Thursday, 2 May 2013

Newels and nosings

Before installing the three flights of stairs in this shop/house, I had to decide how to treat the woodwork. Would it be painted or stained and what colours would I use? In the end I chose to copy the type of decoration that we had discovered under various layers of paint in our own RL house.

It's a typical terraced villa built in 1906 - right in the middle of the Edwardian period. When we moved in, it had kept its original stained glass front door, plaster mouldings and brass door knobs. However, it wasn't until we stripped down the window frames, skirting boards etc for repainting that we uncovered the dark brown stain that had been applied to the pine wood in the beginning. Obviously an attempt to convert it to instant ancestral oak!

So, assuming that no one had wanted to change the look of the staircases throughout the twenties and thirties,  this is what I have done to the miniature woodwork, using the same stain as on the floorboards (In at the ground floor, 5 November 2012).

And since I don't want a glossy effect, I have just waxed and polished the 'oak' stained parts to a moderately smooth finish. The balustrades or spindles will all be painted a contrasting shade of deep cream, in a nod to the move that the Edwardians made away from the heavy Victorian style.

Apart from the business of newels and nosings, I've done a little more kit bashing and installed an extra window in the side wall of the lodger's room at the top of the house. The room has a large dormer window but I had a small square frame lying about doing nothing and it seemed a pity to waste it!

It's been fitted high enough to allow furniture to stand underneath because the sloping ceiling doesn't leave very much upright wall space in that room.

Josje's recent post, on the re-opening of the Rijksmuseum, showed some beautiful miniature silverware. Now I certainly don't have anything to match such a marvellous display, but it reminded me that I have collected a few pieces in the past (when I could afford them!).

The lovely monteith bowl is by Ken Palmer, one day I may get some little glass cups to hang round the rim. The pair of serving spoons is by Jens Torp. The minute salt cellar and even tinier salt spoon are the work of Mike Sparrow. The candlesticks, wine cooler and cake basket are from the Royal Tunbridge Wells Miniatures collection issued during the mid-1990s.


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