Dollhouse Blogs

Thursday 23 March 2017

The new countess' bedroom!

Hello everyone,

I'm back! I hope you have all been well. It has been ages since my last post and I do apologize. After my last post we started real life renovations we wanted done before we became dads. Everything got done just in time for Christmas and now we are waiting for the call telling us a baby is waiting. I was finally able to start work on miniatures again in January, and last weekend I finally finished the countess' bedroom...again, but for the last time.

Before I go on, here is a look at all the  incarnation of the room.

Originally as a dressing room...
...then as a bedroom for the lady of the house...

...then as a bedroom for a countess inspired by Marble House....
..and finally, a bedroom a  countess can really be proud of, inspired by Rosecliff!

I tried to rework this room many times, as you all know. It always felt too much like a doll's house room: The marble was too pink, the white panels and gold detail was a bit much, the wallpaper bothered me, but most of all I never liked the layout of the room. After several failed attempts, I decided the only solution was to start from scratch. I think it was the right decision...

The Princess Pat chandelier is one of the few survivors of the renovation

Demolition and planning

The first step was gutting the room. I stripped as much off as I could and sanded anything left on. You might remember I made the rooms 6 inches deeper in order to make the kitchen below bigger. The bedroom was now 30 inches by 20 inches and 12 inches high.

I tried different layouts. I used the 6 inches at the back for closets and was going to put the fireplace between the window and the bed across from it.

I had  a brilliant reason to switch the fireplace to the wall in front of it...I just can't remember what that reason was! Anyway, I committed to a plan and cut out all the walls for the room in double thick illustration board.

The design for the room was inspired by the dining room at Rosecliff in Newport. The picture above shows 2 layers of double thick illustration board; one layer was to cover up all the imperfections and old openings on the walls, and the top layer was to create all the paneling.

The Fireplace wall

The fireplace wall was the main focal point of the room. I ordered plasterwork and a mantel from Sue Cook Miniatures and had several test runs.

The picture above was my favorite direction so I reworked the chimney to house the elements the way I had laid them out.

The curved part of the chimney is single thickness illustration board. The double would be too hard to get the curved line and still look clean. I painted everything with 4 coats of Seashell white from delta Ceramcoat. The next step was the mantel...

It took me 7 hours to paint it to look like Pavonazzo marble. It was a long process but worth the work. The base layer was antique gold paint, then a layer of triple thick clear glaze, sponged on seashell white, another glaze layer, sponge on light Ivory, another glaze layer, chocolate colored veins, glaze, white specks painted on in between the close veins, and a final coat of glaze. The layers of glaze are what really make the marble look realistic.

When the mantel was dry I glued on the plaster elements with The Ultimate Glue.

The Closets

Next, I worked on the closet on the right side of the door. I knew you would only see about half an inch of the closet through the door, but since it is  a bedroom and you never know what a mirror might reflect, I went ahead and made a full closet unit.

It is made of basewood and a leftover copper pipe. I taped together the side walls of the unit to make grooves for the shelves.

After the lined were scored with a utility knife I chiseled them out with a jewellers screwdriver.

I assembled it with wood glue and painted it to match the bedroom walls. On the left side of the bedroom door I was going to make a bathroom. I painted faux marble walls and when I had a dry fit I felt the 6 by 6 inch space was ridiculously small in a grand room, so I scrapped that and made more closets. I decided to faux finish them to look like wood so they would be more visible.

The closet on the left was inspired by an antique wardrobe I found online

It was a lot of work for 2 clothes which will barely show. However, when I had a dry run I saw something I had not noticed. You can see right into the left closet from the door that leads to the earl's bedroom

For those wondering what the white dots on the panels of the earl's bedroom are, I decided it also needed a bit of work...I know, I can't stop myself

So, all the work was not wasted. I cut out the ceiling of the closet and will eventually fill it with clothes. I will definitely try making some...but not just yet!

The Window Wall

The last wall section to prepare was the window wall.

I wanted a niche detail to house the countess bed...not a deep one, just to add a bit of architectural detail. When the four coats of paint were on, I added the plasterwork detail, made the window cases, glues on the wallpaper panels with regular wallpaper paste, added the trim, and finally made curtains from some green silk.

I still need to make the actual windows, but I really needed to post something. The wallpaper is Roche from Les Chinoiserie. I picked it up on our last trip to Barcelona at Ananda Miniatures.

The Floor and Ceiling

The only survivor of the demolition was the floor. I always lay my wood floors on illustration board subfloors, and luckily only the bottom part of the subfloor stayed glued to the floor. The rest came out in one piece and in pretty good condition.

