Friday, 10 December 2021

Finishing the first room box

'Be careful what you wish for' - would also be a suitable title for this post.

The whole idea of adding a Furniture & Bric-a-Brac shop to this house was to have somewhere to put furniture and other bits and pieces until they find a more permanent home.

I was determined not to put anything in the box until I had at least finished it, but as you can see, that plan did last long LOL. 
It was oh so easy to just 'try' a few minis in the room and before I knew it...

I had fun one night making an assortment of painting and just popped them in here to dry. The window leaning on the right hand wall will one day sit in the stairwell of the Florist's house next door. 
The rocker (a plastic Chrysnbon kit) is also destined for the Florist's apartment - I gave up counting the number of layers of paint I gave this one before getting a colour I liked. 
Resting on the rocker is the light that will be fitted in this room - when I get around to it. 

I really wanted to finish this box, so... 
Step one: Empty it.

I hadn't planned to have a shelf when I started this room but liked the idea of being able to pile a high shelf full of boxes and odd bits and pieces. 
I made the shelf from strips of basswood and stained it to look like oak. The brackets are just card painted with black gesso. Now it is nice and sturdy and ready to be piled full 😊

Then I moved on to finishing the outside of the box.
I had painted the walls with crisp white milk paint - In real life the walls would have been lime washed and would be shining white right after painting, but... was just too blinding white!

After looking at it for a couple of weeks, I gave them a thin coat of a warm white called London Fog (that kind of says it all, doesn't it?) It still needs to be distressed but I am so much happier with the colour. 

To make the studwork, I cut strips of 1mm (1/32") balsawood. Even with balsa that thin, I had to shave a bit of the edges to shape each piece so it didn't protrude from the render. 
NOTE to self: make the layer of render (filler) thicker on the next boxes. 

Before gluing the strips in place, I stained them with the same stain as the self inside to look like weathered oak. I had found this 'stain' recipe online (and have happily forgotten where). It is so easy to make and is non toxic. 
All you do is put steel wool and some black tea leaves (I just emptied a couple of teabags) into a jar and cover it with white vinegar. Then leave it for a little while (I had mine sitting around for a few months, only cause I didn't need it at the time) - and That's IT! 
Like other stain it is awfully messy to use so wear gloves, but I absolutely love the subtle colour of it. 

...and with that: 
The ground floor of the K. Larsen Furniture is as finished as it can be for now.

Have a lovely weekend everyone, and thanks for stopping by.
Anna X


  1. Hi Anna! I think it is Great that you got to "play" with the space! It helps get the ideas clear... and sometimes reminds us how little "space" we really have! LOL! The paintings are a wonderful variety of styles and the rocking chair looks really comfortable... it might not stay long in this shop! :) I hope you continue to find time to play! And the exterior work looks wonderful! That stain you mention is one I have heard of before... but not with the tea included! It certainly did a good job! Keep up the great work! :)

    1. Hi Betsy - nothing quite like a little playtime is there?! I've got a good feeling about this room and I am quite certain it will be constantly rearranged.
      You are right about testing a space for size. This room has turned out exactly as small as I wanted it to - all the bigger pieces will be on the first floor.

  2. It looks great Anna! And I think we’ve all gotten excited and filled a room when we swore we wouldn’t. And I think it helps too to work out what extras you need (like shelves or lighting) and what sort of furniture you might need (like display cases). Well done.

    1. Thanks Shannon. The room is a tight a squeeze as I had planned, but you are right about the little additions. I am still trying to work out if and how to fit a light fitting in the stairwell without the little people hitting their heads.

  3. What a beautiful house the outside with the beams in the outside wall, the inside is also getting more and more beautiful

    1. Thank you so much. I am really enjoying this house.

  4. Hello Anna,

    The room already looks good with its temporary furnishings. I like the high shelf. It is a feature that breaks the wall. And it also ties the wallspace left and the right of the door together. The shelf will be a great feature to house breakables and 'forgotten' pieces too. :-)

    Thank you for the tip of the studwork walls. I can not use it on the exterior walls of Huis ter Swinnendael, because they will all be out of brick. But I would like to use this on some of the attic walls when I get up there.

    For now I wish you a very merry Christmas!


  5. Sorry to be so late, Anna! I am in love with all the details you are adding to the shop both inside and out and it is obvious that you are totally inspired and having fun! It's wonderful to be part of your creative process!