Saturday, 8 April 2017

Making my life difficult

If you start to add other dimensions to your house never, never think it is a simple thing to do ...... always do a ton of dry builds and dress rehearsals.  You should detail it down to where the furniture will go and certainly what you are going to do about the lighting.

As you saw in the previous post I have got the space behind the library wall sorted - trompe l-oeil in place, the light is in the ceiling and the floor is down.  


background finished?

Once the doorway is painted and set into the back of the wall the whole thing can go in place. 



back wall looks OK?

 Then I can do the same with the side wall and I will be ready to get on with creating the library. 

side wall looks OK?

Then I decided I want to have a light on the side wall which divides the library and the music room.



square piano and the wall light changes everything

Here's how this came about.....

I bought a nice pair of girondelles to go on either side of the fireplace on the back wall; very easy to fit with wires straight through the back of the house.  At Miniatura I succumbed to a huge mirror over the (also newly bought) fireplace rather than the planned painting above the originally purchased and planned fireplace!  Clearly I can't now add another two mirrors on that wall.  They will have to go on the side walls.  

This make for a problem or two. 

The left hand wall is the outside wall of the house; if the wires go straight through how do I get them to the back in a tidy way?  Right now I think I will make the groove on the inside of the wall down to the floor and then exit the usual way in grooves across the floor under the floorboards.  This means I really could do with wallpaper over that groove and filler (?) to ensure a decent finish.  I have no idea how you put in a light and wallpaper - chicken and egg conundrum.  Can't paper first as then there is no way of putting the wire behind it.  Can't  paper second as I don't know how to get behind or around the light.  

When I solve the chicken/wall v. egg/light wiring problem the right hand wall will be marginally less problematic as the wire can go straight through the wall and be hidden behind the bookshelves in the library and then exit the back in the usual grooved way.  Then I realised  ..... oh heck, the wires have to cross the newly floored corridor.... so flooring has to come up.  I did consider just lobbing them across the gap on top of the floor but I never feel comfortable about things not being seen through doorways and I have two of them going into that space.

The next knock on effect is symmetry, as you can see in the above photo, the light can not be centered on the length of the wall as it would look odd in relationship to the doorway so it needs to be centered on the remaining wall space.  That's fine until you go to the other side of the room and now the opposing light will be no where near the centre of that wall!!  

I think I have this solved by adding more to the symmetry of the room.  The door into the room is at the back of the room so I will have a mock door on the opposite wall - the Georgians did a lot of this to maintain balance.  You often find them either side of a chimney breast (but I wanted that space for seats).   It could also be a door to a shallow cupboard between the houses that too is a credible possibility.  My childhood house did that on a party wall - one house had a cupboard beside the chimney on one side and the house next door had the mirror image on the other side.  Great for storage, not so great for privacy.

So, here endeth the lesson.  Practice, practice, practice until you are sure before you start putting walls in place.  

Hopefully, my next post will be about getting the problems solved and having these two walls in place at last.



(28/11/16)

14 comments:

  1. Good advice. Could I ask the mechanics of putting in an additional wall? Do you cut it so that it is a very tight fit and hope it stays in place or do you use glue? If you use glue, how do you prevent the glue spreading across the floor or ceiling?

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    1. I have approached this various ways over the years. Initially they were cut super tight and very little glue applied to minimise the mess and quick follow up with damp cloth to clear up smears because they can prevent paint going on nicely afterwards. The tight fit is best avoided really because I guarantee you will shove them in and out so many times for various reasons and it is a pain. That said it might be needed if you think there is chance of the floor above needing proper support. Basically if you have enough other interior walls in place for the upper floor not to sag and you are using coving and skirting don't make the new wall a tight fit. The coving and skirting will conceal the gaps and offer sufficient support for the wall. I have done this a lot and it does work just fine. As to glue or not.....I apply a thin amount of wood glue spread with my fingers along the bottom edge and then put minute spots of super glue gel here and there along the line where it is going and do my very best to get it in place first go. As it isnt a tight fit there is no point in putting glue on the top edge as it wont touch the ceiling. Put thin line of wood glue on any back walls that it is going to touch or on its back edge and again some gel super glue teeny tiny bits here and there on that line. I use the super glue element to keep wood in place while the rest of the wood glue dries. Smudges on floor won't matter as they will be covered by flooring. Smudges on walls won't matter if you are papering them, just wipe off quickly with slightly damp cloth if you are painting them. Worse case scenario if you discover some dried on later just rub it off gently with very fine sandpaper. Long answer to a short question hope it helps. Marilyn

