Having finished tongue and grooving the two walls near the back door I added a panel to lengthen the under stair so they ran parallel to the other side….
The panel is the side of the armoire that the mirrored door in the kitchen came from. You’ll notice the wood block underneath; this was left in the garage by the previous owner. I’ve used others that were there in the will be kitchen.
As the side of the armoire had a detailed piece that I didn’t want to lose and it didn’t quite reach the top the block served to raise it up to fill the gap. Well, almost.
I just marked on the wood the lowest point where it needed to meet the stairs and the highest. I cut along the line I drew between the two with my jigsaw.
As there was a wood strut where the stair panel ended I glued the two together and clamped them tight.
I carried on gluing tongue and groove to the brick wall under the stairs. I have another armoire door (don’t ask 😖) and I thought I could make a cupboard under the stairs using this.
It’s incredibly heavy. As I heaved it down the stairs the weight made me think about how to support it. Although I have heavy duty hinges I thought it would be a good idea to add a few rollers to the bottom too, just to be sure.
I measured the door and it came to just below the back of one of the stair treads. There’s an additional piece of wood that runs along the stair as it descends that juts out slightly. I ran two lengths of wood horizontally beneath that in line with where the door will stand.
I finished tongue and grooving the back and side of the space.
As I finished that days work I took a length of wood and glued it so it ran parallel to the base of the door. The wheels that needed to be screwed in where too wide to attach without doing this.
The mirrored door was a little too narrow so I added a panel to the side of the cupboard.
I left this part of the project at this stage to continue with the doorway. However, having found a bargain Henry II buffet, I used a lovely detailed piece from that to finish off the door.
You can see in the above picture that I’d originally painted the surrounding area white, but not the door. I wasn’t sure at that stage if I wanted to have it all white and thought a contrast might look nice. But I decided that painting all the section would help to unify the whole area in the end. This hasn’t got its fin coat yet, but you get the idea.
There’s lots more work to do, I’ll add another update soon.
Work is still going on under the stairs and at the back of the hallway. As the back door is the only one in the house that’s not double glazed retaining heat is a big consideration. So I adapted this curtain to keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
You’d be amazed at the cold chill you’re hit with when you draw the curtain back in the morning. Speaking of tiebacks, I got these from ebay.fr. They’re meant to go either side of the window, but with the door being right next to the wall one tie back wouldn’t work. So by doubling them up like this they work.
It had been too long, so I took the end off and sewed it as a trim on the top, adding this lovely lace.
That and the dog draught excluder make an enormous difference.
The painting is one I found at a brocante a long time ago. I think the slightly battered frame and her wistful expression suit the area.
The area needed light, as the one that had been there was tucked under the stairs behind the new cupboard.
I bought some beautiful, crystal chandelier wall lights from the same brocante, but there wasn’t a power outlet on the wall. This is my solution, so this is my solution. Now, I’m not an electrician, so please don’t take anything I’m about to say as professional advice.
I bought a lamp, electrical cord. It had an integrated light switch and a plug on one end. I attached this to the wall light and fixed the latter to the wall. Then I secured the cord to the wall and beams with cable clips. Finally I plugged it into an extension cable and clipped this to the beams length until it was plugged into a light socket.
I’m going to disguise the cord in another of my winter proofing techniques later.
My husband went to put some peelings in the compost bin recently and found four little eyes staring out at him 🥰…
Of course they came to live with us. They’re adorabubble. However, they bring to life the meaning of Phoebe’s lyrical genius…
Don’t tell me that she’s not up there with Tolstoy for communicating the mysteries of redemptive suffering; not after I’ve lived with these babies.
They’ve just had their first vaccinations and the desire to get them out and about to do their business has become imperative. However, our back door is predominantly glass. Where to place a cat flap?
I’d bought one for our small dog to go in the will be kitchen, but living on a hill means that it’s very windy where we are. I’ve got an idea for how to counteract the wind howling through the flap, but it’s going to be a next year thing.
Furthermore, the fact that we won’t be using the room next to the kitchen until it’s decorated and a form of heating is put in next year, means that we will need to keep the doors into that area closed throughout winter. That hindrance won’t be conducive to encouraging the little kitty cats to use outside as their litter tray.
I’d already been thinking of ways to deal with the cold emanating from the glass door in the main part of the house. It made maintaining the heat in the hallway a challenge last year I can tell you. A draft excluder had gone some way to helping the situation, but it’s still a challenge.