When I had a dry fit, I realized the medallion would no longer be centered on the floor, not to mention I had an extra 6 inches to cover. I was able to slice of about an inch and a half on each end of the floor and made a new section that blended in quite nicely. I was so happy I was able to get a pretty close match with the french polish. After I glued it in I cut out a section for the back of the fireplace and the marble hearth.

The ceiling is a piece of illustration board. It really is the simples way to cover any leftover bits of the textured ceiling paper I ripped off. I still need to add the ceiling rose I purchased, but not until construction on the kitchen below is complete and I am ready to install the chandeliers.

The Bedding

I realized the bedding I had made was too pale for the room, not to mention the pillows and the toip of the mattress were really flat. 

I decided the mattress, a simple piece of 1 1/4inch foam, was the problem so I made new ones. I glued together 1/4 inch foamboard and covered the sided with fiberfill for one matress, and covered the sides and top of the other. I then covered each one with white cotton fabric glued down with Aleene's tacky glue.

I tried to stay true to the Victorian way: A bottom straw mattress, a top hair mattress, and a featherbed to top it all off. The featherbed is 2 layers of fabric I sewed on 3 sides, stuffed with 1/4 inch of foam, then sewed the top shut and tufted it.

The final step was to cover it all with a protective sheet (to protect the mattresses from dust and fireplace ashes). I glued it down but tried to make it look like it was tucked under the bottom matress

The final step was making a new bedspread made from the green silk I used for curtains. It is pretty much the same technique as the first one. You can look it up here. The green one looks much better, but I still need to work on a bolster and more pillows... and I'm not entirely convinced the lilac fabric on the headboard is going to stay.

The green one looks much better, but I still need to work on a bolster and more pillows... and I'm not entirely convinced the lilac fabric on the headboard is going to stay.

And that is all for this time. Here are a few pictures of the furnished room...

I will also need a lamp for the nights stand

This is the view from the earl's bedroom door

And since I am really pleased with it, here are a few pictures of the empty room

I am pretty advanced with the new breakfast room and countess' study, so it should not be too long before my next post. Until then, I hope you enjoy the countess' new bedroom and I look forward to following your wonderful work on your blogs.

Big hug to all,



  1. You were certainly busy working while you were in hiding. It all looks terrific. Just think the next dollhouse project will be one for your new little one to enjoy.

  2. wow it came out great! I love the bed with the realistic layers and your marbling technique is brilliant, very authentic looking. This is really fun!

  3. Your work is simply astounding. I am very impressed with how this bedroom turned out. By far the best rendition. Keep it up!

  4. Great job! Room is now magnificent and it does´t look dollhouse at all. Room is so realistic and colors are beautiful. Fireplace looks terrific!

    Hugs: Lea

  5. As always a very great work from you.
    I always look forward to new pictures of your projects.
    Hugs Alexandra

  6. Wow! This room is stunning!! You have the patient of a saint, but all that work definitely paid off!! You are a very gifted artist. Awesome.

  7. Giac,nunca dejo de asombrarme con cada entrada de tu blog,la creatividad,la visión de cada pieza,la minuciosidad con que las tratas y los resultados son siempre magníficos!! La habitación se ve tan real como la de un palacio de escala 1/1,digna de conservarse y admirarse en un museo.Las formas,los tonos..crean un ambiente elegante y refinado,mi enhorabuena de nuevo!!!
    Espero que pronto recibáis esa llamada de teléfono que os convertirá en padres!!!!

  8. I love how the room is now. It is lighter with great colours for a woman. The structure at the back of the room is great.
    I hope you will soon have a phone call to tell you that a baby is waiting for you.

  9. Wauw, wat een schitterende kamer is dat geworden. Wat heb jij een geduld om zo fijn gedetailleerd te werken! Je hebt jezelf echt overtroffen.
    Ik ga duimen dat het telefoontje over de baby niet lang op zich laat wachten. Dikke knuffel, Mieke

  10. That is one serious fireplace Giac and I love the wardrobes/cabinets, they're beautifully made. It was certainly time well spent remodelling the room - I don't think you could better it now!

  11. It's a masterpiece! Everything is perfect. A countess would be happy to have this bedroom.

  12. Oh Giac, it is absolutely magnificent! The changes are just simply jaw dropping. I love the bedroom - I want to live there! And the closet! Wow, beautiful work. Your attention to detail is fantastic - the bedding layers, the fireplace, the floor....oh my!
    Big hugs,

  13. That's just beautiful! I'm always so amazed at the level of detail and authenticity you get in your rooms. And I'm in love with the fabric of your wing chairs around the fireplace. Feminine and cozy, like you could curl up and read.

