I have cut a hole in the ceiling of the study in order to build the library as a gallery above the study. A spiral staircase will connect the two floors. On the gallery I have built bookcases out of all the bits of wood I had left. The first few books are finished. Now all that remains is to fill the bookcase! I have fixed copper curtain-rails to the lower cabinets on which I'll hang little curtains. That way I can cheat a little with the amount of books I have to make.....
I've had to do a lot of thinking and measuring to make the spiral staircase, but it fits perfectly. I had some trouble figuring out which way it should turn, after all, you have to be able to walk upstairs without bumping your head into the ceiling. By using a paper template and a doll I was able to solve the riddle.
On this photograph you can see the staircase in situ, held in position by two clamps. The floors are made with strips of teak veneer, sanded down and waxed.
Where would I be without Jaap, who gave me all this lovely teak? My stock is running a little bit low, I've used all the best pieces. Now I have to ask myself: What do I want to make, how do I want to make it, what bits of wood do I have left, can I make what I want with it? Well, not always. Sometimes I have to adjust a plan because I don't have the suitable materials.
In the study I have made a low bookcase with an integrated desk below the windows. I wanted to make the top out of one piece, but I only had some very thin wood left, so I glued strips of leftover wood to all the edges to make it look more robust.
In these rooms again everything can be easily removed. For me this is an ideal way of working, whenever I forget something or want to add something later on, it will be quite easy to do so.
To prevent accidents from happening, I built a fence on the gallery of the library. I used curtain poles and some materials I found in a model-railway shop to make the railing.
At least Swapke was enjoying my books! Swapke stays in different dolls houses all over the country, and in February 2006 she came to stay with me for a week. Check out her adventures during this stay at Swapke's website. We even went on a very short trip to New York!
In the background some of the books I scanned from my own library. Even Shakespeare's Macbeth is there. Swapke chose a Dutch children's book by our own famous writer Annie MG Schmidt.
View of part of the library, now filled with books. The lamp in the center has been replaced by a beautiful chandelier.
View from the study to the library above, which can be reached via the spiral staircase.
Arts & Crafts has been used as a major source of inspiration for this room, so it should not be without a book about William Morris. I've reduced one of my own books in size using my scanner and computer and printed it on photo paper. As a novice in this field I was amazed at the quality of the prints, even the small text on the front and back flaps can be read!
Twice a year there is a big miniatures fair in Arnhem (Holland)(Edit 2016: The fair is now in Ulft, Holland). A few of the lovely things I bought this fall (2004): a 'Tiffany' lamp by Ray Storey (can be seen better in one of the previous pictures), a tape dispenser, a tiny book about love and an album with very small stamps and a very small pair of tweezers (Tine Krijnen) and a working pair of scissors. I bought some very simple drawer-handles, and with a bit of wood and some paint turned them into a very handsome pair for my desk drawers.
I made the chair after an example of an early 20th century secretary's chair. As I wanted to use teak again, I had to cut a thick piece of wood into thinner 'slices' by using the circular saw. Not my favourite job, I'm always a bit anxious when I'm using that machine. Both the backrest and the seat have been carved out by using a rotary tool which makes for a very comfy desk-chair.
November 18th 2004 - I am just so lucky! Today Jaap (who gave me the teak) dropped by with a box full of cherry-wood. All different bits and sizes, from the thinnest veneer to a piece of solid cherry. The latter I think would make a nice cabinet. Jaap gave me some tips on working with cherry, because although cherry has a much finer grain than teak, cherry is more difficult to work with. Before I start working with this wood though, I have to finish the study and library!
I have finally had the time to make the curtains for the bookcases. Unfortunately I do not have enough fabric to also make some curtains for the windows. Now I need to find some new fabrics for the curtains and for some pretty matching cushions. The chair is by Arlette Shelton. She used some beautiful, fine and soft leather for it. A great chair to relax in with a good book.
I have finally finished the fireplace. There is coal in the fire basket and you can see the gentle glow of a warm fire. I've used some packaging material, red glass paint, miniature gravel from a model railway shop, and two lights connected to a flickering- unit to make the coal-fire.
In my 1:1 house I have a drawer full of little things which are special to me. In it I found this beautiful Japanese Satsuma button which once belonged to my husband's grandmother. Because of its size and the incredibly fine decoration, the ceramic button can easily double as a decorative plate.
Apart from the Satsuma button, I also found a small ivory head and a carved mother of pearl gambling chip in my drawer. They also now serve as decoration on the chimney piece. The mother of pearl carved piece was found on the street by my husband many years ago. The watercolour 'Dutch landscape in the snow' was painted by me in 2004 and has now found a place in the study. To the right (visible in one of the photos below) is another one of my watercolours, 'Dutch landscape with windmill'.
The beautiful English lantern clock has a running clockwork and was made by Jim Watt.
Next to the fireplace I've made a 'cozy corner', a nice place to retreat to with a book. These 'cozy corners' were a very common design feature in Arts & Crafts interiors. The cushions were made from a small woven carpet. I used acrylic paint to tone down the bright colours. The large pillow on the seat was made by Bir:Oniki, it is a hand knotted camel saddle bag (in miniature obviously). The wallpaper is 'Pimpernel' by William Morris. I made the fire screen during a class with Barry Hipwell.
I have put a comfortable seat by the fire. The Arts & Crafts style chair has been made by Kari Bloom of Miniton Miniatures. The sides and back of the chair have a beautiful detail: green glazed tiles set into the wood. The fabric on the cushions is called 'Lodden', a design by William Morris.
It is always important to have good lighting when reading. I found this fantastic desk light at the miniatures show in London in May 2004, it is by David Provan. I made the revolving bookcase from a kit.
The 'tiger skin' on the floor next to the fireplace is a hand knotted rug made by Bregje of Bir:Oniki. The Sarak Ak-Su carpet (originally from West Turkistan, Central Asia) was also made by her.
The stairwell leading to the basement can best be seen through the window by the desk. The stairs are hidden from view by the closed balustrade which is lined with the same fabric I used for the curtains (see photo at the bottom of the page).
The artists metamorphic desk with bookstand was, just as the Charles Voysey chair, made by Keith Bougourd.
On the right hand side of the study is the staircase to the upper floors. Again I used teak veneer for the risers. For the banister, like I did in the Hall, I made a specially fitted 'angled piece', so that the handrail turns nicely towards the newel post. I made the newel post from a description in a miniatures magazine, a lot of work, but I like the result.
The photograph on the right shows how I made the newel post.
Some nice things have found their way to the study: a few books, a letter on the desk, a tape dispenser (with real tape!), a stamp holder, a briefcase, a stamp collector's book...