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    2. Thank you very much for this advice Marilyn. It will give me confidence to put ideas I have in my head into practice. Wilma

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    3. Hope so. This is part of why I do the blog to show folk that people, like me, who have never done anything like this stuff before can make a decent enough go at it to create the vision they have in their head. Go for it. Simple as a pimple on a flea's left leg! Marilyn

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  2. Hi Marilyn, Have you considered sandwiching the wires? In other words, adding a second layer of wallpapered wallboard over the unfinished side of the partition wall then leading the wires out towards the back of the house, that way you won't have to mess up any of your existing work and the wires will be entirely hidden.

    elizabeth

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    1. I have Elizabeth yes, and messed around with that for ages. The partition wall problem is solved I think....I will drill hole through for light, cut wiring groove straight down the library wall, make groove under the wall and bring wires back through into the music room, then the usual groove across the floor to exit the back. That means I will then need to work on the music room first rather than the library as planned so I can get the wallpaper on before the light goes up. That's OK. The lined wall would be the answer for the left hand outside wall BUT I don't like how it looks at the front edge of the house......talk about fussy. Just think if it was everywhere it would be OK and I could even add some strips to cover all the front edges but this looks strange to me to see a double edge of materials in one place only. So, right now I think I may do the same as I am doing with the partition wall..... hole through wall, groove down outside and back in through another hole to take wires across the floor, then cover outside groove in some way and paint again. It really shouldn't be noticed as there is no walk round space where my house is so you only ever really get a view of the front of it. Thanks though always worth mentioning anything you think of just in case that light bulb hasn't gone on in my noddle. Marilyn.

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  3. I can't wait for the day that inexpensive/affordable wifi or radio controlled dollhouse lighting will be available. We can fly drones for miles, why can't we just light our dollhouses easier?

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    1. I'll get right on to that after lunch. I wish. I confess The actual alectrjcal bit of the job I don t find difficult.... I would if I tried to follow some of the 'helpful' methods out there but I have that part sussed its this positioning of them that complicates stuff. M

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  4. Hello Marilyn,
    It can never be simple, can it. I don't know if this is a possibility, but would it be possible to make a false wall to hide the wiring? In the past, I have used thick double ply cardboard with spacers behind them to make a wall with space behind it for the wiring. this way the wires could be on the inside of the structure and you would not loose to much space. I know you will figure out a great solution to all your problems because you always do.
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. My sensible head says the double wall is the obvious solution but my OCD personality hates the thought of one funny front edge on my house. Would be fine if all the rooms were like it. I did a magazine piece on a chap who built one twelfth exactly as real houses, so double walled as you suggest here with all the wiring concealed..... might do a piece here about him some time.

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  5. Great choice of picture for your background scene Marilyn. It's very effective. As for the wiring on an outside wall.....I've just dealt with this in my own Heath Robinson way and used, like Giac, mountboard only I didn't go with spacers, just decorated the thing, put on the lights, taped them down and used double-sided tape to fix the whole thing in place. The cornice and skirting helped to secure it. As for the outside edge, I decorated it (ran a paintbrush down it!) so that it wouldn't be immediately visible. Thankfully it's on a hinged side which acts as a visual distraction! Like Giac says, you'll find a way - you always do.

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    1. Lot of time trawling the web for it I must confess but it does just about work in conjunction with the one seen through the hall door downstairs. I totally agree with the double wall approach, it has to be the simplest but there again I wouldn't be me if I didn't overcomplicate things! We should just leave well alone...... but where's the fun in that. In Edinburgh again right now, M

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  6. Love the trompe l-oeil stair case, I am thinking of doing something similar in my French house when I get round to building it.

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    1. I commend it to you. I have done it twice in this house and honestly both of them look absolutely brilliant in real life. The hardest part is finding the photo! I have had stairs in all my houses up to this one and this Georgian one was a good excuse to forgo them - as they are not usually seen from the front slice of the house. They use up a lot of space and are often a pig to do well but I thought i ought to give a nod to stairs so folks didn't think a house without them was odd. M

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