  14. Welcome back Giac. I have missed your posts!
    The new room is gorgeous. I love how you repeated the arch over the bed. It is in perfect harmony with the details of the fireplace. Your marbling technique is fantastic. I would love to learn how to do that.
    You are so brave to tear out rooms but if you keep doing it this house will be a life long project. haha I am remembering the first kitchen, which I loved! Then it was gone! haha
    Beautiful work as always!

  15. Menudo trabajo, un resultado elegante lleno de detalles maravillosos. Espero que pronto nos des noticias de tu paternidad, esa será tu mejor miniatura. Un beso

  16. Hello Giac, it's amazing to see how you transformed the room into such a beautiful place to sleep, relax and dress. I love the soft green, the wooden floor, the bedding...everything! Thank you for sharing your lovely work.

  17. Amazing. I wish I had your talent for detail. Your fireplace is to die for. Much better layout and colour for the room. Beautiful

  18. It is so good to have you back! The room is simply layer upon layer of elegance. These is so much to comment on, but I will keep it quick and simple... Next level beautiful, Giac!
    I agree about the lavender headboard. It feels like maybe you need to bring one of the colors from the chair fabric over to that side of the room - maybe the headboard and some of the accessory pillows to pull it all together?
    I am so excited for you and Jo, and hope that you get that incredible call soon! That's going to be one lucky little person! <3

  19. Dear Giac, Thank you for taking time to post and to include information on your process.
    I am so glad that the floor was intact when you lifted it as it is a work of art.
    The ambiance of the room now is so soft and feminine - a great counterpoint to the Earl's room. Oh, but possibly it is changed now too?
    It is hard sometimes to give up something we have set in our mind and I admire your commitment to continue to develop the finished look of your amazing miniature house.
    I had no idea the Victorians layered their beds as you have described.
    Wonderful to peek into your miniature world.
    Regards Janine

  20. Wow!!!! Absolutely gorgeous!!!!! (And can I say that this ''lurker" was giddy to see a post from you!!!!)

    I love EVERYTHING about this Elegant and Sophisticated room, which is not only Classically and Beautifully decorated but EVERY applied element -Makes Sense!
    BRAVISSIMO, Giac- take your bows! :D


  22. Un cambio espectacular Giac, solo tu buen gusto y saber hacer pueden conseguirlo.
    Bravo !!!!!

  23. Como siempre.......una obra magnifica aunque hecho de menos el techo en gustaba.
    Un abrazo

  24. Por cierto, celebro que estés de vuelta y con ganas de trabajar

  25. Un trabajo impresionante,todos los cambios han merecido la pena ; la chimenea te ha quedado perfecto el marmolizado, todos los elementos que has puesto son todos muy armonioso, felicidades por este trabajo tan prefecto. Enhorabuena por tu pronta paternidad.Feliz fin de semana:-)

  26. Hi Giac,

    Fijn dat je na een lange tijd weer terug bent, en ik hoop dat de renovatie van jullie huis helemaal naar je wens voltooid is. het geeft zo'n fijn gevoel als dat achter de rug is.

    De nieuwe voltooiing van de slaapkamer van de Gravin is werkelijk FANTASTISCH geworden, veel rustiger en volwassen is deze matamorfose, zo verfijnd alle detail die je gemaakt hebt en ik heb grote bewondering voor jou voor de wijze waarop je schoorsteenmantel een marmer beschildering hebt gegeven. Dat is iets dat heel moeilijk is en jou is dat voortreffelijk gelukt, zo mooi en levensecht!!! het is dat ik weet dat het op schaal gemaakt is anders zou ik me wanen in de werkelijkheid, zo PRACHTIG als alles is geworden.

    Maar goed dat je de vloer hebt kunnen gebruiken want die is echt waanzinnig mooi.

    Je bent een groot KUNSTENAAR Giac.

    Geniet van de lente en alle vorderingen waar je mee bezig bent.

    Veel liefs,

  27. ¡Menudo cambio! Es mucho más elegante y señorial. La chimenea es una maravilla

  28. Hello Giac, wow!! an amazing changing very nice I love the fireplace,
    Well done, congratulations.

  29. The countess is one lucky woman to have such a beautiful room! Your work is just amazing with such incredible attention to detail. Your fireplace is exceptional! I do hope you get that phone call soon and you will let everyone know your baby has arrived.

