Thursday, August 27, 2009

Victorian design: Fabrics and stencils. A dining room

I had a post a week or so ago on stencilling. .Several of you emailed me and asked about this ceiling.

This is hand painted and stencilled ceiling I did for a home we owned a few years back. So today I thought I'd talk about how we put this look together and how you do things on a serious 'shoestring". That was definitely the case with this project, a formal dining room. We had just finished doing all the boring 'hidden stuff" furnaces, wiring and plumbing and we decided to do what else in an unfinished house? Have a Christmas party.

However we had an obstacle, our formal dining room which did not look very Formal. Plain white walls. We did install a new parquet floor and restored the Windows back to the bay window taken out years ago. But it was basically a plain white box. We were not ready to host 50 people at Christmas. My rule of thumb , Victorian house, you can't go wrong with a red dining room. However we wanted more than just paint we wanted DRAMA.

To create drama you have to add elements in a particular way. We enjoy Formal dinners with all the silver and candles so our goal was a room that "sparked" at night, was rich and luxurious, BUT didn't break the bank. Something mansion like but not at mansion cost.

So we first added crown moulding and we used a stock moulding found at Lowes, Total cost 175.00.

We then added a wallpaper frieze. 4 Rolls bought off Ebay 60.00. The damask red fabric which would have cost a mint if we bought it at a fabric store we actually bought at a discount store. These are Table cloths! The large banquet size. 3 of them 45.00! We bought an extra for the table.

The Walls were first lightly sprayed with a photo mounting adhesive then the fabric was placed on the wall stretched slightly and stapled. the staples were hidden by a hanging rail at the top and the chair rail at the bottom. Below the chair rail we used an embossed look wallpaper purchased at the home improvement store 3 rolls 60.00. We installed this per manufacturers instruction then 3 days later we painted it in the red we used for the crown and base for the ceiling. We purposely bought this red in a gloss as we wanted the room to sparkle at night but we knew we would be putting a matte glaze over parts of it which would tone it down somewhat. Paint 2 gallons 28.00 bucks each. Once the stenciling was dry we then applied the gold stars using a basic stencil we cut out of some stencil stock you can buy at your local hobby shop.

Then we come to the center of the ceiling. We wanted a stormy sky look and we hand painted the clouds At first some what brighter than we wanted in acrylic paint. Once the ceiling was done we then applied several coats of clear acrylic varnish each coat tined slightly with reds and blues until we got that "old world' look we a were after.

The ceiling medallion was a stock home improvement store piece in white 60.00 and we then painted it red and applied several coats of gold acrylic paint making sure not to cover completely the red under-painting. I have found a combination of bright gold and dark gold work best and give it that aged look you want.
The bowl light was the most expensive piece in the entire room at 225.00 purchased from Lowes. the ceiling was trimmed in a stock moulding also gold painted 4 pieces cost 38.00.
If you have been keeping track the total cost of the room makeover about 750.00 and about a week, working evenings. The party was success.

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