I’d been talking to my husband about how to solve it and suggested having another internal door, perhaps a front door, just after the one into the living room. At the moment that passage way cuts under the stairs into the current small kitchen. The reconfiguration would mean that we could treat this newly sectioned off area as a mini boot room / porch way.
As we intend to use the current kitchen as a playroom when we transfer over this would have additional benefits. It would be a little area where coats, bags, shoes can be neatly put away as the children go in and out.
You’re laughing at my naivety aren’t you?
Neatly put away 😏.
The idea has been given a new lease of life with the cat situation. There may not be an opportunity for a cat flap in the current glass door, but surely I could have one in this more interior door and leave the glass one open during the day?
It’s a start to a solution anyway.
I’m still continuing with the will be kitchen where, surprise, surprise, I’m facing another, newly discovered challenge. Yet when that gets too much for me I’ve start work on this little area.
As you can see the wall had already be stripped. There had been brown, carpeted walls here. Mmmm…
There’s probably a logical reading for that to do with heat or something, but – as you can imagine – it created a very gloomy atmosphere. One day I got so fed up with it I started to wrench it from the walls. Even the bare walls was better, although I found a few nasty surprises underneath.
I loved the look of the tongue and groove I’d used in the kitchen and decided I’d do it again in this little section.
I bought just one pack of tongue and groove and cut in line with the door frame, gluing the pieces straight to the wall. When it got to the corner I didn’t cut a piece to fit, as I’d only bought the one pack and knew I’d only just cover the two walls I wanted to start with, so I finished it with some left over wood moulding and a 1/4 round.
There was a gap between the lengths I’d cut and the underneath of the doorway (I don’t know why I ended them there 😣) ans I used various off cuts of wood mouldings to fill this gap, but also to extend the section up so when I had a plinth running around the area it could smoothly continue around in the section above the door.
Here you can see I used a wood cornice topped off with a quarter round – extending under the door frame – a piece of beaded trim, the the plinth.
None of these are perfect fits, but I intend to paint it white to ensure that it’s bright, so I can just smooth acrylic into the gaps.
On the second wall I cut one length of tongue and groove to fit up to the door frame where I intended the plinth to take over.
Then I started to use the cut offs to continue right up until the final length when I used another full piece. I did this because I wanted to use this panel somewhere (it’s the odd door left from the buffet I broke down whilst working on the will be kitchen) and as I was short on tongue and groove doing it like this meant I just had enough.
I intended to have two horizontals of plinth as I wanted two rows of hooks to hang coats on. I intended making this plinth work for me though. The carved door is very well made and very heavy, so I une it in place. Then using lengths of wood I glued with the strongest glue I could find I built up the area so that in effect the panel could rest on it.
If you want to do something similar I think it’s important to note I didn’t let it rest on this wood yet, I allowed the glue to set for a couple of hours first. Then I continued to encase the cupboard door with the other parts of wood.
I topped this side with another plinth and a quarter round to both sides as there was a small gap on the door side. I let this adhere for an hour then I got to work caulking both sections.
This took a day, just fitting it around other things. it certainly isn’t a time intensive project so far. However, to be able to put a door in this section I needed to extended the side of the under stairs area. That proved a little more tricky.
Here it all is with the first coat of paint. I’ll update you on the second part soon.
I’ve had a terrible chest infection, it’s something I’ve been susceptible to since forever, but this one has been very hard to shift. It still lingers, but I’m starting to be able to join the land of the living -even if I limp away after short periods of time.
However as it’s the feast of the Sacred Heart today I thought I’d give you an update on the hallway, with its dedication to the Sacred Heart, and in particular the doorways that I’ve painted. The hallway isn’t finished so you’ll see some snags in the paintwork amongst other things which I’ll touch up prior to those final details.
The doors originally looked like this…
I’d already added the vintage fingerplates and I knew I’d paint and gild the doors as I did in the dining room, but as you can see from these picture I’ve also added a feature on the top….
These were wood mouldings bought here that I didn’t painted gold. They tie in with the wood carving over thee main door. Those of you who read the blog at that time will remember that I’d bought this old top from an armour and put it above the door (the post is here).
As you can see I’ve highlighted this in gold too. I’m considering hand painting some roses in the panel that is bare as I did with my secrétaire. When I have more energy I’ll get to it.
