Monday, March 12, 2012

Empire Room:

The Empire room took inspiration from the print of Josephine on the mantle and the print of Napoleon above the bed. I wanted a strong tone in the room that would contrast with the bedroom that is across the landing on the opposite side of the house. I call it the Bird Room as the wallpaper shows a prominent blue bird.

This photo shows the bare bones of the room that measures 12"x21" (31x53cm). The herringbone flooring is made from plain strip wood flooring, cut into strips and reconfigured.

I painted heavy watercolour paper then glued it into place for the wall paper. Of course I had to add gold painted base board and molding.

To divide the room I painted two decorative cake supports with black enamel spray paint and highlighted the detailing with gold paint. I added painted blocks of wood on the top and bottom of the columns to make them fit the height of the room.

I had originally made and tried two coronet styles to hold the bed curtains at the ceiling. Both took up too much space and blocked the through view so I simply lined two walls with the curtains on gold rods.

I do not have a pleater but used pins and a piece of dowel to shape the pleats on dense camping foam, then sprayed it with hair spray to fix the shape.  The rods are bamboo skewers painted gold (of course) and supported with earring backs.

The mahogany-look wooden sleigh bed was enhanced with jewellery findings.

You have seen the desk before but the lamps were wired into the wall so this is their first appearance. Behind the bed is another cake-column that has been marbleized and will be used as a side table at the end of the bed.

Above Bruce is double checking that the art work is straight! Green tape holds them on the wall while the glue dries. The bed is not made yet but the side table is dressed with a French-style clock (made by my friend Elizabeth), a couple of small photos and a curvaceous black lamp. On the right of the photo is a clamp applying pressure to the hearth for the fireplace. I made it from plaster of Paris. Bruce approved the print placement so I can continue!

Oh dear, a bit of rewiring as the bulb blew when the wiring was pulled out when our two-year-old grandson wanted to have a closer look. I do love that he is interested. However we are still looking for a tiny racing car he borrowed from the children's room.

The bed has been made, the cushions plumped, the prints declared glued and chairs placed on the rug.  The butler's tray displays one of Elizabeth's trays shown in detail in an earlier post. Sheets are made from a fine, very old handkerchief with tiny edging. Large European shams match drapes, a tiny heavily-embroidered cushion is tucked under a striped silk cushion that matches the round bolster at the end of the bed. A bee cushion taken from a section of upholstery fabric reinforces the Napoleonic  theme.

Close up of the bed area - more Napoleonic prints behind the lamp and on the floor. I feel that despite the masculine prints it is still a feminine room. I hope I have achieved that in any case.

Evening has come and the lighting enhances the atmosphere. Will that lazy girl not take her tray downstairs!

Josephine above the mantle - soon to have more trim. Napoleon figurine at her feet and the screen helps to divide the room.

Bespaq cupboard stained mahogany, edged in black with gold trim. The battle of the Nile on the cupboard doors. Egyptian mummy head from a necklace placed in the centre above the cupboard.

On the opposite wall mahogany stained bombe set of drawers, ivory bead vanity set and a candlestick lamp.

Extra trim on the fireplace surround to give it more weight, crystal bead candlestick, flowers in thimble urn with bee symbol. The figurine has been promoted from the hearth to the mantle.

Now Cleo the cat has appeared and a summer dress..... is it from the Dior bag below?

Late afternoon shadows lengthen. I love the light through the pale blue dress.

That was quite a day of shopping!  T. turquoise and silver necklace and earrings, V. scarf (thank you to the thrift store for lovely silk ties), Louis V. purse peeking out from packaging, H.  box with leather H. belt , interesting things still to be unpacked from the H. bag on the floor. Coco perfume in the C. bag.
Oh! my poor feet, so happy to kick off my shoes. I'm downstairs, barefoot, delivering the bag of Godiva chocolates I bought for the family. Everything else is for lucky me!

A close up of my lovely embroidered-lawn cotton dress - such a soft blue!

Night is falling.

I must be drifting off to sleep, I feel as if I may be floating on the ceiling.

Good Night All.  Thank you for visiting.


  1. It looks wonderful and you do have a very nice fireplace. It's a lovely picture with all the lights on. You did have a lot of fun making all these pictures I guess and thanks for sharing.

  2. Fantastico reportaje!!!Me encanta este dormitorio!!!
    Besos de las Malu´s,

  3. Absolutely beautiful.
    You did a marvellous job with the room. The floor looks great, the wallas are a beautifuk color, and you have the perfect pieces of furniture and accessories. Very well done!
    All the best,

  4. This is lovely - a very homey looking room with such interesting accessories. You must have had so much fun collecting all these bits and pieces (always with an eye out for a bee?)

    1. Good Morning Irene, I do have fun keeping an " eye out" for anything that can possibly be interpreted as miniature. I began looking for swan themed items as the Josephine motif but as I am an enthusiastic gardener the bee seemed to appear and appeal. You will see a swan set of drawers in the living room at a later date that was originally slated for the Empire room. The rooms do seem to take on a life of their own!
      Regards and many thanks for commenting it is very encouraging.
      regards Janine

  5. Great work and lovely pictures! Thank you for sharing.

  6. Que fantasticos trabajo y que maravillosas fotografias, enhorabuena.
    besitos ascension

  7. What a gorgeous room! You have such a wonderful eye for decorating! I love the curtains and really love how those columns turned out!! Wonderful accessories too!

  8. Wow! This room is Fantastic! You have put together some wonderful details! I LOVE that you have made so many of the pieces from ordinary stuff!!! And I Love the colors in this room! Such Atmosphere! Just Beautiful! I want to collapse on that settee......!

  9. Wonderful! A real work of art.

  10. What an amazing room, Janine! I love it, the colours, the furnitures and how you arranged and made the photos of everything :)

  11. I'm so happy to find your wonderful blog. Your house very beautiful. I love that your husband is also working on the house as you.
    Hugs from Craftland

  12. J'ai passé un agréable moment à découvrir votre maison de poupées .J'aime beaucoup les couleurs choisies pour la salle empire .Vous avez de belles pièces de collection .J'ai essayé de devenir membre mais cela ne marche pas je reviendrai !

  13. Janine dear, how are you? I hope so! It's been a few months since your last post. I hope that in the meantime you've finished the final touches to your beautiful home in the French style. Or maybe even the garden. These days I have translated all of your posts. I found out, so your creativity. Come back soon, therefore, surprise us! Kisses!

  14. Wow and wow!! It's truly fantastic! And good luck finding the tiny racing car ;)

    Thanks for your note, it's a combination of things that has kept me from blogland pretty much for a while but I am okay thanks, only a few more weeks of uni left and it'll be the end of the academic year and I can get some more playtime again - also it's spring here now so I'll be feeling more like getting into my workshop with the warmer weather about.

  15. Que trabalho incrível.Parabéns pela bela arte.

  16. Hello ,,,, since forever I dream of my 'dolls' house but not the regular kind ,, THIS kind ,,,, I patine shop bought plain stuff and buy miniatures here and there ,,, some antiques unrecognised by sellers ,,,,, this is gorgeous ,,, soon to retire I am going to begin ,,, knowing how compulsive I am it will be something !!! you have some amazing miniaures ,, especially furniture ,,, do you recommend a store/site ,,, I always seem to come across 'doll' stuff ,,,, best wishes and many thanks Stéphanie