Dollhouse Blogs

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

The countess' study

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and that 2018 is off to a good start. We had a very nice Christmas and I am enjoying my time off work.I have been catching up on sleep, watching movies and working on my miniatures. As promised in my last post, I present to you the countess' study:

My inspiration for this room was the Royal Pavilion in Brighton. It remains one the favorite places I have visited and making this room filled me with happy memories. I wanted it to feel like a garden retreat (Good guess Betsy). The space I had to work with was 15 by 16 inches, and 12 inches high.

As I was testing furniture placement, I decided I could afford to lose a little floor space to make the room more interesting. I came up with the idea of building a nook for a desk or window on the north wall of the room.

Rather then lose the space each side of the nook completely, I incorporated built-in bookshelves each side of the window. The backs of the bookcases are double thick illustration board and the sides and shelves are basewood. I grooved channels into the side pieces to hold the shelves, as you've seen me do before.

Once I had decided on the style of the room, I worked on the floor:

Since the wallpaper and architectural elements were quite busy, I opted for a simpler floor. Jo suggested a basket weave pattern which worked really well. I made it using my usual iron on wood strips, put on 3 coats of shellac, and then a coat of floor wax. I think this is one of my favorite floors in the manor.

Next came the wallpaper. I purchased it from Alison Davies and had planned to pair it with white paneling...

...then I remembered I had the border from the scenic wallpaper from Les chinoiseries I used in the boys room. It was perfect for the Regency Chinoiserie style I was going for.

I installed the wallpaper using regular household wallpaper post. Many miniaturists have cautioned against this because mini-wallpaper can ruin with the water in the paste, but I have only used Les Chinoiserie and the Alison Davies wallpapers which are quite thick and worked well...but be careful to test your paper if you go the regular paste route. It took a while to cut the boarder because I wanted to make sure the pattern in the corners of the room matched. Luckily the pilasters enabled me to center the pattern around the room. It would have been more difficult if the boarder want continuously around the room.

After the pieces were cut I applied the paste using a cheap paintbrush. If you put it on too thick it will just come out the sides when you smooth it down and make a mess.

I used scrap paper to protect the scenic paper when I glued the boarder in place. The paste will not fully come off if you get it on the good side of the paper and will leave a shiny residue.

 When the wallpaper was done I went to work on the ceiling. I went on YouTube and found a tutorial that worked well for my by an artist called Tim Gagnon. You can check out the link here. 

When the ceiling was glued in place I installed the cornice and the capitals of the pilasters which continue the leaf detail. Every sky needs a sun so I painted the ceiling medallion gold.

The next step was gluing on the shafts of the pilasters, fireplace and overmantel mirror. All the plaster pieces in the room are from Sue Cook miniatures. I have purchased many of her items, but these are my favorite to date.

The pilasters are 9 inches tall and I needed to figure out a base for them.

I went to my stash of leftover wood strips and used 1/8 inch x 1/2 inch basewood for the sides and double thick illustration board for the front. I had leftover green marble I painted for the earl's study floor, so I used it for the fireplace hearth and I cut out openings in the pilaster bases and embellished them with the marble as well. Some molding strips finished the look.

In the picture above you can see that I used gold painted picture frame molding on the tops of the bases because you could see the layers of board and molding and it ruined the look.  I also used a 1/16 x 1/16 inch strip painted gold to cover where the mirror met the overmantel. From the side you could see the thickness of the mirror and it ruined the illusion.

And here is the finished fireplace. The firebox is illustration board I glued together, painted using 2 stone colored paints, then dry brushed on black to soot it up.

I love the way the light hits the wall in the next picture. The 2 beautiful Asian deities in the niches were a generous gift from Sumaiya. I love them in the niches and make pale marble bases for them to stand on.

With the fireplace wall done I turned my attention to the nook. I used more of the gold painted picture frame molding to cover the bookcase and covered each shelf with the molding I used on the pilaster bases.

