Tuesday, 23 June 2015

The task ahead: Angel House Galleria

So here it is, Captain Jack's Folly in all its glory!  It's a perfectly nice house but just wouldn't be suitable for my dolls' house "town".  It was given to me by my parents ~ I think my Mum just lost interest, so Dad didn't get it finished.  The interior decor that he did does not fit in with what I have in mind for the various shops, so it will be changed quite considerably.

Externally, Dad used brick and stone-effect paper on the walls, which I don't like at all.  Some of it is starting to peel slightly, so I think I will try to remove it altogether.  I will also remove the strip of wood beneath the windows on the ground floor, as I will be using just one finish rather than the two Dad has used.  The house is a pretty hefty beast so I want to clad it with lightweight materials; I am thinking of using Richard Stacey brick slips from his Versi range, in yellow/buff, which I will continue around the sides of the house.  I am happy to keep the upper floors as a simple painted finish, although I may repaint the walls in Annie Sloan's Paris Grey.  The roof will be tiled with Richard Stacey Versi slates, and I am considering putting in a couple of simple windows in the roof on the right-hand side of the tea room.  I am thinking that the frames could be painted in a shade of grey to blend in with the slates so that they are less obtrusive.

I realise that these changes are not very in keeping with a Tudor look, but after all it is very much a mock-Tudor building and Captain Jack had to use what materials were available locally ;-)

As I have already mentioned, internally there will be a lot of changes to the decoration.  The layout is fine, although I will be replacing the existing stairs with right-angled ones: 

stair kit from Dolls House Direct
It's not easy to see from the photo of the house but the stairs on the ground floor are really close to the front wall, and are not in the least bit realistic!  Right-angled stairs will sit further back from the front of the house, and I'm hoping that I will be able to fit a toilet beneath them on the ground floor.  I won't then have to use up space in the tea room for a toilet :-)

I am also going to replace the doors with something like this:

door kit from Susi's Miniatures
  I will only be using doors on the ground floor ~ one exterior door to the upper shops in the Galleria, and one each for the delicatessen and the arts and crafts guild.  I will have to re-jig the windows for these two shops to accommodate the doors, but it will mean that they won't need doors inside the building (which will also make having a toilet on the ground floor much more feasible).  The upper floors will be open-plan, with the doorway into Tabitha's shop made a little wider.

Internally, all the woodwork and ceilings will be white; the stairs and upper floors will be stained.  I have some vinyl floor tiles leftover from our real-life house, which I will use throughout the ground floor.  As for the decor of each shop, well, I certainly have a lot of ideas swirling around in my head but I think I had better get all the basics done before I commit to any of them LOL

Thanks to Christopher's research into the life of Captain Smith and Lady Constance's suggestion of turning the house into a collection of little shops, Angel House will now be used for the benefit of the folk of Groatie Bay, just as the Captain had wished.

By a stroke of luck, Lady Constance's son, Sir Peter Buchanan, is an architect.  When he heard of his mother's idea for how Angel House could be put to use for the community, he offered to donate his services for free in drawing up plans for the redevelopment of the building.  As you can imagine, this went down very well indeed with the town council ;-)

Well, it all sounds very simple written down on here but I have a lot of work ahead of me!  Before I can actually get started with the Galleria, though, I will have to finish sorting and rearranging my craft shed.  It will be much better to work on the house out there rather than on the dining room table, so that will be my first task.

I will share photos as the project progresses, and will give you a little background to the folk who will be having their shops in the Galleria in another post :-) 


burygardeners said...

Hi Sharon,
I saw a similar building in real life with outside staircase each side and of course door into each establishment so you could avoid the internal stair palaver and you get good room spaces. I suppose it was done so you could access each shop without hinderence to another. Em

Sharon -Larkin said...

That sounds like a good idea ~ I will file it away to perhaps use in another build. This house has a "back story" to make it fit in to my dolls' house town, so the internal stairs aren't too much of an issue really LOL


It would be really good for a block of flats!