The first room I worked on is one of the reception rooms on the main floor, the Yellow Salon.  This room is located in the center of the house, with windows on the left-hand side looking out onto the inner courtyard.  On the right-hand side of the room is a pair of sliding doors leading into the reception room at the front of the house. 

The room is 35 cm wide x 40 cm deep x 34 cm high.  When I take into account the thickness of the walls, the room is  31.5 x 39 x 32,5 cm.





Right photo:  I cut and painted all the wood needed to make the sash window.  The bigger parts are for the window frame, the thinner ones will become the glazing bars.

I found out that there is quite an art to cutting glass.  I ruined a lot of glass before I managed to get four window panes in the exact size I needed. 



The windows:

Sash windows are used in canal houses from the beginning of the 18th century.  In the third quarter of the 18th century (between 1750 and 1780)  the windows were devided by wooden muntins or glazing bars into four window panes in width (see the website of the VVAB).










I am using real glass for my windows, so the thickness of the glass (2 mm) dictates the thickness of the window frame.  In order to keep the glazing bars fairly narrow  and looking like the originals did, I cut small glazing bars which I glued onto both the inside and the outside of the window.   

I cut the window frame and glazing bars from lime wood.  Lime wood is strong enough to carry the weight of the glass and yet is easy to work with.  


Light in all rooms:

Because canal houses are often very deep, little light would penetrate into the some of the rooms if there would only be windows in the front and rear facades.  To make sure that all the rooms would benefit from daylight, inner courtyards and glass cupola's were often built in the center of the building.  To make optimal use of daylight, the windows were wide and on the main floors also very tall. 









I found the inspiration for the smaller reception room in this water colour from 1791 by W. Kroon  (from: Het Nederlands interieur in beeld 1600-1900,  Waanders publishers).  The water colour shows a fashionable neoclassical interior.  I like the dimensions of this room, spacious but not too big, quite cozy and comfortable.  

Just like I designed in my Yellow Salon, this room has very tall sash windows on the left, a fireplace in the middle and sliding (or at least double) doors on the right.    







With all the construction work going on everything gets very dirty.  High time for some serious cleaning!  You can hardly see anything through those windows, so a big bucket of soapy water is needed.



I bought the beautiful copper bucket some years ago from Philippe Bordelet.  He made wonderful copperware and fantastic copper stoves.  Unfortunately this French miniaturist passed away in 2008.   






I used these 18th century floor designs by Pieter de Swart as inspiration for the floor.



I had a large amount of wooden slats left over from blinds in my real house, so I decided to use these for the floor.

Unfortunately this meant I had to cut each floorboard five (!) times to get it to the right lenght and width.

After laying and gluing the wood, I gave the floor four coats of varnish using a colour which I mixed myself.  

I then put tiny nail marks on each floorboard, a subtle detail which can only be seen when you look really closely. 

On the cracks between the boards and the little nail holes I rubbed black shoe polish.  I finished it all off with a lyer of good old beeswax which gave the wood a beautiful warm glow.          



            'De kunstgalerij van Jan Gildemeester Jansz' ,              painted by Adriaan de Lelie, 1794-1795

The painting below represents two large ensuite rooms in Gildemeester's canal house at the Herengracht 475which he set up as an art gallery.   The painting is the second source I am using as inspiration for my two reception rooms. 

(From the collection of the Rijksmuseum)



I copied the curtains in the background of the painting for my Yellow Salon.  In my stash of fabrics I found a lovely golden yellow cotton which perfectly matched the colour of my wallpaper. 

Even though it is not the silk which I had originally intended to use, the fabric does work very well in the room. 




I did not have a pattern for the curtains, but by using a few paper templates I quickly found the right shape for them. 

By using the  'Pretty Pleater'  I made pleats in the fabric:  wet the fabric, push fabric into the pretty pleater and let it dry.  The curtains have been partly sown and partly glued.





I made the fireplace from wood.  For the decorative corner elements I made a mold from a pretty button and some fimo and cast two plaster ornaments from that.  

The wreath and guirlande decorations are made from Dresden paper. 

After I had painted the fireplace white I felt it was a little bit boring so I decided to marble the columns on the fireplace in colours matching the room. 


I liked the idea of having a weathered mirror above the fireplace. I used gold wax  (Treasure Gold by Connoisseur Studio) and black paint around the edges to achieve the effect of aged mirror glass.    It took quite a bit of elbow grease to get the wax to look good, but I am very pleased with the result! 



I bought the little wall lights years ago but never used them.  They seemed perfect for this room though.  I used 23 carat gold leaf to gild them and then electrified them.