  30. Dear Giac, I can see why you are so pleased with the Countess' new bedroom! It is so much more serene in its mood! And in spite of the grand style of the fireplace, or maybe Because of it, it really does feel more elegant and has a Classical feel to the proportions! It is wonderful that you were able to use the previous floor, and you were absolutely right to remake the bedding for the bed. And seeing the glimpse of the closet from the unexpected vantage of the Earl's bedroom is vindication for deciding to make the entire closet! Bravo! It really looks so real!!! But really, the part that I think makes this room Perfect, is the new marble mantle! Your painstaking painting process really paid off! (Unintentional alliteration!)The color of the marble is just so gentle on the eyes, almost pink but not.... the gold undertones are a perfect starting point! I truly hope that you let the Countess' Room stay this way for a while! Perhaps she should be prevented from going to any House parties at other Grand Homes....? It seems she comes home with new ideas! LOL!

  31. Its just so WOW! Everything you do is stunning! ❤️👏🏻👌🏻

  32. Es una belleza! Siempre lo ha sido para mí. No importa qué quites o qué pongas, siempre es una belleza y un deleite contemplarlo. Admirable!!! ♥

  33. Bonjour Giac, quel plaisir de vous retrouver et d'admirer votre nouvelle création. J'adore cette nouvelle version de la chambre, j'ai eu un choc en voyant la première photo, cette belle lumière sur la majestueuse cheminée, la beauté du marbre, les couleurs douces des murs et des deux fauteuils, le morceau du parquet,... c'est un ensemble parfait! Quelle chance que vous ayez su récupérer votre incroyable parquet. J'admire particulièrement la cheminée et l'alcôve du lit qui lui fait face. J'attends la suite avec impatience.

  34. Dear Giac, it is hard to imagine, how you make all these tiny details. But the result is stunning. I only was thinking if you were thinking with the same attention about your real renovations or was it much easier (could it be like that?).

  35. Dear looks so great!!!!
    I love the chairs in front of the fireplace.....ahhhhhh i love all in this room :o)

    I hope the phone rings soon!!!!

    Mini hugs

  36. OMG Giac - what an incredible vision you had and your ability to pull it off so perfectly is awe-inspiring. I l=LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the new look! Your work and your attention to detail is phenomenal! - Marilyn D., Oromocto, NB

  37. Hello Giac. Your project is amazing.

  38. Hello Giac. Your project is amazing.

  39. The plaster, wallpaper and fabric choices work beautifully together. Understated but extremely elegant. Thank you for sharing the photos of your renovations, they are wonderful to see :0)

  40. Magnifico trabajo, Giac, increíble transformación.
    Buen trabajo, felicidades.
    Un gran abrazo :0)

  41. Hola Giac, parece que regresamos al mismo tiempo,ja,ja

    Ese dormitorio es espectacular, Felicidades y suerte con la adopción

  42. 💐 Gorgeous work again !!! Wonderful to see you posting again. It's always a pleasure to see your outstanding miniature art ! 💐

  43. It's always great to see a new post from you! I really admire how tough you are... all those changes you've made to this room that seemed to be so lovely when we last saw it. But you never fail to trust your feelings, the little voice saying something is missing or not like it should be and then to tear everything off without hesitating. But like a phoenix this bedroom was rising to new beauty and I can only agree with what you said. It looked like a dollhouse room before... but now it's so light and elegant and looks like a photo taken from a real room. Wonderful and impressive work as always... and now (as always) I'm looking forward to your next wonderful and impressive work. And fingers crossed that you'll get that special call very soon!


  44. Hallo Giac,
    wow, die Renovierung hat sich wirklich gelohnt.
    Ich bewundere die Geduld und Sorgfalt Ihrer Arbeiten. Der Marmor am Kamin ist fantastisch geworden. Die Daumen sind gedrückt.
    Liebe Grüße Veilchen

  45. Hi Giac, it’s good to have you back. I have missed your amazing projects. The room is beautiful, definitely a room fit for a Countess. Your mantle is a work of art. I do admire your talent and your vision Giac, you know what you want to achieve and what the finished project is going to look like. It’s beautiful, well worth all your work. Hope you get the phone call soon xx

  46. OLá amigo Giac:
    eu queria ser uma condessa e morar num quarto maravilhoso destes !!!!
    seu trabalho é sem palavras, magnífico como sempre ...
    muito talento !!!!
    ´parabéns por tudo e por ser um bom amigo sempre !!

    que tudo se realize para o bem em sua vida !!!

    grande abraço e boa semana !

