Friday, June 5, 2020

What effrontery!

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!



  1. Your ongoine refurbishments and renovations of Daviot House continue to both Delight and Impress me Jonquil!
    The changes made to the main entry are entirely in keeping with the Grand Evolution of this miniature ancestral home. The new doorway now has the visual weight and interest it needs to shoulder the rest of your structure and I LOVE the nod to your Real Ancestors in commemorating them with a marriage stone over the entry- a UNIQUELY PERSONAL and MARVELLOUS touch!
    LOVE the steps and the railings and the size of the lanterns with the carved stone surround all of which appears to have been Born This Way- MAGNIFICENT!!!

  2. Daviot House est spectaculaire. Merci pour les explications historiques, j'aime quand on en sait plus sur l'élaboration d'une maison de poupées. La porte est parfaite depuis son changement et quelle bonne idée d'y avoir apporter une touche familiale. J'admire beaucoup votre travail.

  3. What great changes you've made to Deviot House. The new front door is very impressive and very fitting for the new style. I also like the family touch you've added. I'm embarrassed to say that although the properties you've highlighted are practically on the doorstep, as a local I've never visited them although we have been to Traquair (and their brewery!). Keep posting Jonquil - I'm enjoying this! (PS Have you considered the top of a spurtle for your thistle? I chopped the top of one to place on the apex of Marsh Hall).

  4. Hi Jonquil! I Love the new facade on Daviot House! And the extra elevation too! The shape seems more coherent this way. And the new front door is perfect and elegant and fits the era wonderfully. I am glad that moving the work room to the attic has had such beneficial results! Keep up the great work! :)

  5. The final arrangement of Daviot House looks like a dream come true! So many rooms to turn into mini representations of history and a place to display your own and other's artistry! Having the attic all to yourself sounds dreamy, too!!! You can leave the things in progress be and not have to tidy up for company! Have fun Jonquil!

  6. Great post, I love how you did the door. It looks so real you had me fooled. Cheers, Jenn

  7. I love the door. It pops so well against the house and the pediment looks great!

  8. ¡Me encanta la puerta! Es señorial y ha con el detalle de la fecha de tus antepasado tiene un carácter más especial.

  9. merci beaucoup de nous faire découvrir l 'architecture de votre région car je ne la connaissais pas . je comprends pourquoi vous admirez ces constructions . Vous avez parfaitement réussi à donner ce style à votre maison de poupée .
    votre envie de faire de vrais tiroirs pour vos meubles de cuisine m 'a fait sourire .
    car , je fais toujours de vrais tiroirs et de vraies portes pour mes meubles et je fini toujours pas mettre un point de colle car ils n 'arrettent pas de s 'ouvrir quand je les manipule . je fini donc toujours par les coller en me disant pourquoi je me suis embêtée à les faire ...
    j 'aime beaucoup la transformation de votre grande porte d'entrée . c'est une très bonne idée d'avoir ajouté une date concernant votre histoire à vous .

  10. Oh my, that is not just some small makeover. The result of the changes are very exiting to see. A real scottish towerhouse! I love the detail of the 'renovated' front door. Executed well, and with the marriagestone in place it lends so much character and history to this building. Good luck with the kitchen or whatever you will tackle next.