On the doors you can see I’ve filled the gaps between the armoir carving with these wood mouldings bought here and spray painted gold.
You can also see that I’ve added additional flourish mouldings bought here and, again, spray painted gold. I’ve also highlighted details on the door in gold too. I did this as these doors are original Art Deco, which would be great in a more modern scheme but doesn’t really go with this. I took a chance that the details would bring it in line with the rest of the room and I think they’ve worked.
Previously I’ve given how tos on the panelling (here and here) but these were literally paint, glue them on and then repaint any details that need it. I haven’t done that last part yet due to my illness and you can see that when I remove the masking tape a little extra gold and blue came with it. It will be done.
You can see the little, porcelain door handle that used to be in the dining room that I’ve now moved here as I thought they went so well with the decor theme and colours.
I gave you a sneak peak of the marble relief picture, but here it is in more detail…
You’ll notice I’ve used the picture rail. The picture is so heavy I’d taken it down for fear of it dropping and smashing. I’d ordered the wire and picture rail hooks from here and here and it had taken some time to get to France (I hadn’t seen an equivalent here). They’re the brace to the belt of the picture hook and eye system that I’d already used. I’m a little more confident now that it will remain there.
The Queen Anne chair has been pictured on both sides of the room as shortly after I took the photos my husband came in and complained about its position. He thought that as it was just in front of the door it was an inconvenience. So I moved it to the other side.
Here’s a close up of the ceramic umbrella stand which is an original Art Deco piece and suits the colouring of the room superbly. I think it mimics the central chandelier with its pink candle cap light shades and the ceiling rose that reflects the stained glass design I made (see here).
In these shots you can see the cornice I’ve added and, unfortunately, the unfinished side panels. The one drawback of ordering the wood carvings from China is that they take soooooo long getting here and I’m waiting for two more pieces.
I was going to add some more wood carvings on the ceiling and above the picture rail, but it looks ‘enough’ now, and I don’t want to spoil it by adding more. Some of them have already arrived and I think I’ll use them in the dining room where I’d intended to do something similar.
What I am also waiting for is some crystal droplets to arrive for the chandelier – I’ll post with the other details as well as one more little thing I want to add.
So I moved the chair on the other side. I covered this about three years ago and had considered recovering it in gold damask as I have some material upstairs just waiting to be used. However seeing it here I’m not so sure I’ll rush into that.
Here’s a reverse shot of the chair. I’ve always loved the rose pattern on the reverse of the chair. I think the umbrella stand looks good here too.
Above the radiator, which I’ve spray painted pale blue along with the gold shelf, are some old dress design prints. One is from a collection in 1914….
or season one Downton, and the other is from 1922….
Now is that season three or four? Doesn’t the old telephone suit them?
Anyway I think they’re beautiful and the black and gold seems to tone down the cutesy girliness of the room as does, I hope, the muted pink and taupe.
I’ve replaced the photos of my great grandmothers, again. Whenever I decorate a new room they are ceremonially moved into it it seems.
Here’s a close up of that beautiful clock. I haven’t even tried to get it going yet. I don’t think it has a key. I know I won’t be winding it up every day so why fuss?
Finally here’s a close up of my Sacred Heart statue. I’ve added some tea light holders and flowers so it doesn’t look so bare as before. I’m dedicating all my family to Him anew today. Are you?
I haven’t been posting or even reading other blogs as I’ve been hard at it trying to complete the front hallway.
Do you remember when I said I was only going to do a little bit at a time? Ha! I’ve put up a cornice, a picture rail, painted it, added details to the doors….I’m aching 😩, but now it’s taking shape and I’m so happy and excited 🤩.
With lots more to do I thought I’d take the time to share these little glimpses of how it’s taking shape.
Here are my beautiful, vintage Sacred Heart if Jesus and Mary statues on a gold shelf…
Without intending to it seems that the décore of the hallway compliments them beautifully.
This relief is marble and incredibly heavy. I bought the little lights when we first started coming to France. As I dreamed of living here I tucked them away. Now they’re on our wall!
This Art Nouveau holy water fountain is perfect here isn’t it? It’s in pewter and compliments the doors superbly. As you can see I’ve yet to finish the first set of panels as I’m waiting for some more pieces.
I’ll post on the details I’ve added to the doors soon.
