|The kitchen--the heart of any home!|
There is also a main hallway running front to back with exterior doors, and a staircase to the foyer. The elevator is in the wing.
Floor plan of ground level:
|Floor plan of ground (basement) level.|
The Kitchen, Larder, and Wine Cellar:
The ground level has 9 inch ceilings. This post just describes the kitchen, larder, and wine “cellar”--and once again, what was envisioned isn’t exactly what happened. I wanted to see the kitchen, larder, and wine cellar all at the same time and the wing was simply too narrow for that.
A word about Electricity:
This level was the first built and our first introduction to wiring a dollhouse. We bought the supplies for a tape wire system and tried to follow the instructions. I won’t go into all the problems but suffice it to say, it was “interesting” experience and many phone calls to Cir-Kit Concepts (very nice people and much pulling out of tape wire and junction splices, and then rewiring, but we finally did it.
We learned a number of things. I cannot run the tape smoothly up the wall to the ceiling for the ceiling lights. There are a few remnants of this in some of the rooms, and because they work and I can’t rewire at this point, the tape stays and looks weird (blame it on cheap labor). At some point, I will go back and try to smooth the edges.
I quickly learned to wire ceiling lights to the room above and NO sconces unless the wires can be hidden behind moulding and bradded into floor level tape wire in the room above.
I also quickly learned about the power strip system which I now use when I can in newer houses.
The kitchen is 15 x 15 inches.
The kitchen is the realm of the housekeeper Dinah Mullins (of course, her name is Dinah! -- remember “someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah”?) and Chef Jaime.
Everyone loves to visit the kitchen, even the animals. Stopping in today to visit Dinah and Chef Jaime are Giuseppe Titchmarsh the groundskeeper, Prudence Plum the owner of Plum Delicious Catering, and Dinah’s husband Fred, the property manager. The cats are Calico and Ali Baba and the Old English sheepdog is Bertie.
|Always people dropping by: Giuseppe Titchmarsh, Prudence Plum, Dinah's husband Fred, and Calico and Ali Baba the cats, and Bertie the Old English Sheepdog to visit Dinah and chef Jaime.|
This is also a kitchen in which a lot of cooking is done, so two stoves are needed.
|Two stoves with large copper hood.|
I debated about wall cabinets and decided “no” simply because I didn’t want to hide the rooster wallpaper.
When I am finally satisfied with the base cabinets, I will make continuous white counter tops over the two continuous sections by the stove.
Besides the roosters, I love the vintage Shackman chairs I found on eBay.
--Kitchen lights, cozy but not for working under:
The ceiling lights are bradded into the dining room floor tape wire. The lights are nice-looking but do not give out much light. I will probably keep them—they add a homey touch to the room, but not enough light for a working kitchen.
I bought the LED “lights on a strip” from HBS (#95303) and I am making a “fluorescent” type light (probably a section of six LEDs) to put above the rear work area so Dinah and Jaime can see what they are doing. I have to decide how to wire it. If I can’t wire it to the ceiling tape, I will bring it discretely along the ceiling to outside the house and brad it there. One discrete way to run ceiling wire is to put shallow beams across the ceiling, attach the fixture to one, and hide the wires in the beam. (Note: this house has tape wire all over the place: in the house and on the exterior side wall that is covered when the wing is in place.)
Once I complete the lighting, I will add a simple crown moulding around the room.
--The Heart of the home:
Some say that the kitchen is what makes a house a home. It certainly is that way with Sunnybrook with everyone passing through the kitchen! In fact, even the Christmas party extends to the kitchen:
|Christmas party extends to the kitchen--always food coming out of the oven!|
|Too many rooms, not enough space--original area for the wine.|
|We now have an official room: a Wine Closet!|
All beverages are the domain of John MacGregor, who prefers to be called “MacGregor”, and who has a picturesque Scottish brogue.
|MacGregor is now one happy dude!|
There is a complete hall with elevator behind the wine closet. It’s too bad the elevator can’t be seen very well because it’s kind of cute.
The larder is the domain of Maggie MacGregor (John’s daughter). She makes sure the larder is well-stocked and that she has a very sturdy step stool to reach the upper shelves.
|Maggie MacGregor stocking the shelves using a very sturdy step stool.|
The larder includes a sink for washing produce and cleaning fish, a dishwasher, and lots of storage space. Right now the freezer door is open (not a good way to run a freezer) so that the food can be seen. I want to put a “glass” door on the freezer and a light inside to show off the food. Also, I have to decide on the ceiling fixture.
I found it funny as I was reviewing the ground floor, comparing its furnishings with the main floor, the piano nobile so to speak. Now Rebecca and Derek always wanted a house that was entirely livable, after all, they have three children, three Old English sheepdogs, two cats, a couple of birds and some fish, and this is a working sheep farm! That said, not purposely, but it just worked out that the ground floor is the cozy spot—wet, muddy feet welcome! The following picture was not taken on the ground floor--so everyone had to promise to be on good behavior!
|The Rowbottoms: back row--son Jeremy, Rebecca, Derek, and son Antony; middle row--one sheep, the Old English sheepdogs-Algernon, Jeeves, and Bertie, and daughter Victoria; front row--the cats-Calico, Ali Baba, and another sheep.|
|Wood flooring in the rec room made from strips of Con-Tac vinyl shelving on poster board. It really is very impressive and it was cheap!|
The Windows that aren’t there:
There are windows in the rear rooms and I did plan to have them in the front also (they are in my original drawings). In fact, I cut a few in the exterior walls. The problem became evident as soon as more of this large, tall house took shape—the house was overrun by windows. These looked all right in my drawings and probably in real life, but in miniature, not for this house. Anyway, just imagine the windows!
The cost of making Palladian windows and doors for Sunnybrook was pricey. The Palladian doors from HBS cost about $18 a door, the Timberbrook double French doors cost about $19, and the Classics windows cost about $7 and did not come with acrylic. We don’t begrudge the cost because we had a certain idea in mind and we didn’t know how else to do it.
We did find a way to recoup some of the cost: we used the exterior doors from the HBS frames as interior doors. All we had to do was make a frame and all the interior doors on the ground level were in place.
There will be more on the ground level in the next post. By the way, just in case you all think that I am sluffing off with my other houses—not so! Wait until you see the Spanish verandah off the living room at La Malcontenta!!