The room was finally done. It is a simple room overall, but every strip of molding and every element are painted in seashell white with gold detail, which means every pieces got 3 coats of white, 2 coats of gold, white touch ups, gold touch ups, and still need more touch ups, but I figured you waited long enough and I'm fed up of painting for now.

The curtains for the nook are gold silk I used in the breakfast room. I made them with the Pretty Pleater and just glued them to the wall over the window. Regency window dressing always has swags above, but I never was able to swag fabric properly in miniature, so I opted for a simple rectangular pelmet detailed with the molding and chair rail from the room. I like it, but might try something a bit more elaborate to replace it. I glued it only to the ceiling so taking it off will not damage the room irreparably.

I can see the countess lying in her chaise reading after meetings with the housekeeper, the cook, and balancing the account books. The wonderful pillow with the peacock was a gift from Jonquil.

And that is it for the study. If I were ever to decide to modernize the manor, I think this room could make a really good master bathroom.  Here are some pictures with different lighting, furnished and empty.

As per custom Jo coordinated both families and I got great Christmas gifts. My mother got me a ladies desk kit from Alison Davies miniatures. I will work on it soon and will most likely post about it next time. Jo consulted my plans and lists and ordered Sue cook items I need for the banquet hall. ...I laid them out as per my plans to see the is a little teaser of the north wall...

And that is all for this time my friends. I wish you all the best for 2018 and as always I look forward to seeing your posts and thank you for following mine.

Big hugs to all,


  1. Hello Giac, happy New Year.
    Wow like usually looks wonderful all the combinations the color perfect, congrats well done.

  2. Happy New Year! :)

    The study is so beautiful and full of wonderful details. It's really a masterpiece.

  3. Me encanta como queda el suelo y me parece perfecta la elección de los papeles de la pared. Las cortinas y el blanco del sofá y silla hacen un bonito contrate. Me parece una estancia encantadora.
    ¡Te deseo un feliz 2018!

  4. Seems I can hear mini voices chatting from the room. Gold is my favorite metal finish so you won me with all of the intricate gold finishes. I am glad you enjoyed your holidays. Here's to a new year of fun miniature projects!

  5. Hi Giac,

    Fijn te lezen dat jullie mooie kerstdagen hebben gehad en dat je inmiddels heerlijk hebt bijgeslapen. Dus een mooie start voor 2018.
    Met grote bewondering kijk ik weer naar al jou ontwerpen en de manier waarop je laat zien hoe alles tot stand komt. Het is allemaal zo professioneel gemaakt dat het levensecht lijkt. Ik zie mezelf daar al zitten in die PRACHTIGE kamer en dan te weten dat de daadwerkelijk maten zo beperkt zijn. Alles is werkelijk van GROTE SCHOONHEID!!!

    Samen wens ik jullie een heel mooi creatief jaar toe in goede gezondheid.....


  6. Hi Giac!
    This is so fascinating to me and I enjoyed your post very much. As usual, I am amazed by your attention to detail and fine work. If I didn't know better, I'd think I was looking at a real room and not a miniature. I love the white and gold paint and everything goes together so beautifully. I wish I could crawl in there and read in that cozy little nook! After I read the post, I went back and looked at all the photos in larger scale. So well done and can't wait to see what you come up with next! That is so sweet that everyone pitched in to get your more wonderful miniatures for Christmas! Best wishes for a wonderful new year and I hope that little baby comes to you soon. :) xoxo

  7. Wonderful!!! I'd love to sit in that nook with the books :-). The floor is perfect. And the ceiling! Awesome! The room is so beautiful, you did again an amazing job. I look forward to seeing your progress on the ladies desk and the hall! Great presents :-).
    Happy New Year to you and Jo and your families, have a great 2018.

  8. Oh it is a beautiful room Giac, I absolutely love the wall paper you chose, it's so pretty and feminine. This is a study I would be happy to have myself!
    Big hugs,

  9. Wow, that room really came to life. I love your floor, and the way we spent our holiday doing the same things! My parquet floor (not nearly as good as yours!) was finished in the days between Christmas and New Year. I will post about it in the next few days.

