 scale for a while now. I can see that I have a lot of catching up on your house to do - you have included lots of the features I want to include and which are usually overlooked, such as the scullery, butler's pantry, sewing room, morning room - and those are only the ones I've seen so far! I am searching the net for RL plans so I can decide on my final layout so yes, you are an inspiration to me too! Sandie

  53. Que preciocidad de habitaciones!! tu trabajo es realmente maravilloso, estaré atenta para ver tus avances. Te deseo unas felices vacaciones. Muchas gracias por tus magníficas explicaciones y por seguir mi blog. Besos. Isabel

  54. Hello, I've seen all the rooms already finished . Wow! I love them. Congratulations!

  55. Me parece interesante tu trabajo, especialmente porque está fundado en conocimientos y hábil desarrollo.

  56. Thank you so much Giac for the birthday wishes for Sayaka Alessandra. I will tell her.
    By the way, I was surprised that your name is Giacomo. My brother's name is Giacomo (and so is the name of all our male cousins) so I thought it was only used in Sicily. Among us cousins we are all named Francesca and Giacomo because in Sicily the first borns have to be named after the paternal grandfather/grandmother. You can imagine the confusion. In order to identify ourselves we have to say the name of our father, for example, I am Francesca daughter of Salvatore, my other cousin is Francesca daughter of Antonino etc. So much for a bit of Sicilian cultural lesson:)

  57. Thank you for the birthday wishes Giacomo! I see my mom is teaching you Sicilian history:)

  58. All the tudor-style exposed beams are gorgeous. :)