A Bit Of 'Bling' in the dining Room!

Last month I started to detail how I created the most difficult room in the Hotel - the dining room and conservatory. I loved the idea of creating the illusion of an 'outdoors' indoors, and once I had completed the conservatory in the back of the dining room space, I was left to consider the decoration of the actual dining room.

 

I love gold and shiny things, and this was always going to be the room where I gave in to my fancy! I wanted the dining room to be the most glamorous room in the house and found a totally 'over the top' wall paper with foil blocked panels to add some extra 'bling' - it was one of those 'it was talking to me' moments. The huge gilt framed mirrors on the back wall reflect both the foil on the wallpaper and the light from the 'to die for' chandeliers (my most expensive items in the house - but well worth every penny!)

The only downside of creating the conservatory was that I had reduced the available space for the dining room, but I think the novelty of the conservatory outweighs the loss of space. It just meant that I had to be more creative with my choices to create another illusion - a big room!

 I started by painting the walls with some left over emulsion from my living room - B&Q 'Warm Magnolia. I used self-adhesive real wood strips on a sheet for the floor which I coloured with a 'Burmese Teak' wood stain and varnished with several coats of clear polyurethane varnish.

 

I had my local B&Q cut strips from an MDF sheet to the same height as my rooms so that I could make extra walls, however, as my cutting of the partition wall strips was less than square(!) I covered the gaps in the corners by adding some 10mm square wooden battens. This had the added benefit of making it a lot easier to fit the elaborate coving. I simply had to cut the pieces square to the length required, and not angled to butt up to each other in the corner!

 

After the coving, I added the dining room door frame. The door had already been hung when I completed the reception. I had used an exterior door for the ornate style, as it would not be out of place inside such a grand house. To complete the doorway on the dining room side, instead of using the plain architrave supplied, I used another exterior door frame with the door removed.

 

I started wallpapering on the 'easier' side of the room, by butting up a sheet of wallpaper up to the left hand side (as you look at it) of the conservatory doorway. I gently eased the paper into the corner, keeping it lined up with the base of the coving, and creased it with a fingernail around the square block in the corner. I lifted the paper out and created a more accurate crease, and checked the fit. When I was happy, I taped the paper in position, switched the lights out and switched on a table lamp outside the dining room window. The light illuminated the window and I was able to sketch where to cut out for the window on the wallpaper. When I had cut the hole - slightly bigger than the aperture (and checked the fit again!) it was glued in position using the same wallpaper border adhesive I had used on the brick paper outside the house. I finished the papering on the left hand side with a strip of small panels of the same wallpaper, and two rows of Dutch metal strips above and below the small panels instead of a dado rail. The wall was completed with window architrave.

 

 

INFO: Dutch Metal is foil covered embossed paper, and is available from good craft suppliers - it gives a very detailed gilded 3D effect, but alternatively you could use peel-off borders.

I then papered the right hand side wall, using the same technique of creasing around the corner (WOOPS! - I had already added the doorframe and could not remove it!) and so used another doorframe as a template to cut the door shape out of the wallpaper. Once applied, I added some more Dutch Metal to the door frame columns, and I finished the room with white skirting boards.

I did not add skirting along the back wall, as the dressers I planned to use were such a snug fit into the space between the skirting and step into the conservatory. (It was a good job I couldn't resist having a 'play' with the furniture before I applied the skirting!)

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 With the room decorated I turned my attention to the furnishings. I started on the back wall with the two serving dressers either side of the conservatory door. These were originally walnut items from the Bespaq range which I sprayed cream and highlighted the details with gold paint. I filled the glass-fronted cupboards with wine glasses and the plate racks with plain white plates and fixed them into the room. Above both I added a stunning over-mantle mirror to reflect the maximum amount of light and make the room brighter. For the top shelf of each I created a huge flower arrangement in a silver vase - which was actually a garden urn sprayed with chrome paint.

 Both dressers were then filled with a selection of foodstuffs, bottles, cutlery and some lovely silver cruet sets, to add a bit more bling! One dresser is filled with desserts and cakes and the other with savoury morsels on silver platters, including a ham on the bone and whole lobster.

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 Once the dressers were complete I turned my attention to my least favourite job in the house - the curtains. I always find curtains a bit of a worry - although after having made so many pairs for the house, it's not so much of an issue!

I cut two squares of striped silk, and cut a curve on one bottom corner (a cup is a good guide) and hemmed the top with a running stitch about 10mm in from the edge. I glued a fringed braid around the bottom edge, corner and up to the hemmed top edge, with about 20mm left unglued. I then inserted a gold painted bamboo skewer into the hemmed edge, after making sure that the curtains were paired, with the curved corners towards centre. I used a large hole bead as an end stop on the skewer, and then gathered in the running stitch. The unglued flap of fringed trim was then glued around and over the pole in the finished position to hold the gathered curtains in place on the pole. After fixing the pole to the wall, I played with the drapes to add soft, natural looking folds, and fixed them in position with some more braid as tie backs, which were glued to the wall.

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 The third dresser on the side wall, was another item of furniture which had to be painted to match the colour scheme. I covered it with yet more cakes (I love them!) and a huge silver punch bowl which I filled with a pyramid of fruit and foliage. It was fixed to the wall after I had attached the House Front panel hinge.

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 The crystal chandeliers were added after two huge ceiling roses were fixed to the ceiling. I drilled a hole drilled through, for the cable to run under the flooring of the room above. I then put a bamboo skewer through the ceiling rose and the drilled hole to make sure they would line up when the glue had set. The chandelier cable was then passed up through the hole and the cable was taped to the floor above with masking tape.