  10. Bonjour Giac, à chaque post, je suis émerveillée. Tout dans cette pièce se marie tellement bien. Elégance et raffinement sont deux mots qui vont si bien à vos créations!
    Une très agréable leçon de savoir faire en miniature !
    Que 2018 concrétise vos projets !
    Amicalement. Joce

  11. First wishing you and family health and happiness for 2018!
    Great room wonderfull floor and walls and ooo beautiful details... but sorry I must say... the ceiling...I love the gold ceiling medallion aso great but... I know YOU can make something better than this blue & white sky... You make always suchs beautiful mini please make an symmetrical art painting for this ceiling, I have so many things seen of you all those beautiful chambers, always exeptional great... I know you can!!! I hope I have not insulted you that's not my intention my friend.
    Hope you excuse me...
    groetjes van Marijke

  12. I am happy to hear that you have a nice Christmas and that you got wonderful Christmas gifts. The countess´study is marvellous. I love the floor, all the gold and white moulding, the fire place, the columns, the wallpaper. They just fit together perfectly creating a very luxurious yet relaxing atmosphere. The result is just fabulous. I feel transported in time every time I come here. I hope you have a great 2018!

  13. Oh my, it's wonderful, Giac! It gives off such a serene vibe, like exactly the place where you would like to rest a while and enjoy a good book and a cup of tea or hot chocolate. Showed it to my mum and we were both admiring it so much. The wallpaper! And the floor! I can't believe how incredibly precise you are, it's so lovely...
    I'm happy to read you've enjoyed your Christmas - I sincerely hope the next you and your Jo will spend with your sweet baby. Fingers crossed for that! All the best to the New Year, dear Giac. Hugs, Rosa

  14. Bonjour Giac,
    2018 commence fort et en beauté: je suis resté longtemps à regarder les 3 premières photos en me demandant si c'était la pièce réelle qui vous inspirait ou déjà la nouvelle pièce. Je suis resté ébahis, comme toujours avec votre travail, quand j'ai compris à la 4 ème photo qu'il s'agit de miniature. Vous avez crée une merveille. Je n'ai jamais osé peindre un plafond mais grâce au tuto de Tim je vais aussi me lancer. Je vous félicite d'avoir osé le faire. Le papier d'Alison est une merveille, vous avez encore fait un excellent choix. J'espère que cette pièce vas rester telle quelle plusieurs années car elle est magnifique mais vous connaissant, il est possible qu'un jour ou l'autre vous changiez tout ;-)

  15. Seriously as a model kit I can;t be more in awe than RIGHT NOW watching this work of ART

  16. Your work never stops amazing me. What a masterpiece!!! I won't detail all the things I like, there are too many nevertheless I will say that I love your ceiling.
    I agree with Jean Claude it's difficult at first to think it is a miniature room.

  17. As always you have done a wonderfull job. I love the wallpaper and the ceiling. All the Things from Sue Cook must have cost a fortune.

  18. The chinoiserie wallpaper is glorious! Well done, as always.

  19. Es abrumadoramente hermoso, Giac! Me maravilla! ♥

  20. Me quedo sin palabras con los espacios tan elegantes que creas. Una maravilla. Feliz Año Nuevo

  21. I wish you all the best for 2018. You had worked a lot but it was worth it. The room is wonderful. We wait news soon

  22. First of all - Happy New Year! To me it starts great because there's a new post from you... ;O) I'm telling you nothing new but I do it anyway - once more (and as usual) I'm in awe with your newest work and additions. This room turned out fantastic, so elegant, inviting and cheerful... I really envy the countess for her reading nook! I have to agree about the floor, it's the perfect match for the wall décor. The ceiling is one of my favorites, so great to have a blue sky every day. I'm already looking forward to see more progress and what you're going to do with the stunning gifts you got. Your family is always good at supporting you!


