Antique Sheet Music Flourishes

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

A Story of Restoration        
From bedroom to office

I had a dilemma with this project, not only did I require an office space but I also needed a bedroom for guests to stay.  My decision was to create an office space with a sofa bed incorporated into the final scheme.  This would make the best use of space but I would still have the capacity to have friends to stay over when required. 


The whole room was covered in wood-chip wallpaper and a highly patterned carpet.  The carpet was one of the first items to be removed, revealing floorboards that were in excellent condition and only required a good clean with hot soapy water and a stiff scrubbing brush.  This was followed by a fine layer of nitromorse and course wire wool in stubborn areas then finished off with a light sanding.  All gaps were filled between the boards to cut out draughts.  The floor was coated with several layers of antique pine varnish once all the decorating was completed.

I removed the wallpaper with a steamer and had some of the walls plaster skimmed due to their poor condition.  Additional electric sockets and a new light fitting were installed, the Moroccan style light shade was purchased some months earlier from T.K. Maxx.

I stripped all the skirting boards and the built in wardrobe back to their original wood using a heat gun and nitromorse and wire wool then applied several coats of antique pine coloured varnish.

The paint finish on the chimney breast wall is a traditional colour from the Craig & Rose Opulence collection called Dark Chocolate in a matt finish.  To contrast with this the rest of the room was painted in a Vinyl Soft Sheen finish from Dulux called Javan Dawn, a very delicate blue similar to Duck Egg blue.  The ceiling and coving were painted in Ivory matt finish and the woodwork in antique pine varnish.

My curiosity got the better of me and I decided to remove the plain outdated door panel suspecting that the original panelled door was hidden beneath.  My instinct was right, the original door had been covered in an old oil glazed paint finish with a combed pattern through the glaze to create a wood grain effect.  I proceeded to remove the oil glaze and took the door back to it's original colour.  This was also finished in antique pine varnish to complement the rest of the woodwork.

Finishing touches were added, a wooden venetian blind at the window and a beautiful selection of cushions for the sofa in brown, teal and gold and storage baskets and boxes for books and papers.  Now I have a lovely room where I can sit and work at my pc and the sofa converts into a bed for guests.


Panelled door before

January 2011

January 2011

Friday, 21 January 2011

Creating a Colour Scheme    
How to create a Mood Board

Seek Inspiration
Collect swatches of fabric, paint and floor samples,  look at magazines and catalogues for inspiration and cut out images of furniture and lighting.  These can all be mounted onto a piece of card or paper as a starting point for your decorating scheme.

Inspiration for your scheme may also come from a magazine or book, or a favourite piece of clothing or fabric.  Start a scrapbook of your favourite images to get a feel for your particular taste.  Is there a theme e.g. floral, antique faded...

How are you going to use the room
Consider the use of the room to be decorated e.g. formal drawing room or a family room.  This will determine the type of furniture, seating and storage required.

Take pictures of signature pieces that you intend to keep to add to your mood board.  Consider if there are items of furniture that could be salvaged for another room in the house if they were transformed with paint.

Focal Points
While assembling your mood board consider the furniture layout in the room.  You may also have a large window that could be a focal point with drapes and pelmets or a fireplace.

Feature Walls
The current trend is to have a feature wall with a bold patterned wallpaper or a strong paint colour or a display of framed photographs or prints.

The use of colour in your scheme
To make a room feel bigger use pale colours which reflect light.  Darker shades should be used lower down on panelling or the floor and moving up to a lighter colour at the top of walls and on the ceiling.  For larger rooms try using wallpaper or a colour on the ceiling.  For a cosy feel use richer, darker shades.

Try to carry an accent colour throughout the house from one room to another to make your decor flow.  Use similar coloured flooring downstairs from room to room.  Paint bedrooms in similar colour groups to match them tonally.
Dramatic scheme for a lounge using black, stone and neutral colours
A good way to experiment with paint if you are unsure of colours is to buy tester pots of paint and brush some of the paint onto a piece of lining paper.  Pin the paper to a wall in the room you are decorating and live with it for a week to see how it changes in different light.  Also add some of the chosen colour to your mood board to see if it blends in with your chosen fabrics and wallcoverings.

The most important part of decorating a space is to create a space that you love and to fill it with items that reflect your personality.

Happy decorating                           Aileen

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Period Colours
The Victorian Colour Palette (1837-1901) 

In the Victorian era excessive ornamentation and deep rich colours were utilised which were inspired by the Gothic revival movement of the 1830s and 1840s.  Colours such as deep velvety greens and claret red hues were common in homes.  In the mid 19th century new dye technology was introduced which produced an array of sharp yellows, deep blues, acid greens, purples and mustards which are used in modern decor today.