  47. Hello, Giac - I'm so glad you're back! I've missed watching your progress on this amazing project. Although I was surprised to find a new (another new) bedroom for the countess! This one is the ultimate in perfection, from the marble fireplace to the elegant but cozy bed niche. I'm happy that you kept the floor - that floor is like a circle of sunshine in the middle of the room. The Victorian-style mattress combination is wonderful - reminds me of the story of the Princess and the Pea! I'm in love with the tea table and the tea set; please reserve me a seat for afternoon tea. And please post photos of any clothing that you decide to make; that would be so interesting. I'm hoping that you and Jo receive that all-important phone call soon! Exciting!

  48. Is so good go see more of your wonderful work Giac. Love the updated Countess Room! Fingers crossed that you get that phone call soon. Do keep us all informed. CeliaX

  49. Nice to have you back, and your amazing projects! I love the floor.

  50. Giac, sono senza parole ! la cosa che più mi ha colpito è il letto....hai fatto 3 materassi per poi coprirli con un lenzuolo incollato ?!?! Sei un genio ! un po' folle ma un genio !!!

  51. Dear Giac,

    Your work is amazing, I love the Countess room and I want to move in there.
    Wishing you all the best for the much awaited phone call.

  52. WoW - The new vision for the room is really great. It is much more refined and sophisticated than before. Adding the closets was a brilliant use of the extra space. I really like miniature settings where you can see into other rooms or spaces. (just like the Thorne Rooms) I am Looking forward to see what you have in store for the breakfast room and kitchen. Welcome back and good luck with the new addition to your family - Troy

  53. Todos tus trabajos son un lujo, estoy enganchada a tus miniaturas reales.
    Un abrazo

  54. Love from Turkey, dear Giac! . We miss you. You are a great miniature artist. When I see your work I am happy. The Countess room looks great. I wondered. Do you do the furniture?

  55. Incredible, as always! I loved the Newport mansions as well, and Biltmore too! The bedroom fireplace is absolutely stunning! So glad your blog posts are back!

  56. Congratulations to you both, what a wonderful blessing to have a child in your life. The room is looking fantastic, I love all the moldings and detail that you fit into your designs. I must also say I love love love all the detail you have put into the bedding!


  57. Congratulations! 💕
    Your room is absolute magnificent! I love every detail!!!
    Thanks for showing all theese fantastic photos you are one of the best!
    Big hug from

  58. Wow, i already liked the old room, but now its stunning!! Love all the architecturale details. Excellent work and the fireplace looks like real marble. Gongrats on becoming a dad!!

  59. La habitación ha quedado preciosa, me encanta los tonos de color que le has puesto. Todo tu trabajo es una maravilla.

  60. Hello, GIAC! You did a lot of work. Amazing beauty bedroom! Watch a lot of photos of each stage great fun. Hugs, Julia

  61. Çalışmalarınız çok güzel. Blogunuzu takip ediyorum. Benim bloguma beklerim

  62. How beautiful and elegant your rooms are. I love the renovation.

  63. It's amazing how real it looks, so sophisticated upper classes. And now think your real nursery is done the big wait is now... but in the time left you can always make one in small...
    have a nice day,
    groetjes van Marijke

  64. Hello Giac, i wish you a happy Easter too!


  65. OH MY ... Giac your work is brillant. I wouldn't call it a dollhouse miniature but a miniature set design, it's too intrincate and perfect. I admire you.
    Congrats on the parent part =) I know you're going to be a great dad and your wife a loving mum.
    May you have a beautiful happy Easter!


  66. Seu lindo trabalho me deixa sem palavras.Feliz Pascoa doce amigo.

  67. Hi Giac!
    Boy you have been busy, so much work, it's no wonder you've had little time to post . . . but you have been missed.
    Love all the new building you have done, but then I loved it before too. However I can understand you wanting to change things when they are not exactly like you want them to be.

  68. Fabulous and amazing work as always Giac! This room always looks amazing, but each time you renovated, it just keeps getting better! This is really lovely and I am glad you are happy with it, because that's what really matters!
    All the best

  69. How brave to demolish such lovely work and, at first glance it is hard to see how it could be improved on....Bravo the latest incarnation is just perfect. I love the lighter feel of the room, beautiful colours and wonderful 'dressing'. marilyn

  70. So absolutely beautiful! The color is so soothing. This just goes to show just how many skills you have. Now, including sewing!
    I don't want to know whose "hair" and "feathers" they are or where the "straw" came from. LOL! Thank God for mattress stores. HHEHEHEHE!!

  71. My Goodness! I am lost for words! Your creativity and eye for detail is beyond belief. You are wasted in the mini world in so many respects as I think you should be out there with your own design company building real houses of which I could not afford to live in! True artist. Xx

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