  23. Hi Giac!
    You must feel such a tremendous sense of accomplishment and pride in finishing this beautiful room. It is truly marvelous to see, and I always learn so much from your photos and posts.
    I love how you've installed recessed shelves on either side of the window nook, and cutting grooves for the shelving is a wonderful building tip that I hope to employ. I would have struggled with the color and pattern for the drapes but you've nailed it perfectly with the solid gold silk!
    I love the main wallpaper so much. The birds and leaves, branches and flowers create such a lovely and lively feeling. I imagine the lady of the house retreating to this room to enjoy the morning sunlight as she contemplates her day. The ceiling sky creates a feeling of possibility, purpose and gratitude. A perfect space to accomplish one's tasks.
    I really enjoy the moldings and love the way you've gilded them in gold. The pilaster bases have such nice detailing without competing with the fireplace. You always know how to balance things so perfectly! What a gift you have, my friend!
    So much vision, talent, time and love has made ordinary "things" into an extraordinarily beautiful room. I love the furniture pieces and they way in which you have them arranged.
    I am so happy that Jo and your family coordinated to get you gifts for the next room in this incredible build! From the looks of them, we are all in for another remarkable treat!
    I wish you the happiest and most fulfilling times in 2018, and can't wait for your next post!

  24. Your work is world championship. I am extremely impressed with the details of the room. Everything s perfect.
    All the best in 2018.

  25. Hello Giac, happy new year! Loving this room. I love chinoiserie, and your wallpaper combination is perfect. And agreed, the Sue Cook chinoiserie moudings are gorgeous. Best of all, the room is opulent but feels very calming and serene.

  26. Espectacular !!!!!!!
    Me encanta Giac, el suelo, la marquetería, el papel pintado es precioso y es ideal para esa habitación.
    Como siempre, un trabajo perfecto.
    Feliz 2018 y un abrazo

  27. Un trabajo impecable; todo perfectamente estudiado y en armonia, el resultado fiel a un palacio real. Felicidades y un feliz año nuevo.besos:-)

  28. Well done Giac... but my favourite is The Chinoiserie wallpaper . It is amazing. ... lucky you!
    Actually inspired idea to make the nook.
    All the best.

  29. Feliz Año Nuevo Giac!!!
    Es maravilloso poder admirar una nueva habitación como el escritorio de la condesa,tiene caracter y personalidad.Me gustan mucho las estanterías empotradas,le aportan profundidad y hace la pared mucho más interesante.
    El suelo perfecto,el techo es muy bello y cada detalle atrae la atención,hay tantas cosas donde fijarse y admirar!
    Fantástico trabajo!!!!

  30. Happy New Year dear Giac and really hope that 2018 is going to be a wonderful year for you and Jo.
    Lovely that you got the Christmas gifts on your list. You have been working hard and this room is so beautiful well done.
    Warm wishes and hugs

  31. Again, a marvelous masterpiece! I look at this room and feel like walking in one of those palaces in which you are allowed to visit. It's so beautiful!!!
    Gorgeous gifts for Christmas. Perfect for your work.
    Have a wonderful 2018 with my best wishes.
    Hugs, Drora

  32. Oh, I'm swooning Giac! Sooo beautiful I may have to faint on that fainting couch! :D The chinoiserie paper is devine and you have paired it so well with the other papers and the curtains. I would never have thought of Gold with the papers.. but it looks wonderful. You have an eye for colour combinations that eludes me. Well done! Oh, an how wonderful to have coordinated miniature Christmas presents. :D

  33. First, I'd like to wish you a happy and prosperous new year. Your work looks so beautiful again. You can hardly see it's a miniature room. Great job

    Big Hugs

  34. Hello Giac! Quelle merveille, cette pièce! Le papier chinois est superbe, et l'association avec la partie basse est parfaite. Tout est en harmonie, et tellement bien réalisé! Tu es un grand artiste.
    Les touches de dorure sur les pilastres et autres décorations sont très bien dosées, et le plafond nuageux est très beau aussi.
    Une mention spéciale pour l'incroyable parquet!!! J'adore!
    Bonne année, Giac!