You may have noticed my long absence; I’ve had so much to contend with and in the middle of it all I decided to start the second part of our mouldings. I cannot tell you what a mistake that was! It turned out to be a huge job -not the mouldings themselves, which were simple, but I suddenly found myself doing lots of other work around them too.
I’ve seen on Pinterest lots of helpful ‘how tos’ on wainscoting or panels to your walls. I always think they look classic and they’re on my decorating want list for the other entrance.
However with the main entrance I wanted something more classicly French that would still go with my Art Noufaux doors (how to here). So I came up with this way to add faux panels (take a look at the more intricate panels in my first how to here).
Throughout the hallway was textured wallpaper with an underlay of very thin polystyrene. This had been used because the plaster beneath was rough and in some places falling a part. So the reason I’ve been delayed, amongst other things, is I’ve been stripping most of the wallpaper off and plastering the wall as well as starting to work on covering the seams of the remaining wallpaper to paint.
I’ve also added a picture rail. If you want a how to for either of these let me know in the comment box below.
For the panels I used19mm half rounds and more decorative wood appliques. The ones I used are here…
You need to decide if you want rectangles or squares for the panels. I chose rectangles as they elongate the room. I cut all my half rounds into the same length though as the height and length of the mounding still were very different so they actually created the rectangular shape.
Unlike the other panels I painted the wall before I applied them to make it easier to decorate post paneling. However I’m not sure if this was the best thing. I’m going for a two tone look in this section and I think I wasted paint in the middle which will be painted over with a taupe colour. Here’s my inspiration for this section by the way….
One benefit of painting first is that you can see blue through the fretwork of the scrolls, as you can see here…
I’d also pre painted the lengths and scrolls. Painting delicate details in situ can be tricky so this gave me a head start. My gold liquid paint is a slightly lighter colour, so I’m going to use the two shades as a detail itself.
As I had to work around the radiator, which I’ve sprayed the same shade of blue and it’s given it a new lease of life, it naturally led to my considering it in the placing of the panels considering its dimensions. Would I place it near the wall, and therefore have the entire panel on display, or would I have some of the detail behind the radiator itself? I went for the latter as I wanted the panels to be parallel to each other and, as there was no impediment on the other side, the spacing wouldn’t look right.
Work out the spacing?
Prior to continuing I placed what would be the upper half of the panels on the floor running alongside the wall to have an idea of how they’d fit. Satisfied I carried on to the next part.
Obviously when I was working out where to place the mouldings I measured the half rounds in addition to the lengths of the appliqués and then with the depth. As I was going to have two panels I subtracted the total of the two from the length of the wall and I was left with 32 cms. So I decided to allow for the majority of the gap in between and divided the space as 10cms, panel length, 12cms, panel length, 10cms.
I did the same with the depth, deciding on a distance of 5cms between the wall and the length of the wood scroll.
Adding the first detail
Just like my previous tutorial I used no more nails and immediately applied some to the back of the first, wooden scroll. I measured 5cms down and 10cms in and applied it to the wall. Using my infra red beamed spirit level I continued along.
Adding the first length
NMN was added to the half round and applied to the wall with the spirit level’s aid. However I checked the distance from the dado rail with my measure as we’ll.
It’s really important to do this as in an old house like this (ours is definitely pre 1850s, they only kept records after that date, so it could be sìgnificantly older) there is often movement in the walls etc. So although the houses are solid they may not be 100% level. As a result a level line might not coincide with the dado rail.
Continue with the rest of the rectangle.
Measure the width between the rectangles and start again
Is this sounding simple? It is. It would probably be tricker if I didn’t have the dado rail already. After the internal double doors, where I plan to continue the moulding, there’s no dado rail. I’ll have to apply a dado rail there and I’ll post about that then.
In the corners it was too small for individual panels without them looking odd, so I continued the panel around the bend. This meant still using four of the scrolls, the same half round length for the depth and a significantly reduced horizontal half round.
I glued the two top scrolls first, then worked out the different length for the top horizontal. Having glued the verticals and the second scrolls I worked out the next horizontal before gluing. Like with the previous panels I checked the measurements throughout.
More odd areas
The next odd areas where too narrow for double scrolls, so I used this carved, corner detail and a scroll without any horizontal half rounds. I’m actually really pleased how this one turned out.
I painted the interiors this taupe colour, but I feel it’s a little strong. I intend to add a raised stencil to that area in the blue to tone it down. I’ll update you on that as well.
