Dollhouse Blogs

Wednesday 13 February 2019

I'm back and guess what...I renovated the dining room...again!

Hello everyone,

Happy Valentines day. I hope you are all well. It has been such a long time since I posted and I am sorry to have been away so long, but it took me quite a while to get over my neck and back pain. I am much better now, but I am still being more ballrooms!

I have started working on miniatures again, finally, and what better way to come back to blogging then doing what I do best...starting a room over. This time I present to you the final version of the manor's dining hall.

Before you have me declared insane, let me explain. 

Here it is last version of the dining room:

I did like the Dining room before, but many people commented that the veins in my marble were too big. With time it really bother me. Also, I thought the doorcases I made were nice, but they were a bit too big for the space. Another reason was I was not happy with the height at which the border in the wallpaper separated the top and bottom pattern.  For these reasons, the room had to go. 

And here it is today:

Demolition and reframing

I started by ripping out all the molding in the room except for the coffered ceiling.

The room is 14 inches high and the wallpaper was 11 inches high. This meant that the border separating the 2 patterns was at 6 inches from the ground. It split the room in a very odd way that looked wrong, but I loved the top of the paper so I just lived with it. Then one day, Les Chinoiserie reissued the Avignon wallpaper without the bottom lattice pattern. It was a sign!

My inspiration for the new room came from Holkham Hall and the rooms of Robert Adam. I decided to install a niche to the right of the door that leads to the Tudor hall. I used my Dremel to cut out a rough opening in the 5/8 MDF wall.

The ceiling stayed, but I did not like that the coffered part stuck out from the ceiling...

…so I used single and double ply illustration board to make the sides of the ceiling flush with the coffered section. 

The last step was covering the walls in illustration board because I was afraid any imperfections where I removed molding and ripped the old wallpaper would show when the new one was installed.

The new paper was only the one pattern, but it was still too short for the room so I decided to add paneling 3 1/2 inch high.

The new Avignon paper is just a bit less yellow then the original one which I liked very much.

The Ceiling

I added some would strips which I painted to accommodate the moldings I planned on adding

To cover the gap between the coffered section and the sides I used a paneled Frieze, under that I installed a cornice, then I re-installed the original frieze that was in the dining room, and finished that with a molding from that matched the new doorcases

The doorcases

The next step was creating the doorcases. I wanted to use Sue Cooks Adam doorcases so I drew up some plans and she was kind enough to make custom size doorcases for me. 2 of the door openings are 4" x 8", and a third one is 2 1/2" x 8".

For the broken pediment, I used basewood strips and illustration board to create the triangle bases...

...then I covered them in smaller cornice moldings.

In the next picture you can see the painted elements for the doorcase. As I mentioned Sue made the custom doorcases using the 3 piece doorcase and an additional 3 piece architrave, and I made the 3 piece broken pediment.

And here it is installed:

After the doorcase were in place, I installed the paneling I made out of double ply illustration board and quarter round molding, and I installed the painted niche. I liked it, but the broken pediment was too square... I added some half brackets that match the doorcase. I originally planned on putting a bust atop each door...

...but they did not look right so I ordered some pineapple finials and painted them to match. I figured since the pineapple is the symbol of hospitality it was the perfect touch

The door that leads to the breakfast room is much smaller, so I used a simpler version of the doorcase design.

Later on you will see a smaller pineapple finial atop that door.

If you look through the doorcase of the back wall at just the right angle you can see into the kitchen. The noise from the kitchen would have been disturbing, so I decided to add a second door.

I used illustration board backed with basewood strips and covered in a white molding and matching wallpaper on one side...

...and walnut painted molding and matching tiles for the kitchen side.

You can barely see it, but it is there..

Fireplace, statues and a table.

I had a William Kent fireplace and found a picture of the real version which was being auctioned at Chatsworth house. I used the picture to finish the fireplace to look like veins this time.

The insert has Terry Curran's Fable Set tiles. I love it!

I decided to put less furniture in the room to make it look grandeur. Sine I removed the piano, I glued a bracket to support a bust and a sculpture in the niche.

I decided to use the china cabinets elsewhere in the manor and purchased a second sideboard for the back wall. I was trying to choose some paintings by Canaletto to go over them, but I liked the bracket so much I had a dry run to see what I liked best.

The brackets and sculptures were the winner. I think they look very elegant and they don't take the attention away from my silverware and china.