  35. Happy New Year Giac. The study turned out very sophisticated and beautiful. I really like the pattern of the two wallpapers and wallpaper combo paired with the white trim and gold accents. Another stroke of genius was how you covered the edges of the mirror as to not "ruin the illusion" - an inspired decision! The gold curtains turned out lovely too. I can visualize the countess taking off her shoes and relaxing on the couch in front of the window. I enjoying seeing your posts and tutorials. Thank you - keep up the good work. Troy

  36. Simply lovely. With all the different patterns I would have thought it would look busy but it's elegant and serene. I love the sky and that floor is absolutely gorgeous.

  37. You're a great artist. This room is perfect, elegant, refined and very detailed.
    Happy 2018 dear Giac!

  38. My Dear Giac I too, can see "the countess lying in her chaise reading after meetings with the housekeeper, the cook, and balancing her account books". Such a Spectacular room for your noble lady. You've created an atmosphere which is tranquil, composed and quietly majestic which I do believe also accurately reflects the countesses general demeanor.
    Every detail is Beautifully thought out and looks in short -Simply Grand! ♥


  39. J'adore cette piéce , les couleurs sont gaies ,apaisantes et le mobilier plus foncé ressort très bien .Encore une parfaite réussite.

  40. As absolutely wonderful as ever. Your work is truly inspirational for your followers. Even though you detail the process it is still magical how you get from box to a perfect miniature world. The Countess was eminently sensible to employ you as her decorator. I too waited eighteen months to adopt a baby and so understand how each of your days feel right now. All this angst will disappear in a moment when your baby arrives and it will be worth every second of it. Marilyn

  41. Dear Giac, your garden pavilion room is a stunning success!!! It is so perfectly balanced with the delicate wall papers and the gilded trimmings.... delicate and airy and graceful without being at all too "sweet"!!! It is just Gorgeous!!! I love the serendipity of the lattice paper you had "left over" from the earlier room.... it goes absolutely perfectly with the Chinoiserie garden pattern on the upper walls! The gilded trims on all the cornice and pilasters is like sunrise on the edges of a garden pavilion.... and your painted blue sky is perfect!!! :) I LOVE this room! If I were the Countess I would never want to leave! LOL! All the extra work you did with the added trims (around the mirror and shelves) makes a subtle but essential difference.... balancing the overall theme! Bravo for another Stunning room!!! You just keep raising the bar! I can't tell you how much I Love this room!!! :)

  42. Boy did that come out beautiful! I love the wallpaper and the book shelves are the perfect touch. Everything works very well.

  43. un gran trabajo, feliz año nuevo

  44. As always,I have no words to describe how I like your work, It's awesome. Congratulations and my best wishes for the new year. Hugs

  45. Its simply amazing work Giac. love your creativity.
    Wish you a very successful and prosperous new year.Be in touch.

  46. The wallpaper just screams "SPRING!" to me! I can't wait for some warmer weather! The study looks so cozy, despite all the bright and airy colors. Great job Giac!

  47. Hello, Giac - Another Amazing Success! I envy the countess, so I'm going to pretend that this is MY study, and I spend every spare moment in this restful room. I love the sky blue ceiling with the soft white clouds and the golden sun. The wallpaper is stunning, and it brings the outdoors right into the room. The white and gold finish on the trim pieces is just the right choice and seems to highlight the beautiful basket weave floor. I'm impressed with your use of leftover material for the wallpaper border - and you found a perfect use for the leftover green marble. It's so satisfying when all the elements just come together as though that was the plan from the beginning! One of my favorite things is the placement of the desk in the center of the room. That's just where I would have placed it if this were my study. Oh, wait! This IS my study - and the desk is just where I wanted it! You are to be congratulated on this ideal creation, Giac.

  48. So very lovely, Very royal, as always a very unique experience to visit your blog. I hope 2018 will bring you, creative spirit and joy.
    Hugs wyrna

  49. Oh my word Giac, this is absolutely stunning, beautiful, a masterpiece. The moldings, the wallpaper, the floor, and I love the ceiling. I would be most content in that room. Very fitting for a Countess, she is a lucky lady :-)

  50. I can't tell you how much pleasure I get in looking at your exquisite house.

  51. Happy New Year, Giac. Yet again you have taken half an hour or so out of my life while I study you wonderful images. You really are a master at this and I gain so much inspiration from you. Another beautiful room.