I’ve also used a complimentary gold to highlight the scroll detail and, as you can see in my last ‘odd area’ I’ve started to highlight parts in gold.
Of course, I’ve done it all out of order as I should have started with the ceiling first. However I was waiting for coving to arrive and was too eager. Next will be door details and following that the coving, ceiling details and a feature between the picture rail and the coving. Subscribe so you don’t miss any of it and let me know in the comments what you think – I’d love your feedback!
It may seem strange that I’ve started the hallway when we’re still working on the kitchen, I’ve not completed the curtains in the hallway, or the final couch upholstery (I always wait for my hubby to be travelling for work and the children’s to be in school to sew), and even the dining room isn’t at the point I’d like it to be. However, having finished the Art Noufaux window (how to here) on our front door I thought to myself that on days when I can’t get a lot else done I can do a small section at a time.
So here’s how I’ve started to give our hallway a more classic, French Provincial look along with that painted ceiling medallion we put up last year.
Choose possible decorative mouldings
As you can see in order to create the panelling I’m using decorative wood mouldings. If you go to eBay and put this phrase in you will find lots of options that come up and I started by watching ones that cause my eye.
I found this exampler wood moulding on Pinterest which demonstrates how each one is made from adding additional shapes to one another…
Make a plan
The first thing to do is get an idea of how you want your layout to look and what pieces you could use to achieve it. I saved images from eBay and used the edit function to frame them as close as possible in order to use them in a design. Then in a document I inserted the images and played around with them. Mine ended up looking like this….
You’ll notice how I’ve made a note of the height and width of each piece as I needed to ensure that the entire width didn’t exceed the panel and that the design would work overall.
I changed the design slightly on application, but this enabled me to have an idea of what to order.
Here is what I used to make the panels and the links where you can buy them…
I tried to use carvings that were classically French but also reflected the stylised flowers of Art Nouveau because of the doors. I think it was successful 🤷♀️.
Place the central piece
I put the central piece in place first as it’s wide and I wanted to make sure I have enough space for it.
I measure and marked a halfway, central point then used my spirit level to draw a line as a guide for positioning the moulding.
I use no more nails glue, wiping any excess with a wet baby wipe. Immediately after I placed it I used my spirit level again to make sure it was positioned right so that, if necessary, I could move it slightly whilst the glue was still wet.
Start to measure out the outer design
The height of my area was 230cms and my lengths of curved wood are 200cms. I marked my lengths at the half way point, I applied glue to one and placed it with the half way mark in line with the central point.
Then, using a spirit level make sure they are in the correct position all the way down. I used one with a beam; it really helped throughout the process as it gives an indicator of where the length should run from start to finish.
Whenever you’ve finished gluing a moulding in place use a wet wipe to gently wipe away the excess so you aren’t left with unslightly bumps when it’s dried.
Repeat with the second length, then add your corner mouldings prior to your horizontal lengths so that you can ensure you have sufficient space. Once the corners are glued in place, again ensuring they are level, measure, cut and place the horizontal lengths.
You may notice a slight gap between my length and the corner moulding on the left. When it’s comes time to paint and finish it all I’ll just fill this with wood filler – I’ll update you on that later.
To to add mouldings at the top and the base
As you can see I have a design, consisting of two seperate mouldings, towards the top and the bottom of the panel. I placed my first moulding by measuring halfway along the base to find the midway point, then I just placed the first one so that the centre of the moulding was in line with this. When I later placed these it was necessary to measure the distance from the edge of the panel too to ensure there was a mirrored image.
Unfortunately I didn’t have a free hand to take pictures of this part, but here’s an image of how I knew that the tip of the upper Mouldings was central wit her the laser spirit level.
I’d chosen a longer, thinner moulding to compliment this first shape as it elongated the section. The moulding had broken in the post, but i managed to fit it together when gluing and will smooth it over with wood filler when I do the gap.
Can you see how I’ve chosen the mouldings to fit together? This is a ‘toe to toe’ meeting as it were, I’ll give you a close up of the alternative next.
Add the final mouldings
I also added two more mouldings to the central one. Again it elongated the central moulding and the fact that this central part was bigger than the two ends gav et the entire panel balance.
When you chose your mouldings really consider how they’d fit together if you want a similar look -it makes the planning part essential. Here the mouldings is in the indentation of the central one so it ends up looking like all one piece.