Victorian homes do have high ceilings and are able to take this depth of colour, however if you are decorating a Victorian property be cautious with the use of such rich, dark colours unless you have large, well lit rooms.

When choosing from a colour chart, bear in mind that colours often look slightly darker when dry.  I would advise purchasing a tester pot and painting some of your chosen colour onto paper or card and once dry pin this to the wall where you are intending to use it.  Live with this for a while to assess how the colour looks in different light.

Strong dark colours draw the walls in so be careful when using them in a small room.  A deep red shade will create a sense of cosiness or use midnight blue for a more dramatic effect.  Bold colours work well in a dining room and lend themselves to intimate candlelit evenings.

Another way to introduce Victorian colours is to try them as accent shades within a neutral scheme.  Paint the alcoves or chimney breast in your chosen colour and keep the rest of the decor pale and neutral.  Accessorise with your chosen accent colour.  Finish the scheme with a high proportion of off-white to maximise light and prevent the overall scheme from feeling closed in. 

Sunday, 9 January 2011

A Story of Restoration
Transformation of a Garage work bench

You may be wondering what possessed me to even contemplate salvaging this item of furniture but as usual I could see the potential.

The garage was scheduled to be demolished at a later date and I made the decision to salvage the work bench because my kitchen was in much need of some extra worktop and storage space.

I proceeded to remove the drawers and the battered top from the bench and sanded it down to provide a key for the paint.  The bench required a coat of antique oak stain first to provide a sufficient base for the finish that I required.   I wanted to give the piece of furniture an aged effect so prior to painting I used a fine small artists brush to apply blobs of vaseline or if you prefer you can use beeswax polish.  This was left to dry before applying a liberal coat of ivory emulsion paint and using light pressure in order to preserve the vaseline/wax previously applied.  I then left the paint to dry overnight.  I applied a further coat of paint in ivory,  which was watered down,  though you could use another colour but this was my required finish.  Once the paint had started to dry I began to expose the varnish beneath by rubbing the area gently with a cloth or a scraper in any awkward areas then finished off with a light sanding. 

I fitted some new chrome cup handles to the drawer fronts and had a length of kitchen worktop cut to size in a light beech colour.  

Baskets have been utilised on the shelf beneath to provide much needed storage space and I am sure you will agree this piece of furniture looks just as good as those items featured in today's magazines.

January 2011

Jan 2011

Jan 2011

Monday, 3 January 2011

A Story of Restoration
My Victorian Bathroom

Having contemplated for some time over the issue of not having an upstairs bathroom I had the notion of converting the smallest (yes smallest) bedroom into a beautiful Victorian bathroom.  The negative to this being that my home would become a three bedroom property as opposed to a four bedroom property.  Looking at the positive I deemed it to be a necessity because the downstairs bathroom too had seen better days and was also in need of renovation, and there was the  issue of having a long trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Not being daunted by the size of the project I set to drawing up my plans and seeking the advice of a plumber on the feasibility of my ideas and agreeing the course of action.  I also took the decision to have the ancient boiler removed from the kitchen beneath and to replace it with a combination boiler, thus freeing up more space in the room to be converted as there would no longer be a requirement for a tank.

This was a major project and not one to be taken lightly.  Wood-chip paper was removed, a partition wall demolished and the old tank and toilet were surplus to requirements.  Some of the plaster was removed back to the brickwork and new floorboards were laid.  It was agreed with the plumber to trace all necessary pipework around the perimeter walls behind the toilet and the basin because they would be hidden behind wooden panelling and a shelf built to dado rail height.  The remaining walls were plaster-boarded and skimmed ready for painting.

I felt that the size of the room, height of the ceiling and the age of the property warranted the use of a strong paint colour and subsequently opted for "Aubergine".  I remember the look of horror on my fathers face when the first coat of  paint was applied but I reassured him that with the white fixtures and fittings and furniture in place it would look stunning.

The plumber returned to install my beautiful new white Victorian suite purchased at a bargain price in the January sales.  I also purchased an Armoire which I found on my travels to a local Antique Centre.

I have continued over a period of time to obtain bric-a-brac and antique pieces to display.  I also photocopied two pictures of a Turkish bath scene which I framed and displayed for all visitors to admire.

I recently located some wallpaper designed by Sophie Conran with beautiful aubergine lillies depicted on it, a perfect accompaniment to bring my bathroom in line with current trends but still in keeping with my eclectic style of decoration.

This room is a haven where I retreat to contemplate my next project.

My bathroom December 2010

Work in progress

Revamp 2010

Photocopies of  Turkish scenes
Art Nouveau Statue

A print purchased on a trip to Hemswell Antique Centre