  52. Happy New Year to you and yours, Giac.
    This room is one of my favourites! The tones all work so well and the curtain colour give it a slightly modern (60's) feel which gives it an air of John Fowler.
    The banqueting hall looks set to be a triumph, I cant wait to see it, and the finish you give the writing desk.

  53. Hello Giac,

    A superb start of the new year. Her ladyship's study is excuisite! I really like the thorough way that you plan your refurbishments. It is a delight to read about the choices and combinations that you make. I learn a lot from you. Thank you.


  54. Maravilloso trabajo! Feliz Año

  55. bonne et heureuse année Giac .
    j' aime ce plancher . celui ci est mon préféré ... bravo JO !
    j 'aime beaucoup le papier peint utilisé pour le bas du mur . il apporte une base solide et forte pour tout l 'ensemble de la pièce . la couleur or des rideaux est fantastique . c'est une couleur difficile à trouver . vous commencer cette nouvelle Année en beauté .
    je vous souhaite autant de réusite dans votre prochaine réalisation .

  56. Muy bonito. Gran trabajo.

  57. çok güzel bir çalışma. kocaman tebrikler

  58. Hi Giac ! This room is lovely and so feminine. My favourite part is the ceiling 😊 Your choice of wallpaper is beautiful with the pretty little birds. Wishing you a wonderful year and that your dreams come true very soon ❤️xx

  59. Ciao Giac, lo studio della contessa è stupendo, elegante, raffinato e con perfette rifiniture, mi piace tantissimo

  60. what a beautiful room, Giac. Wouldnt some pieces of Lloyd Loom wicker furniture look lovely too here to lounge in and have tea and cucumber sandwiches or a glass of champagne..

  61. Come sempre rimango senza parola nell'osservare i tuoi capolavori. Lavori pieni di eleganza e raffinatezza, meraviglie uniche!!!!!! Caro Giac, sei super special!!!!!!!!!! Un grande abbraccio

  62. Omg, how beautiful, Giac <3 I can't stop looking. God.
    Big hug <3

  63. Thanks Giac for the kind visit.
    Hope all is well with you and wishing you a happy weekend

  64. Hi Giac.

    It is beautiful work!
    I like this very much what you have made and thank you for your comments at my blog.

    Hug Jody

  65. Giac!!! It's so nice to see you. I'm sorry for not having been around for such a long time. I wasn't well for a couple of months recently, so didn't do any blogging. I am so happy that you stopped by. Listen, I would just love to have a study like this one. You should see the mess our study is in!

  66. What a triumph. This room is absolutely gorgeous and your attention to detail remarkable. It is incredibly life-like and the taste in furnishings, colours etc. top drawer! Whaow Giac. Just Whaow. Carol :)

  67. Heyyyy, me había perdido esta entrada. Menos mal que he viajado en el tiempo y la he visto. Sensacional, seguiré mirando por si acaso.
    Un abrazo

  68. The new ballroom is much better, the colors are calmer, more space and beautiful decorated walls, fantastic work! how do you manage it, I can learn from you.
    Oh yes beautiful gifts especially the chandeliers!

  69. Belated Happy Birthday Giac!! i know its very late, but i wish you all the happiness and success. have great future ahead. Biggest Hug :)
    Your work is always amazing. it looks great .
    My Blog | Instagram | Bloglovin

  70. Dear Giac,

    I know that I already left a post on this room already but, well, one is simply not enough. :-)

    Going through almost all of your posts on this blog (yes I had a lot of time on my hands) It is wonderful to see how you have grown from starting to fill the rooms of a dollshouse (which is good!) to creating the space and the decor from ytour own mind (which is great!). For me it is very inspiring and I am so very happy that I have found your blog! Thank you.

    By the way, enjoy your well deserved break. :-)


  71. Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your weblog posts.


  72. Thank you so much Giac for your comment. i have been missing it from long time. My leg is ok, it will take time.
    Be in touch. Big hug.