Give it a coat of primer
No matter the final effect your going for you will need to give the naked wood a coat of primer, otherwise you’ll waste expensive paint.
A bonus of using mouldings is that, depending on how many mouldings you’re going to create, you might want to take things slow. It’s not a hard process, but this panel took a couple of hours to do, so an intricate group of panneling will take a while and you may not finish straight away.
With this method I can do a panel or section a week and my down stairs hallway could be done by Christmas without too much stress. I couldn’t do this without anaglypta or something like that, so that and the fact that this is significantly less expensive than the former is a real plus.
Painting it with primer gives it a cohesive look in the meantime.
At the risk of sounding pantomimey – what do you think of I think so far? (Altogether now children – rubbish! 😉)
Although I’ve mainly been posting about the potagère I’ve had some projects bubbling away in the background and I want to share this one with you today.
I’ve posted some of the stained glass doors that I love here, but as I said in my post about our house front it’s uniform, drab exterior was one of the down sides of our otherwise wonderful home. I’ve racked my brains to make it more ‘us’, whilst not spending a fortune or opening up our house to the elements. Having rented in an old, Normandy farm house with traditional wood windows I treasure our double glazing!
So when I saw this video of a couple creating a stained glass window effect on their doors I bookmarked it for later.
I really would take a look at this, anything I’m writing here is an add on to this helpful video.
Find a design
First to my inspiration…….
I love it and as we have white, double doors it seemed to fit perfectly. I approached the project a bit differently than the couple in the video as I had a design to work from. There are loads more photos of stained glass on Pinterest as well as designs for you to copy.
I used one of these for my upper window…..
the centre is obviously intended for a house humber, but having just been to La Basilique du Sacré Cœur I’ve included that in the centre
Make a plan on plastic backed, squared paper
So, studying the door, I made a plan of it on squared paper. I used the kind of stuff you cover school books with as it has a plastic backing. This meant that I could just stick the plan to the other side of the front door to follow and if it did rain there was a little protection whilst I got it inside.
The first thing I did was to measure a piece of it so it matched the door’s window area. This meant I had something to scale.
I found if you look at the door design it naturally fall into thirds, so having marking off the exterior border, I divided my door plan similarly. You can see by the series of photographs I took below how I made my version section by section….
The circles were made by drawing round a glass pebble as I intended to use these in the final design. There were occasions when I made mistakes, but any time I did I just went over that area with a red line so I knew to ignore it.
The final design wasn’t perfect, and the end result I adapte a little, but it was a good place to start.
Put the design on the exterior window to follow
I just stuck mine to the outside window with masking tape and followed it internally.
Cut approximate lengths of ‘lead’ and follow the design
Unwrap a length of ‘lead’ to the size of whatever part of the design you’re copying and cut it with scissors. It pays to add a little extra on to ensure you have enough. Unpeel the backing then attach that strip to where you want to start applying. Using the tool given rub the strip really hard to get it to stick well. Continue removing the backing, following the design and rubbing until the entire length is applied. Be prepared for a sore arm! Once you reach the end, if you need to, trim the length to fit the design.
Whenever you come to an overlapping part press down and rub really hard to ensure it’s stuck before continuing.
For curved pieces consider cutting the tape in half
On the video she scores the tape prior to cutting, but I found I couldn’t cut it in half as it was difficult to be sure I wasn’t at an angle. So I just ended up cutting with a sharp pair of scissors and that worked fine.
With half the thickness the tape is more flexible and easier to create the line you want.
Stick glass beads to the window with waterproof gel glue
When you’re approaching a point when you need to apply a glass bead add a little glue to the bead base and some to the point you want to stick it. Continue working leaving the bead to the side so the glue becomes tacky, then stick the bead on. Keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t fall off, pushing it back in place when necessary.
When the design is finished use liquid lead for joints and surrounding beads
Just go over any joints with it to ensure it’s secured well, and encircle the beads too.
Take a step back and look at the design to ensure you’re satisfied
When I did this I wasn’t entirely satisfied; this is what I saw….
I suddenly realised the design I was copying was on a slimmer door and mine looked squatter. I chose to broke up each section by adding dividing details as you can see in the final section.
When the design is in place use glass paint to finish
My husband, who is never one to hide any scepticism of my decorating projects, kept coming and going throughout giving me funny looks. However when I took the plan down from the door and called him over he looked so pleasantly surprised it was comical!
