Thursday, 18 June 2015

Basement walls go up

I think that heading should read 'basement walls go up at last'.  Once the housekeeper's cupboard was in place I was able to add in the other dividing walls in the basement area.

three rooms at last

From the left:  the kitchen is (roughly painted) white, the servants' hall a 50:50 mix of white and Regency Cream from Craig and Rose.  B
ehind the servants' hall there is a corridor which is painted green and is lit.  The housekeeper's room is full strength Regency Cream.  

just a smidgen of wall showing

Before fixing the walls in place I put up both doors to check they were OK and that they didn't impinge on the windows.  I knew the housekeeper's wall would be a close call and there is just a smidgen showing in this photo.  I am fairly sure it would be hidden by the window frame, but I nudged it over a little any way.

The floors were only glued in at the bottom as I didn't want glue trialing across the ceiling as I slid them into place.  All the rooms above these will have cornice or coving of some sort which covers any tiny gaps.  Down here I might add in some quarter scale coving to just finish them off.

I have just read about a mini caulker (!) but I am not rushing out for one of those.

the kitchen

In this picture you can just glimpse the back corridor leading off from the kitchen, this will be more noticeable when it is lit.

servants' hall

This is quite a small space but still something of a luxury in a modest house.  It was an important room in the servants' area.  It would be the place they would be if they were not working in any other room.  This didn't mean just sitting idly doing nothing; they would have been cleaning something or maybe sewing or whatever task needed doing that could be done there.  The table would be cleared and pulled out from the wall for their main meal of the day.  They usually ate some time before the family dinner, especially in this house as the sisters were now dining at the more fashionable hour of 6 pm rather than the more usual time of around 3pm.  That said every home would dine at a time which was convenient for the master of the house.  Mid-afternoon dinners also suited a society that rose early and depended on daylight for their needs.  By 1830 oil lamps were in common use and the days had become more easily extendable.  By this time it was also becoming common to take luncheon or nuncheon in the early afternoon to stave of the pangs until dining at six o' clock or later.

the housekeeper's room

This long narrow room may be a challenge to furnish and light.  Luckily the fireplace is on the right hand wall which means no chimney breast, so that won't impinge on the space.  In terraces the chimney breasts were shared via the party walls which is why you see stacks of eight or more pots.  They would carry the flues from two houses.  In many buildings one side of your house would have chimney breasts in the room and in the other side of your house your fire surrounds would be on a flat wall as the breasts had extended into next door's rooms.  

My housekeeper's room will be allowed a small fire as an extra usable fire for the kitchen - toasting, keeping things warm etc.  The sisters were comfortably off by choosing to live in slightly unfashionable Lyme Regis, so they could afford such things.  They also liked the range and the housekeeper's fire lit as the they felt the benefit of the heat in the rooms above.

The winter of 1829/1830 was a particularly cold one.

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