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Changing Rooms: Dining With A Blend Of Scotch.

The dining room below belonged to a Scottish couple. The Changing Rooms team were careful not to overdo the Scottish theme (thistle stencils excepted) but wanted to blend in livelier colours while retaining a tasteful, historical atmosphere...

The inspiration

I LOVED the idea of creating an 18th Century Baronial dining room, complete with the traditional painted or stained woodwork popular at that time.

Preparing the walls, ceing and woodwork

WIPE down the walls and ceiling with warm, soapy water and then apply a base coat of emulsion - one coat of magnolia in this case - using a roller and a 2in (5cm) brush for f dly bits.

Wipe the painted woodwork clean with a solution of sugar soap which you can buy from DIY stores. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands during this bit.

Then paint on fairly dark colours for the period look - the Changing Rooms team used a base of Jade non-drip gloss and a top coat of Pacific Blue, both from Fads Homestyle.

Cleaning the floor tiles

USE industrial floor cleaner to give brick-red quarry tiles a new lease of life. Leave tiles to dry overnight and make sure the room is well ventilated.

Fake wall panelling

PERIOD-STYLE panelling was applied to the area below the dado rail. These panels came pre-cut from a DIY store and were self-adhesive so they stuck to the wall with no hammering or nailing. The dining room already had a wooden dado rail. With the help of a spirit level, this was used to position the panels between the rail and skirting board.

Ageing the woodwork

YOU can use ordinary solvent-based paints to build up layers of colour. This patchy blue and green distressed effect gave the dresser and woodwork an 18th Century feel.

Sand the wood. It may be necessary to paint on a white wood primer before applying the colour.

Leave the primer to dry for two hours. Apply a coat of the first colour - Jade in this case - and allow two hours to dry.

Rub a warmed candle over the dry paint surface, paying particular attention to the corners and areas that would normally receive the most wear and tear.

Then apply the second colour, in this case Pacific Blue. Again, leave to dry for two hours.

Dampen a cloth with white spirit and rub it over the painted surface. The wax underneath will prevent the top layer of paint sticking to the first and the colour will start to come away, giving an ageing look. Lastly, wipe the surface with a clean cloth.

Scottish-style stencils

TRACE or draw a design, in this case thistles, bagpipes etc, on to card and then cut out with a scalpel. Position randomly on the wall. Use a red marker pen to draw single lines, criss-crossing them in places to create a shadow effect.

Chequered blinds

CUT and hem a rectangle of fabric to the same size as the window. Then, using Velcro fastening tape, secure it onto a 2 x 1in (5 x 2.5cm) timber batten, a length of wood cut to the required width.

Screw the batten onto the window frame. To conceal it, you can place a box pelmet over the top of the blind.

You can construct your own box pelmet using four pieces of timber or MDF, fixed together to form a front two sides and top. The front should be cut as wide as the batten.

The side pieces should be cut so as to stick out a couple of inches past the upper blind.

Fix the two sides to the front at right angles using fixing blocks, which can be bought from a DIY store. Now fix on the top piece to form a closed box.

Then lift the box pelmet on to the batten and screw it into place.

Your box pelmet can be made more attractive by applying a decorative strip of wood moulding around the top. Fix it in position with wood glue and then hammer in panel pins every 10 inches (25cm).

Make ties for the blinds from the same chequered fabric, cut to the length required, folded in half and stitched to close.

Staple two ties at the front of the blind and two at the back, about 6 inches (15 cm) in from the sides of the window frame on either side.

Simple upholstered chairs THE chairs were re-upholstered using the same chequered material.

Position a square of fabric over the seat of a chair and staple along the front, beneath the seat. Use the same technique for the chair back.

Finally, turn the sides under in the same way, carefully folding excess material at each corner under and stapling into place.


Day One:

Wash walls, ceiling and woodwork

Apply emulsion to walls and ceiling

Clean the floor tiles

Fix Georgian-style panelling (available in kit form)

Apply base coat to woodwork and dresser

Design, sketch out and cut stencils

Paint woodwork and dresser

Day Two:

Apply stencils

Sew blinds and ties and fix in place

Make up and fix box pelmets in position

Upholster chairs
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:O'KELLY, ALAN; Phillips, Alison
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:May 2, 1999
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