Wednesday, 17 October 2012

....and after.

Yesterday I finally got the keys to the museum room and we (I have two friends staying with me at the moment) hastened there to view the bare, newly decorated space and to take measurements.   Those of you who have been following my journey from the beginning will remember this post with the photos of a somewhat dismal, very brown room......

Whilst I have been in England enjoying weddings, important family birthdays and Giant Book Sales, work has been going on in the room to turn it into something more suitable to take a large quantity of dolls houses and allow them to be displayed to their advantage.   A kind friend in Bavorov has been sending me photos as the work has gone along. Quite soon after daughter and I left for the UK the builders started work and one of the first things they did was to begin the process of covering up the appalling brown plastic ceiling.

They also removed the dreary pale brown formica panelling - remember it?  It was clear from her photos that great strides were being made, very quickly.   Work also started on rewiring the room and adding many extra power points and lighting sockets.  

So I was quite excited when I unlocked the door.....I knew that pretty well everything had been done except the bars on the front windows and the final electrical works (there are no actual plugs or switches yet).

The first thing that struck me was the size of the room - much bigger than I had remembered.   Even before we started measuring it was clear that my worries about all the display units fitting into the space had been unnecessary.   Not only would they all fit - there are in fact more than I mentioned in my last blog post -  but we will have flexibility in how we decide to arrange them.

The second thing to strike me was how light the room is now that everything is white instead of dreary brown.   Even the remaining lino, which is still the original brown stuff, has brightened enormously and will serve very well as a durable floor covering.

The entrance archway is very cool - sadly the door doesn't quite live up to the arch itself - but I think making it darker in colour might help.  It seems I am stuck with having a glass panel in the door since the museum will be a public space and there could be health and safety concerns.  

 One thing I now regret is not having asked for the radiators to be painted as well - the photos show the windows at each end of the room, with the large radiators taking up much of the available space.

However since I plan to run one of the display cabinets along the back wall, regardless of the radiators, and at the other end the worktables will be placed under the window so that passers-by can stop to watch "work in progress", they will be fairly hidden and I think I will leave them as they are for the moment.

My other regret is not having asked for the complete removal of the washbasin and tiles.   I figured that I would still need a water supply for all the cups of coffee/tea that are going to be necessary whilst working on the houses but the unit as it stands is very intrusive and will have to be completely screened off. 

Cue digression:  The Czechs have an overwhelming passion for tiling bathrooms and other watery areas.   Anyone visiting the Czech Republic should make time not only to visit the wonderful Gothic churches and romantic castles, but also to visit a branch of what I have nicknamed The Temple of Baths - Siko.  I have a horror of tiled bathrooms and struggled desperately to persuade my builder that 
having one is not a compulsory fact of life.   I won in the end but had to concede some tiling in the shower room....

The other thing that will need some attention is the "back" door which leads to a long corridor, somewhere along which I hope are some toilets.  The door is utilitarian in the extreme and I plan to hand it over to Butterfly for her splendid transformative skills to work their magic on it.
But over all I am delighted with the space (it was even pleasantly warm, proving that the radiators do work) and I am now much looking forward to the scheduled arrival of the houses and display units at the end of this month.   In the meantime I am trying to decide whether I should have blinds at the windows so that the contents will not be fully exposed to view in my absence....I do have a feeling that if someone really plans to break in and cause mischief they will do so, regardless of precautions, but on the other hand I have always rather liked the saying "You can't keep trouble from coming, but you needn't give it a chair to sit on....."   

Thank you for visiting Cestina's Dollshouses today.   There may be no further post until the houses actually get here, when once again you will be able to see some chaos as they are decanted into their space.   All the display units have to be painted before the houses themselves can be unpacked - oh joy!


  1. I could hardly believe that was the same room, it looks so much bigger!
    I'm sure once Butterfly gets going, the sink area and the back door [and possibly even the front one!] will look marvellous :-)

  2. Gosh, what a difference. Do you think they'd let you/butterfly collage the radiators? I think you'll appreciate the water supply in the end and feel sure you'll come up with a delightful plan for its transformation, whether by concealment or not. You could have a mini Temple of Baths display around it...My vote (I know I haven't got one, but you know what I mean) would be for blinds. Sometimes you might not want to be fully on display x

    1. Could you perhaps stop throwing out challenges lol? Not sure that it would help the sink area but a mini Temple of Baths is now on the agenda...

      You may have a vote :-). And yes, you are probably right. I am concerned not to reduce the light to the room but looking at the windows on the photos the obvious thing is to put the blinds on the wall above the windows so they would be totally out of the way when open and that also gives the advantage of leaving the display area on the windowsill visible even when the museum is closed for the duration.

      Shame they took down those slats of wood above the windows :-(

  3. Definitely blinds! If I, too, may be allowed a vote...

    As Ruth says, doesn't look like the same room at all. What fun,though, once the sink etc are sorted, to start planning where you will put all the houses.

  4. If you had blinds you/Butterfly could put something on the sides that would show to the public looking forlornly at the windows when the place was closed, giving tantalising pictures/photos of parts of what is within, or bits of restoration in progress, and a tasteful list of opening times/contact numbers for donations/helpers etc... [never let it be said that I'm devoid of ideas!]

    And if they took slats of wood down, it's possible the wall is still 'plugged' from their original fixings and so it wouldn't be a massive job to get them or similar slats reinstated.

    1. Ah but it's even better than that abbey - what you can't really see from the photos is that the windows rejoice in the wonderful wide windowsills that are traditional here. So if the blinds are fixed to the wall above the windows then the sill will still be visible when the blind is down, allowing a proper display to be placed on there - plus a tasteful board displaying a notice following your suggestions :-)

      I am thinking of window displays that change with the seasons...that will finally be an excuse to make my beach hut with Beryl Cook type lady in a deckchair outside it! She's been waiting around so long she has lost her head but that can easily be glued back on.....

    2. Loving the idea of the Beryl Cook-like lady on a deckchair outside a fully-equipped beach-hut!

  5. Room looks great... think I would be tempted to get some metal paint and deal with the radiators - they look like discoloured teeth in a brand new gleaming smile. And I'm sure Andrea's right about the water - Nurse, fetch the screens! Sorry I made you cry at Words and Pictures...

    1. Yes, I agree about the water supply, I just wish it didn't look so bathroomy.

      I need to check that we can do some additional painting; the rads do look just as you describe, that horrid back door needs dealing with and I would like you to think up some clever way of changing the white windowsill tiles .......

      It was good crying :-)