Painting the glass with glass paint is relatively easy but be careful not to overload the area with the liquid as it will seep into the leaded areas and will show up on the other side. So lots of light layers.
I used these colours…..
I’d sometimes add layers of different, complimentary colours after one had dried. Sometimes I’d do this more towards the base or top or outer edge depending on the effect I wanted. Add several layers to get a more authentic look.
It looks good from the outside too, but I’ve got another little project currently being worked on so I’m going to post some pictures of that later. In the meantime here’s some close ups…..
I love the way it compliments the chandelier.
Some men came to deliver something to the house the other day. It was nearly done at that point, but I still had most of the colour to do, so it was evidently an ongoing job. He asked if I’d done it and seemed impressed. When the second man came over and they thought I was out of earshot they were discussing the window. In French one was pointing out the intricacy of the design in seemingly glowing terms and the other was saying he loved the colours. So between them and my husband I’ll take it as a job well done.
If you have any questions drop me a line and I’ll do my best to answer them.
You may remember how I shared pictures of our hallway this time last year. The orange brown carpet covering the walls were…..well see for yourself…..
Well, I’ve been planning our Easter decorations for this year (see here, here and here for last year’s Easter wreaths, for an Easter garland and this year’s coasters) and wanted to do a group of stair garlands. These turning stairs wind up two more floors and are really pretty so they’re crying our for some statement decor.
But that carpet! anything I did would be set against that 😩. So on Monday when the kids went back to school I’d had enough and, on just the bottom level, the carpet came off.
My husband thought I was crazy at first as I’d been in the middle of ironing and I’m still doing the kitchen. So to start something new was a bit….unnecessary to say the least. But I just started when I was boiling the kettle for tea, then each time I went for a cup I did a little more stripping it off.
As it went my husband’s mood lifted – the hall was so much lighter. He definitely came round to my way of thinking. I left the lining on the walls and, as my local discount store Action does some very inexpensive chalk paint, I used some cans of that to start painting where I’d taken the carpet off. It’s giving it a nice linen type feel because of the texture of the paper underneath.
Here it is with the lining and painted (the paint I sent still wet in the second pick, hence the differences in colour)….
It’s not a long term solution, I haven’t even tried to smooth over the lines where the paper meets, nevertheless I’ve started to think about what I’ll be doing in the hallway in the (probably distant) future.
Mouldings or Stencils
When I first started thinking about how I’d decorate my hallway I looked to Lincrusta. Anyone who follows my Pinterest account will know that I have a whole board dedicated to this form of decorating. However it’s very expensive (£200+ a roll) and challenging to put up. So no on both counts.
I’m also a big fan of wainscotting, so had considered this too. Following my application of mouldings to the kitchen island though I started to think about just applying mouldings beneath a dado rail; much easier to do than wainscotting as you don’t have to mitre anything, super simple going upstairs and I can also achieve a look of pared down Lincrusta.
You can buy mouldings relatively cheaply, ranging from 1 – 20€ depending on what you chose. However you obviously need several for each section you make, but ultimately it shouldn’t be more expensive than wallpapering.
Added to that if you wish to use mouldings above the dado rail you can consider making moulds yourself from an original in plaster. I wouldn’t suggest using these below the dado rail as it’s more likely to receive blows from everyday life so it needs to be tougher; a bit like Lincrusta.
The other good thing about doing it this way is that it can be added in layers; mouldings can be bought and applied for below the dado rail, then perhaps to cupboard doors, then walls etc. Not only can this make a huge project more accessible, it means the cost can be spread out over the year and, as there is a danger that it could all get a bit overblown, you have time to reflect at each stage to make sure you get the balance right.
I’ve been on Pinterest to start planning and here are the different ways these can be used.
Gold and Highlighted Mouldings
A more simple look, mouldings can be painted a simple gold like this where the gold compliments the duck egg blue beautifully. Notice how the walls are kept white beneath it, so the over all impression isn’t too gaudy.
Here is a similar style but used on walls.
The wall panelling is beautiful, but I personally think this level of guilded intricacy is best suited for a grand space, for a grander house. Although our French home isn’t modest by my standards (my first home was a tiny, Victorian terrace after all) it isn’t a grand chateau either.