Since the larger furniture would not be going back in, I started looking for a smaller sideboard to go next to the fireplace. I found nothing! I had 2 bar stools that were falling apart, so I decided to make a small table until I could find something I like.

The marble top is 2 layers of illustration board with a chair rail molding. I painted the marble with a brush, not a sponge. First I stippled on 3 different shades of base color, then I added veins, and I finished with a wash of 1 part paint to 5 parts water. There are about 9 coats of glaze on it which was rubbed with 0000 steel wool and waxed. The base is basewood, legs from the stools and a quarter round molding.

I think it is my best marble. I like it enough that finding a mahogany replacement is not such a priority anymore.

And that, my friends, is all. Here are some pictures of the finished room with and without  furniture.

For those who are wondering where to get any of the items in this room, all the plasterwork (fireplace, doorcases, cornices, brackets, sculptures...) are from Sue Cook Miniatures , the resin Rococo frieze is from Lawbre ,and the lighting is from The Getzans.

I think some people who like Victorian style will prefer the previous version of the room, but as I have mentioned before my tastes have changed over time and I am more interested in Georgian, neo-classical and Palladian interiors.  One thing is for sure, this room is final. The lighting fixtures have been soldered into place so there is no going back.

My next project will be the banquet hall and new statue gallery addition. I will try not to wait so long before posting, but preperation for those rooms will take a while.
Thank you once again for following my adventures, and a special thank you to those who contacted me because I was gone so long. I really appreciate it. I think some of your posts do not show up in my reading list for some odd reason, so if I haven't been commenting please let me know.

Big hugs to all,


  1. Every time you RE-DO a room, it becomes EVEN BETTER and this incarnation of your newest dining room reno, is no exception!
    It is filled with air and light and looks both Sophisticated and Elegant.
    I Love the way in which you have dressed the walls with new panelling and paper and improved the visual connection between the cornice and the coffered ceiling-Perfect!!!
    The new door surrounds are also Very Beautiful, along with the up-graded Fireplace with the blue tile inserts - totally Swoon- worthy! And although I miss the drama and warmth of the gold framed paintings, in the room, the sculpture and the niche are a Fabulous substitute!
    I'm glad that you have eliminated the piano Giac because it would've looked totally out of place in this room now, but your dainty little marble topped buffet has proved to be an ideal replacement.
    Everything looks Absolutely Gorgeous and definitely worthy of a Count and his Countess and I Applaud it ALL. ♥️

    Big Hugs my friend and so glad that you are well again!


  2. Bonjour Giac,
    cette fois encore, je suis à la fois impressionnée mais surtout émerveillée.Chaque changement apporte un plus dans cette transformation.
    L'élégance et le raffinement sont toujours présents.
    Il ne faut plus rien changer car tout est plus que parfait.
    Quelle belle leçon de miniature ! A bientôt !

  3. Hello, Giac.
    I am very impressed with this room. All your projects are incredibly realistic and refined in every detail.
    I'm glad that you're fine.

  4. I always love your re-incarnations, and it's fun to follow your thought processes :!

  5. Oh it's so good to see you back posting, though I didn't realise you had health problems, I was hoping it was parenthood that was keeping you busy!

    Love the changes you have made, Georgian decor is wonderful and you've done such a fabulous job. But it's hard to believe you won't change again. :)
    Take care of yourself.
    Big hugs,

  6. I always love admiring all of your excellent rooms, Giac, they are truly awesome, and this last incarnation is no exception. Thank you for telling us what was wrong (to your opinion) on the previous room. And in sharing your thoughts with us about this all, declares so much about your changes, thank you. I now understand way better why you had to change lots of things and the result is absolutely stunning, the elegance and refinement are top class.
    I've also missed your posts here, but I didn't know you suffered health issues, I'm sorry. I really hope you will feel better soon.
    Happy Valentine's Day!!
    Hugs, Ilona

  7. Ah, never say never again :0P It's a small consolation that you're not ripping apart a full size room though I imagine it is just as much work.
    I prefer the newer version, particularly the choice of door surround. It looks amazing, as always. Glad to hear you're on the mend

  8. How I like your new version of this room. It is stunning. I prefer this style, I tend to find Victorian style a bit too heavy and dark. Now it's full of light and lighness.
    I hope you'll feel completely better very soon.