I made panelling to go around the room.  I have routed many yards of moulding for it so I would have enough to put some on the fireplace and sliding doors as well. 




The photo on the right shows the different elements I used to make the panelling, as well as part of the sliding doors to the front reception room. 

The sliding doors are made of wooden frames with panels, finished with the same moulding as the panelling.  


For the decoration of the smaller panels on the sliding doors I used Dresden paper ornaments.  In these photos they still have their original golden colour which is a little bit garish,  but I have since painted the ornaments the same colour as the doors and lightly gilded them.   They now look more subtle and more part of the door.   



The tops and bottoms of the doors have little slits with small strips of plastic glued into them.   In the floor and on the wall above the doors there are narrow openings in which the plastic strips fit as runners, letting the doors open and close smoothly. 




The wallpaper I used in this room  is 'Francesca' by Small Interiors.  Because I felt the yellow was a bit strong for this room, I gave it a wash of white acrylic paint.   The colour now looks a little softer which I like better here.

When you apply a colour wash onto wallpaper you must make sure the paint has been mixed into the water very well so that you don't get little lumps of paint (pigments!) on your paper.  Do a few tests first to see how the paper reacts and to test the colour.  Work quickly so that the brush strokes will flow into eachother and you don't get streaks of colour.  Use a big brush with fine bristles!  Make sure you paint enough wallpaper in one session.  When you find out later you need more wallpaper, it is almost impossible to remix the same colour paint (although in this case with the white it would not be such a problem).





At the Apeldoorn miniatures show this spring (2013) I found a beautiful little wall table which was made by David Iriarte.  Because it was a slightly older model, I was allowed to take it home for a friendly price. 

The wall table has a real marble top and with its style, colour and size, it fits perfectly between the windows of the Yellow Salon.   

The mirror is one I bought a while ago on eBay from Jim Coates.  I gilded the frame with gold leaf and aged the mirror glass.  Even though the mirror is in a different style than the room, I still think it fits in well. 



2014:  When you look into the room through the window, it is much nicer to see a lined curtain than to see the back of the curtain fabric.  So I changed the curtains a bit and lined them with thin white silk.  I also adjusted the bottom of the curtains so they hang more natural.  In miniature obviously the curtains are not as heavy as real curtains so they don't hang nicely unless you do something to the fabric.  On these curtains I used water and a bit of hair spray to make them keep their shape.  I just noticed on the photo that they still flare out a bit.  I'll have to work on them some more. 

I made two little drawstring curtains from the same silk I used for the lining of the curtains.  They filter the sunlight beautifully.  I removed the stif cotton tiebacks and made nice silk rope tiebacks with silk tassels to replace them.































I made the Louis XVI gueridon in a class by Geoffrey Wonnacott.  It was very interesting to learn how to do the parquetry, especially on the curved surface of the drawer.  It is a wonderful little piece which can be used in any room, but it looks very good here.  

Because of the color palet of yellow, white and gold, this room is lovely and light.  But with the sun streaming through the windows, the rooms really starts to sparkle. 



At the autumn DHN fair in Ulft (2016) I saw Alison Davies with some quite wonderful furniture. Alison uses photography, computer programs, 3D printing and casting to make beautiful and affordable miniature reproductions.    

For my Yellow Salon I bought these four chairs in Louis XVI style.  They were originally upholstered in green silk and although I do love the green colour, it does not look good in the Yellow Salon.  To do everything in yellow would be rather boring so I decided on a fabulous raspberry coloured silk to upholster the chairs with.  

I added a bit of padding to the seats to give them more volume. 

I wasn't sure if I wanted the chairs gilded so I tried it out on one of the chairs.  Although it is gorgeous, it is not right for the Yellow Salon.   The golden chair is now in the Bue Salon where it contrasts beautifully with the blue wallpaper. 


The wonderful sewing box was made by Chris Malcomson.  I upholstered the inside of the lid with the same silk I used on the chairs and made a pincushion in the same colour out of silk velvet.  

Of course it wouldn't be one of Chris Malcomson's pieces of furniture if it didn't have marquetry on it... The outside of the lid has been delicately decorated with little flowers and green leaves.  









For many years I have been collecting sewing accoutrements, in miniature of course.  Part of my collection has now found a home in this sewing box.  There is a tiny ivory thimble, small silver scissors and a silver and ivory spoolholder on a chain.  These were made by Ligia's Miniatures.  The ivory darning egg was made by Jürgen Engel.  The ivory spools and the darning egg with the ebony handle were made by  Alan Waters.  Anita Deegen made the packet of needles.

I made some tiny pins and a needle and thread for it.   










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