Monday, October 19, 2020

Book Nook


  My goodness, what a strange rentrée! Stopping and starting and changing every week.  September is the traditional time in France to think about going back to school, buying stationary and books.  Although we're now in October (how did that happen?!),  I wanted to do a post with a bookish theme, to show you the new library of Daviot House.

  The library isn't completely completed (when are mini rooms ever finished?), but it is turning out to be a nice cozy spot to spend the dreich autumn evenings....

The Library is on the third floor, and started life like this:

 I have been collecting for the library over the years, and have more than enough to fill it.  I put up clean white paper to form a blank canvas, this helps me decide where everything should go. 

Some things I liked, but for some reason I found this room a bit boring.  The beautiful fireplace by Malcolm Hall was hidden from view, and I couldn't see the bookcase very well.  It also seemed a little small for a library.

So I put the fireplace at an angle:

This configuration is often seen in 17th and 18th century houses, but for some reason it is not to popular in dolls houses.  I wonder why, because it is a great way of showing off two walls more clearly, while putting the fireplace in full view.  It works well for a deep, narrow room.

The bookcases were made out of samba wood and illustration board.  A few coats of Liberon Luxembourg Green   tied them together with the panelling on the right hand wall.  I tried some classic coving but found it a little too heavy, so I used upside down skirting board.  

The ceiling panel follows the line of the bookcases.  I don't know if I will have a ceiling light in this room, as I find they can block a clear view of the room when the ceiling is quite low.

And now for the books!

Sadly, though I thought I had plenty, I need to make a lot more!

I have had this beautiful Masters map desk for many years, waiting for the library to be finished.  But once in place, I wasn't quite sure.  It is a very dominant piece of furniture, and takes up a lot of space.   wanted the room to be a library with a desk, rather than a study.

I have a lovely secretary by Escutcheon, so I tried it instead...

I much prefer the smaller desk to the side.  It allows more space in the centre of the room, and a clear line to the fireplace.

But now that big open space needs something to cover the bare floor boards... it's just as well that I spent most of this summer's heatwave stitching one.  It's nearly finished!

The backwall bookshelf is still quite bare, so it will be a winter of bookmaking for me.

Whenever I go travelling, I always keep an eye out for tiny things that might fit in Daviot House.  This bronze statue was from the many stalls of souvenir sellers in Pompei.  The tiny picture is a painting etched on glass that I found in an antique shop in Rome so long ago, before I even had a miniature house.  The details are astounding.


 The little bronze horse was found at Naples airport, at the very last minute, and is a testament to the patience and fortitude of my other half.  We nearly missed the plane for this, and I'm so glad I found it. 

This year, which has curtailed many people's travels, I find my miniature objects from my holidays take me back to better times.

The italianate plate is from the United States by a wonderful artist who studied in Florence. The painting  in the middle is of a Tuscan street scene.  I've only just realised all of the Italian connections there are in the library. Very apt for an eighteenth century Scot on his Grand Tour!

I love this silver ink well set by Stephen Randall, it adds a little grandeur to the desk.   I haven't finished the accessories for the desk - I imagine each cubby hole should be filled with correspondance.

The mantlepiece is one of my favourites, the colours are so rich and different.  It is by Malcolm Hall, as is the clock.  The tiny, carved, jade bear was also a find from long ago and the cat is by Neil Carter.  I am especially pleased with the lamp.  I won it on ebay for a ridiculously low sum, and only when it arrived in the post did I realise that the Tiffany pattern was daffodils (or Jonquils)!  

The painting is an absolute favourite of mine.  Not Italian, this time, but of a Scottish landscape.  I love the brooding colours.  I may put it in a slightly more magnificent frame though.

Here was a fabulous find on Etsy by Michael's Miniature Treasures.  I only came across this miniature maker recently, and he has some absolutely beautiful things.  The urn is made from acrylic, but so finely done that it imitates bone beautifully.

A gorgeous tea caddy by Malcolm Hall, though I think I will use it as a box for letters.  I love the compass star on the top!

This fine feathered fellow I made over the summer.  He is a little noisy for a library, but as long as he has his supply of fresh fruit, he seems contented.  I just need to think of a suitable name!

Now I only need to put a roaring fire in the grate, put up some curtains and put down the rug to make this the coziest room in the house (not forgetting all the books to be made!)


PS For those of you who follow the news in France, you will be aware of the shocking death of Samuel Platy.  As a member of the teaching profession, a believer in freedom of expression and the right to teach without fear, I would like to add:  Je suis prof. 


  1. A delightful library filled with tiny treasures,you are so multi-talented!
    Je suis prof.

  2. It looks wonderful! I'm sure it will be filled with books in no time.

  3. A very beautiful library room. I love the way the shelves are being filled with books and other treasures. Well worth the time consuming books work.

  4. Votre bibliothèque est formidable, tout à fait le genre de pièce qui me fait rêver. Tous les changements sont parfaits et ce qu'il fallait pour la rendre "cozy", particulièrement la position de la cheminée. J'aime tous les détails et accessoires, car une bibliothèque dans une maison n'est pas que des étagères avec des livres. Bon courage pour la fabrication des livres.
    Je suis prof

  5. I love the way the library is coming together. The build-in book cases, surrounding the fireplace looks just fabulous and swapping the beautiful but heavy desk for the elegant taller desk is just fabulous.
    Anna X

  6. ¡Qué bonito! Me encanta como queda la chimenea en esa posición y lo bien que se ven los libros en la estantería. Tienes una preciosa colección de accesorios que además son parte de unos buenos recuerdos.
    Je suis prof.

  7. As usual your innovative interiors are a PLEASURE to explore, Jonquil, and how Marvellous to include a Tiffany lamp with tiny joquills featured on the shade- it was a purchase Meant To Be!
    And I think that it was a good call to angle the fireplace AND to use the stately secretary rather than the desk, what a difference it has made to the character of the library! It appears less masculine and more unisex, and will eventually show off more of your needlepoint rug when it's installed. But what makes this room feel extra special to me, are all the lovely artifacts which you've displayed so Beautifully throughout this room. I love their arrangement as well as all the Marvellous books on the shelves- this is my kind of room!
    And may I add in closing, that your bookmaking skills I can personally attest to having recently received a special package which contained a sample of 2 of them along with some other very Precious Little Lovelies- WOWEE!
    I sent you an email but once I'm back in the saddle again, I'll be posting the photos on my blog! ❤️


  8. Dear Jonquil, you have mad fantastic changes and choices with this room! I love everything about it! It has such a sense of 18th century grace and peace... timeless restfulness... maybe it is the walls of books, but I think it has a lot to do with the secretary! What a lovely piece of furniture! And all your little treasures from your travels are wonderful, not to mention the special pieces of silver and wood (love that tea caddy!) that just add up to a well made and well thought out room! I look forward to seeing the carpet finished and in place... what a beautiful pattern! And I must thank you again for sharing your wonderful stitching... the little bag and books arrived here last week and are Treasures indeed!
    Beautiful work! Keep safe and keep making minis!

  9. How nice it was to follow your thought process regarding the new Library! You have some lovely pieces to choose from and I might just pinch the upturned skirting idea in future! It was most enjoyable to look through your pictures so I'm going to do it again! Happy Book Making X

  10. The library is wonderful. I really like the details.

  11. The library is coming along nicely. Great colour and the corner fireplace is so clever. I have one planned in 2 smaller rooms as well. And they were used in smaller rooms back then so your choice her is totally in keeping with the period.

    And what can I say more? Lovely miniatures and souvenis/finds. Good luck with the rest of the books!