  9. Oh Giac, I so love the new dining room - I am a huge Georgian fan and confess to not really liking Victorian - high or low! That said I still adored your project because of the sheer elegance and detail of your work, but this is so much more my taste. I love the symmetry and clean lines and calmness of Georgian rooms and you have it captured perfectly in this room - such a pleasant place to sit over an extended eight-course dinner and while away a whole evening. I am certain there were some Victorians who were happy to keep their late Georgian rooms intact - as I would be now if I had one. Marilyn

  10. I forgot to heap you with praises for your perfect little table. Such a lot of work but such an absolutely perfect piece for this room (and many others).

  11. I'm so glad to see your new posting - I find your work beautiful and inspiring, and I love that you are not afraid to tackle anything!

  12. I am glad that you are up and running again. I have missed your stories. When you want to change something, you really go for it ;-)
    So many things are diffrent in the diningroom, You have such an eye for detail, i love it!
    Nice to see you working on a door, that it is difficult to see when the room is finished... but make it so beautiful.
    Your marble table is magnificent. Keep on enyoing your mini's
    Big hug, Mieke

  13. I love the new style. The room looks much larger and filled with light. I love the niche and the table is absolutely gorgeous. The doors too are fantastic. It was beautiful before and is now even more so.
    I'm happy you feel better now and thank you for sharing your wonderful work.
    A warm hug,

  14. Beautiful work Giac, it´s fantantic

  15. Me duele el alma cuando veo que algo tan bonito queda desmontado. Yo no me atrevería. Pero he reconocer que ha quedado aún mejor. Es todo elegancia. Como siempre un fabuloso trabajo.

  16. ¡¡Espectacular!!
    Las puertas han quedado magnificas pero hecho en falta las vitrinas para la porcelana....a mi me encanta lucir las vajillas de porcelana.
    Enhorabuena cada trabajo tuyo es un lujo para los ojos ya te echaba de menos.
    Un abrazo

  17. Hi Giac,

    Zo fijn weer iets van je te vernemen, wat heb je weer veel en prachtig werk verzet, fantastisch zoveel doorzettingsvermogen jij in je hebt. Het is dan ook een zeer groot levenswerk, deze metamorfose is werkelijk ZEER geslaagd geworden en geheel in de sfeer die je voor ogen had en hebt uit gewerkt. Ik bewonder bijzonder.

    En ohhh Giac, de tafel die je maakte met het marmeren blad, deze is van grote SCHOONHEID!!! Echt geweldig om te zien dat je net zolang doorgaat tot het voor 1000% naar je zin is. Heb weer genoetne van deze fantastische post, waar je alles precies uiteen zet hoe je te werk gaat. In gedachten zie ik je al druk bezig met alles, wat zal het nu deze ruimte voor altijd voltooid is jou een heerlijk gevoel geven.

    Heel veel succes met de renovatie van de feestzaal, en dat zeker weer heel veel werk zijn....

    Heel veel liefs,

  18. Me alegro que estés mejor !!
    El cambio ha sido para mejor, se ve una habitación más amplia. Me encanta el trabajo realizado y estoy deseando ver la sala de banquetes y de las estatuas, seguro nos dejarás con la boca abierta.
    Una abrazo y a terminar de recuperarse.

  19. So beautiful. I started to read this morning and had to work! I was so impatient to come back and finish. I love the simplicity and elegance of the newest incarnation. The niche with the statue is wonderful and without all the dark wood and pictures on the walls it looks so light and airy.

    I love it. The room feels so spacious and welcoming. Like you won't be arguing with the furniture when you come in the room.


  20. Hi Giac,
    I like your new room even better. The tiny details and decorations are amazing and you have such an amazing talent. I am always so impressed when you give us an update. So well done. It's great to hear that your neck and back are feeling better!
    Best wishes,

  21. Hi Giac,
    I did not realize that you were experiencing back and neck pain. It is so debilitating. I do hope your recovery will continue .
    Congratulations on the “new” dining room, it is lovely and your changes make perfect sense. However, when I read the first lines I though what is he doing!
    Keep up the good work.
    Regards Janne

  22. Giac, I am glad to see you back - I'm sorry that you are hurting! You have done it again, another stunning and inspiring renovation. Great Job. I'm glad you kept the ceiling - it is really nice. The door surrounds are beautiful and the I like the new "marble" table. It is really a classically beautiful space that you have created. I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with for the banquet hall! ~ Troy

  23. Yes, Giac, you are a bit crazy lol. Why mess with perfection? But I understand the feeling of something bothering you, and knowing the quality of your work I totally understand why you decided to change the room. I love both but yeah, the change was totally worth it, it is now, if possible, more elegant and classy. Such a gorgeous room, I love it!! I am happy you are feeling better and I hope to hear from you soon.