If you look at these next images of the blue and gold the simpler use of mouldings keep the beauty of the colour paring, and the wow factor without entering the realms of Liberace. The final image is very sedate in comparison.
Complimentary Tone Mouldings
I could forgo the gold completely of course, here are images of contrasting and same tone mouldings.
The last one is beautiful, but I can’t help feeling that’s home with a lot of servants and no children! I have similar colouring to the first one in my dining room, so I’m thinking of adding that there. However as this will eventually be our ‘guest’ entrance, I want a more relaxed family entrance into the kitchen, I like the idea of a subtle gold to add something of a wow factor; particularly at the times of the major feasts, Christmas and Easter.
Various Tones Painted Mouldings
There is also the possibility of painting the details of the mouldings in different colours and having alternative, complimentary shades. Here are the some examples….
They’re subtle and I like that. Here are the mouldings painted, which can be done in neutral, subdued or more vibrant tones…
I really like the second image, but the third seems to go with the ceiling medallion I’ve already painted which you can see again here…
Mouldings and Stencils
A less expensive combination is mouldings and stencilling, so you have the effect of the former with, depending on how you do it, the reduced cost of the latter. Obviously I’m thinking of making my own stencils, which can be very expensive. Nevertheless a prepared stencil is still significantly cheaper than rolls of wallpaper and repeated uses of mouldings depending on the area that needs to be decorated.
These ones below are using the subtle blue pallet; I especially like the tall slim panels which I can see either side of the front door. The mouldings themsełves are basic, it’s the stencil that adds the intricate detail.
These have more intricate mouldings, painted using a variety of colours…
The following is one that doesn’t use a stencil, but is a handpainted rose. Those of you who’ve seen my secrétaire desk know how I enjoy hand painting my furniture, so this could be used in conjunction with the image below which has detail below the dado rail…
The reason why I like the panel below the dado rail in the one above is that it looks just as effective below and it could be something that I use to counteract my following point.
Space For Pictures
Where we used to live in England I had a gallery of family pictures going up the wall of the stairway and, as you can see in the images above, here I have some old engraving prints of the local sights in local Normandy. I want to continue using what I have as well as adding my family photos. The difficulty with stencils and mouldings above the dado rail is that it could be hard to find an appropriate space to hang them.
An alternative is wallpaper in the mouldings, or a stencil made to look like wallpaper…
Or still using the more intricate stencils, but as a for me of frame like these…
In fact to me, if you compare these last images with those first few of the blue and gold, they seem to strike the best note of French Provincial – pretty, with period charm – to grandiose.
I’m hoping I haven’t gone into full Liberace territory with this, so any feedback is welcome. Our hallway when we arrived was lovely and spacious, but I of course I was itching to decorate. With the most minimal means possible. As this post showed I’d removed the existing radiator shelf and had salvaged the buffet top to add a little period style, and some art nouveau style prints complimented these.
Then for Christmas my hubby’s aunt and uncle gave us a welcome gift of an Amazon voucher. He didn’t get a look in. If you remember he’d gone away to America for six months and having found beautiful ceiling medallions on Pinterest (you can follow me at the top of the page) I’d ordered one and had it sent to us.
By that time I hadn’t put up any light fittings by myself, something which I’m becoming more accustomed to, and so I’d put it aside waiting for someone to help me. In the meantime I’d concentrated on adding details to the dining room and utility, as well as putting up the odd picture here and there.
I’d managed to fix some polystyrene coving in the dining room (I’d chosen this in the end over pricier options because of, you know, price – and ease of putting it up). I’ll go into this in detail later, but I really learnt a lot from the experience.
One thing I did take away from it was painting the surface before hand. When it just comes to applying the coving and painting it white if there is a contrasting wall colour then it’s probably best to not do so, or at least be prepared to touch up areas afterwards. However when I tried to paint the ceiling medallion it was really difficult in situ, so I’d decided to paint the other one before hand this time. This is the Orac medallion before hand…
these are the steps I took to paint it…..
and this is the finished medallion.
I was eager whilst I was doing this to put it up straight away. However now I have a dilemma; if I do so before painting I’m bound to get some on the medallion and need to touch it up. However, if I paint first experience has taught me that the thick white glue I’ll use will go on the painted surface, so I’ll still have to touch up this, which will mean the possibility of touching up the medallion. Mmmm.
Let’s face it……only one of these options has me putting up the medallion straight away so all things being equal…..