Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The William Morris paper ...

This leafy background just added to my blog is one of the standard patterns offered by Blogger ... however it reminded me "a little" of the William Morris paper I am still strongly considering it for a feature chimney breast for our new living room.

This paper is offered in 7 colours and is a reproduction of a William Morris paper from 1900.

You can see the other colours here:

Thinking that this paper above the reclaimed fireplace (yet to be found, but it's going to be plainer than the tiled one we "reclaimed" in our dining room) will really set off the chalky downs and ivory paint colours ... Something like this, but with a wooden surround ...

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Goodbye Red and Yellow Walls ...

In with the new year and out with the old ...

And absolutely out with that red and yellow! This is what our living room looked like on the 31st December, 2010 at 2.30 pm ....

And this is what it looks like now, 9th January at 11.20 am ...

Okay, we're not quite there yet. But as always there is lots to do "behind the scenes" ... if you're going to do it, you may as well do it properly:

Little Details ..

Rather than leaving the electric sockets stuck out like sore thumbs on the lovely old skirting boards, these have now all been channelled in.

The lighting arrangements have also had to change as some "bright spark" (sorry about that pun) in the past decided that the room only needed wall lights and no overhead lighting. We are keeping just 4 of the wall lights (not these simulated gold numbers from the 1980s either, probably just some nice subtle uplighters) and re-instating (if it ever had one) a large central overhead light as well. When Dave was foraging around under the floorboards above doing this job, he found the original gas pipe (capped at its' end) in the centre of the room where the old gas lighting used to be, I wonder just how long it took into the last century, before Fairlea had electric lighting ..

"Lighten up"!

As for that red ceiling! What has always amazed us is that the dining room and the living rooms at "Fairlea" are pretty much the same size. However this room feels SO much smaller. That proves the "power of colour" and how dark tones can condemn you to live in a "cave" when it could be a "palace"!

No original features here ...

Before anyone gets upset about us ripping down the ceiling roses, these ones were strictly of the B and Q "made out of eggbox" material variety! And besides a room this size would never have had 2, only 1 and intended to have a light in the middle of them somewhere, not just randomly suspended in space! Anyway someone had fun playing hoola-hoop with one!

The picture rail is not original and it always looked wrong: For a start it's too high for the proportions of the room, and also it's rather large. Taking advice from the web ( we renovated the dining room, we lined up the new picture rail just above the door frame and then chose a small Victorian cornice to compliment it. The living room with it's gigantic "cardboard" coving and overlarge picture rail too high up the wall just looked "mickey mouse"! If we were in any doubt about the picture rails authenticity, all was revealed when it was removed and a large rose border pattern was revealed. We have since decided that whoever put it up, simply put it up right over the border assuming that was the correct place.

A BIG thanks to Dave and "Poppo" who have done all the work on the living room so far. "Poppo" is going on holidays now for 2 weeks and I have been forbidden to touch the living room, as he wants to finish what he has started. I am "allowed" to prime, undercoat and paint the new picture rails and Dave will be back to put the cornice and picture railing up sometime soon hopefully. Stay tuned! And as for "THAT" fireplace, that will be a separate post!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Almost certainly the original wallpaper ..

I'm a bit behind as we have now moved on to the living room, but I had to stop and share this one:

Busily stripping the upstairs hall of its garish yellow, most of the walls only revealed a 3 or 4 layers of paper and paint, however the back upstairs wall had somehow never been stripped back completely and I found this gorgeous, (almost certainly) first wallpaper our house ever had:

Absolutely impossible (unless you're a specialist I'm sure) to remove a piece without damaging it, I had to be content with the handful I spent some time revealing - just to photograph. The picture above shows the pattern which seemed to alternate between an enclosed stylised flower and and a large rose image.

While our mission is to lighten and brighten our 3 hallways (and believe it or not, yellow is NOT the way to do this!), originally our walls were covered in the dark oppressively patterned wallpaper, lit by gas wall lights, and the carpeted floors were a laquered dark stain. It must have been very dark in here, just like the Victorians liked it!