  24. La primera versión era preciosa, yo núnca le hubiera puesto defectos, pero la segunda es espectacular !!!!
    Eres un genio de las minis !!

  25. The new version of this room is stunning. I like the refined atmosphere and the brightness.

  26. Time has a way of evolving and refining us, and so to see new and improved ideas for a space is a natural progression. I would be a delighted guest to share a meal in this light and elegant space! The table you whipped up is wonderful in it's simplicity, allows the mantle to be the star. yet stands right up to the grandeur with it's gorgeous marble slab! Beautifully done, Giac! I admire your bravery in taking things down to the bone in order to make a space feel exactly right!

  27. Super that you are back again.
    And the same with a big renovation, the dining room has become very nice, fresher and lighter in color, it is a pity of those two beautiful crockery cupboards.
    You have beautiful miniatures, good job!

  28. Olá amigo Giac:
    que bom estar de volta!
    que trabalho delicado e lindo feito por suas mãos abençoadas !!
    grande abraço.
    bom fim de semana

  29. Dear Giac, you really made my day. Not only that there's finally a new post from you (I'm so glad to hear your health issues are better now!) - but you also made me grin from ear to ear. "Final"... used for a room built by Giac... that's great… in Germany we say if it was a bridge I would not step onto it *LOL* Or in other words, I would not bet on no more future changes - whether the lights are fixed or not. You are the true master of re-arranging - and you're always managing to make something good even better. It's the same with the dining room which looked already splendid before - but after your changes it looks even better. It's so much lighter now and in my opinion it was a good decision to take out the heavy furniture pieces and the paintings. There's so much more light in the room now… and your gorgeous marbled side table adds to the beauty of this amazing room.


  30. Me alegro que estés mejor, lo demuestra el trabajo tan espectacular que has realizado.El primero me parece precioso pero el cambio ha mejorado en luminosidad y en finura;la realización del mármol perfecto las porcelanas salen realzadas.Me alegro de verte de nuevo:-)

  31. I tought the first version was great, but after you re-do it it is brilliant! You work so hard on it, but it 100% worth it! Congrats :)

  32. Dear Giac, it is Wonderful to have you back in blogland!!! And what better way than with a brand New Dining Room to show! It is simply STUNNING!!! I agree with you, our tastes do change... I used to love the Victorian look... I still do really, but I have learned a greater appreciation for the Classical and Italian styles! Grandeur pure and simple is hard to beat!!! I am glad you re-did this room, it matches the other re-done rooms much better now! The classical statues do make a more serene atmosphere, and the "best" houses do not keep the china in the Dining Room... they have Pantries filled with shelving for their Treasures! The side-boards are much more realistic... the meals would be served from those side-boards by all those handsome liveried footmen... !!! (When is the Countess holding her inaugural dinner???) :):) It is Great to hear there will be even more amazing rooms coming up.... I truly hope you never complete this Manor... as selfish as that is, I love coming here and being amazed again and again!!! Welcome Back! :):)

  33. Lovely to see a post from you Giac, and despite pain, you've been very busy. You are a true perfectionist! I kept scrolling back through your pictures to see the full effect of the changes and I have to agree, you've done a magnificent job with the renovations.

  34. I'm really not sure which version I like more. They are both so incredibly beautiful and full of details. This is just pure passion and perfection. :)
    Glad you're back. :)

  35. Ay, Giac, se me ha parado el corazón cuando he visto volar por los aires el comedor. Debería haber alguna forma de conservar esa belleza! Pero es un gran consuelo ver el resultado final ahora :); la habitación conserva su empaque y su elegancia pero ahora es mucho más fresca y luminosa y sigue pareciéndome increíblemente hermosa. Sinceramente, yo preferiría comer en el nuevo comedor :) Has hecho un trabajo maravilloso! ♥

  36. You know I thought the room was beautiful before, but it's even more gorgeous with the changes! It looks like every piece has a bit more room to breathe and shine. So lovely! I can understand your itch to reno. I find with having a very large dollhouse I am even more careful to get things right because there simply isn't room for another project else where. Always love seeing your progress, happy you are feeling better too.

