Friday, June 5, 2020
Daviot House has a new front door. In fact, it has a new facade, and a couple of new levels too!
Due to the demands of a growing family, my workroom had to move to the attic (don't worry, it has been converted!). This meant that I had to change Daviot House's dimensions. No longer a sprawling house, it has become an imposing Scottish tower house.
But this suits me well. This way the house has a smaller footprint, and I now have a grand total of 15 rooms to play with! ;D
I don't think I have talked about the inspiration for Daviot House for a while, so I thought I'd show you a few properties that influence me.
I love the Scottish architecture of the 17th century, when houses had to be well protected, but also aspired to be homes. It is an architecture that has more connections with continental Europe than England at this time, from painted ceilings to crow-stepped gables.
Traquair House - a fantastic example of a Scottish vernacular house with a long history. It escaped the 'baronialisation' of the Victorian period when architects built on added-extras to give buildings more 'Walter Scott' romanticism. Traquair House, thank goodness,still has its lovely austere facade (and a really fascinating history. Also a great teashop!)
This is Northfield House in Prestonpans, which after a long period of neglect was restored recently (and is currently for sale, for those of you with deep pockets!). I love the eccentric style, you can see the changes this house has undergone over the centuries.
Scottish vernacular reached its height in the 17th century, before the classical symmetry of Palladianism changed architecture completely. Often these houses were extended by different generations, and the result is a delightful mix of fortifications and home comforts (look at that chimney!)
Hamilton House, also in Prestonpans, is delightful though much lower in height, it has a lovely courtyard.
One of my absolute favourites is Prestonfield House in Edinburgh. It has the most fabulous gables, and has undergone many architectural changes over the centuries.
The original front door was on the left, and the old side of the house was converted into the front entrance in the 18th century, to give that all important symmetry. The portico was also added for extra grandeur.
If you are ever in Edinburgh, I highly recommend a visit for afternoon tea, but mostly to aprecciate the atmosphere and decoration of the interior (and to see if you can spot the plaster hand in the ceiling decoration, which looks as if it might come alive!)
All of these houses have one thing in common, they have continued to evolve architecturally, which makes them so interesting. So of course, I thought I'd do something similar to Daviot House.
The door was just a simple standard door, so I thought I'd make it a bit grander. After all, what started as a two storey house needs a bit more of a 'big entrance'. I used watercolours to see what sort of dimensions would be good. I also wanted something baroque in feel.
That's better, much bigger, and topped off with an extravagant pediment by Sue Cook. Ideally I'd like a thistle, but a pineapple on the top will have to do for now...
These are examples of marriage stones, which were very popular over the entrance door of many houses. The practice died out in the 19th century, sadly, but I love trying to spot them when I'm out and about. Usually they have the initials of the couple, and the year. Quite simple, but some could be more detailed.
I am fortunate enough to trace my maternal family's tree back to 1716, when my great x 7 grandfather, Alexander MacGillivray married Isobel Rose. I've cheated a little with the dates, but I thought it would be nice to put their names over the door of Daviot House.
I wonder what they would have thought about having their marriage commemorated on the front of a doll's house in France over 300 hundred years later!
and now a few steps up with wrought iron railings to welcome you in...
And I just couldn't resist the lanterns! Bringing Daviot House firmly into the 18th century...
Here you can see the different stages. I have nearly completed the ground floor facade, and have started the second floor. The third floor is still very forlorn!
I think this is certainly the final shape of the house, as you can see we have reached the ceiling!
I haven't abandoned the kitchen just yet, and I wanted to thank you for your lovely comments on my last post. I am still trying to sort blogger out, and will let you know when commenting resumes!