  37. If I need confirmation that miniaturists are absolutely mad this is it !! I come to your lovely blog and think that I am also crazy to begin to make my own house when I see this ,,, the parquet, the panelling, the marble topped side table !!! you are mad in the nicest possible way ,, huggs Stephanie ( Mrs M )

  38. Hola Giac,me alegra saber que te encuentras mejor,espero que sigas así y un día te levantes y notes que el dolor ha desaparecido para siempre!!!
    De verdad que me quedo fascinada con cada habitación que nos muestras.Yo antes la veía fabulosa,pero al explicar tus cambios y el por qué,empiezo a notar las sutiles diferencias de hacer cada uno de ellos,para,al final,lograr un resultado tan elegante y perfecto,como sólo tú podías realizar.
    Eres exquisito!!

  39. So glad you are feeling better and hoping your recovery is complete.Wow I loved the room before but I can see how the changes make it even more amazing. I love how you think out every piece of a room.
    Hugs Maria

  40. Toujours aussi grandiose ce que tu fais Bravo 😍😍

  41. Hi Giac!I must confess, I think the reduced room is better. It was nice before, but now everything looks more elegant. As always great work !!!! Nice that you
    come back!
    Mini hugs

  42. It's great to see you back Giac and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing your third (yes, third) dining room! It's amazing how just a few tweaks can alter the look of what was a lovely room to create yet another lovely room. I've already been through your pics at least twice and always pick up a tip or two.

  43. Hello, Giac - I'm so very happy that you're back, and in good health! I was sorry to hear that you've had problems with back and neck pain; I've had some of that, and it feels as though it might go on forever. I'm glad you're better. It does seem, though, that not even chronic pain could keep you from being your own greatest critic and completely tearing down a perfectly wonderful dining room - and making it even more wonderful. I can't even imagine the courage (or insanity?) that it takes to do that, but I admire you for listening to your inner perfectionist and just getting on with it. I understand your reasoning and also your evolving tastes in making the changes in this lovely room. I love the lighter, brighter ambiance; the new elegance seems almost delicate in character and brings such airiness to the space. I love the stone fireplace and the niche with the sculpture. The matching sideboards, too, add to the openness, and of course the absolutely stunning marble table is an amazing achievement. Of all the beautiful elements in this room, that's one of my favorites, and it's hard to believe that you made it out of bits and pieces and cast-offs! You've worked magic with the transformation of this room. I'm looking forward, as always, to seeing your next projects!

  44. Its great, that you are back.
    What a room. The floor is beautiful, every detail is right. As always very big work.

    Hugs Alexandra

  45. Giac, it's so nice to have you back! I understand about your back and neck problems as I'm suffering from them as well. But you can't keep a good miniaturist down! LOL! As you know I love the Victorian period and loved your room before, but you have once again created a stunning room! I love the changes and you never cease to amaze me with your creativeness. I love the marble table - it' beautiful! I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work and take care of yourself!


  46. Caro Giac, come al solito mi lasci senza parole ! sei fantastico !

  47. The improvements are wonderful, though I have to admit, I liked it before as well. Glad you are back.

  48. The room looks great now well done

  49. It's always great to see your amazing work!!!
    Good to read and see you're pushing on to get it right.
    I'm thinking to start all over with my doll house... I had bought it 3rd hand it isn't right for me anymore it's to big and heavy and to compact... This old house has to much failures sizes it was a childern dolls house... a learned a lot from it may be I sell it or I use window and doors from it to start all over...
    I enjoy to see your work it's inspiring!
    groetjes van Marijke

  50. Bonjour Giac
    Merci pour tes gentils commentaires que tu me laisses sur mon blog c'est vraiment très gentil de ta part.
    J'aimerai bien que l'on se rencontre un de ces jours mais je ne sais pas si cela sera possible un jour. En tout cas tu es un super miniaturiste tes montages de maisons sont superbes bravo à toi. A bientôt Muriel

  51. Happy Valentine too, friend.
    The results of the renovation of your house look very beautiful and resemble the room of a palace ..., it seems luxurious and classy ..

  52. I love your changes Giac! I like the room very much before but I agree the new panelling is better and your wallpaper choice is beautiful. I love the niche and your repainted fireplace is wonderful. Best of all in your handmade marble top table! You have achieved a fabulous finish and I don’t think you need to look for a replacement at all! You do such fantastic work it’s very inspiring. :D

  53. Hagas lo que hagas elijas un estilo u otro , todos me dejan obnubilada, que trabajos tan magníficos los tuyos.
    Un abrazo

  54. Hola Giac: Me encantan tus trabajos, son maravillosos todo está hecho con mucho estilo y mucho gusto, enhora buena.