The Yellow Drawing Room

I've been away for a while, and my blog has been a little neglected, as I lost my father recently after a short illness.  My dad made many things for my dolls houses when I was a child, and though they are sadly lost now, he is probably the person that gave me an eye for detail and the delight in the small.  

Daviot House and my miniatures have been an absolute solace during these times, and I truly believe in the therapeutic qualities of staring into small boxes and trying to make a room come to life.

So I have (more or less) finished the Yellow Drawing Room, including the carpet that I started at the end of the summer last year.

Regular readers might recognize this room... formally the Music Room. I was happy with that room, but the configuration of Daviot House frustrated me - the Music Room would be better on the first floor, next to the Dining Room for evening entertainments, rather than next to the Library, which would need a little peace and quiet.

  There are no stairs (as yet) in Daviot House, but these little problems of layout take up a lot of my pondering time!

I also needed to finish the ceilings and walls of this room, which had left gaps.  I installed a large smooth cornice to give interest to an otherwise box-like room (there is sadly no window!) and repainted the ceiling.  I like the yellow walls, as I wanted a touch of Chinoiserie in this room.

A lot of the elements of the previous Sitting Room (which is now the Master Bedroom) have been transferred, including the gilded wall sconces and painting above the fireplace.

The fireplace is a Chinoiserie design by Sue Cook, and I bought the grate to match.  That fender is horrible, though, so it needs to change.  I often take months to get to the point where I am satisfied with a room, lots of staring and taking endless photos on my phone.  Many items are swapped in and out, and I go back to a room regulary to see if I am still pleased with it.

Ah, that's better!  This is a lighter, more delicate fender, and it doesn't block the beautiful fireplace.  I may still get the Chinoiserie fender from Sue Cook, we'll have to see...

This fender was made by bending a piece of antique filligree brass into shape, a very simple and effective method.

Either side of the fireplace are some columns to give an extra element of elegance to the room.  There is a mix of Chinoiserie and classical 18th century in this room, which makes it feel homely rather than stately.

The sconces have been moved from the Sitting Room, I am quite pleased with them, as I made them out of cold porcelain, and I think it is quite effective.

The layout of this room has been a bit of a conundrum, as it is quite long and narrow, with no natural light from a window.  It also has two doors, so risks being a 'through route'.

I wanted a light room, between the formality of the Drawing Room, and the cosiness of the Sitting Room.  It is next to the Library on the second floor, so it is quite a private room.  The first floor consists of the Drawing Room, the Dining Room and the Music Room, all formal rooms for entertaining guests on the Primo Piano.  The second floor consists of more private, family rooms; the Breakfast Room, the Yellow Drawing Room and the Library. 

I also wanted a room to reflect some of my travels around the world, without it becoming a 'theme' room.  Personal objects and souvenirs picked up on the way, that sort of thing.  It also gives me scope to add more in the future.

The compass ceiling rose from Sue Cook was a good place to start. I hesitated about painting it, but decided against, as I prefer the subtle look in this room.  Hanging below is the chandelier I made for the music room, but I think it goes very well here.  I covered the wires with silk ribbon, and added a red silk tassel (because I am addicted to adding tassels to things!)

The corner cupboard and Chinoiserie chair have also migrated from the former Sitting Room.  It was my first attempt at lacquer work, and I was delighted to find an old piece of silk embroidery that I did years and years ago, it fitted perfectly on the seat.  I never throw anything minituare related out, just-in-case!

I like the ecletic mix of styles in this room.  I didn't want to have a completely chinoiserie room, as I don't think it would be authentic to the residents of Daviot House.  Not a very grand family, they propably wouldn't be able to afford a complete Chippendale chinoiserie room, but a few touches here and there to keep up with the fashion, just about. 

Perhaps this chair came from a suite of furniture but the rest has been lost, attacked by the dreaded woodworm or given away over the intervening centuries?  Whatever the reason, we just have one now, nestled in a corner and used from time to time at the writing desk.

Another serendipitous find was the silk embroidery for the fire screen.  I bought the screen last year, and then had 'long thinks' about the design I would do.  Hunting around in my Abandoned Projects Box I found this little Chinoiserie embroidery I made and then forgot about.  And it fitted perfectly! 

 I love it when things come together like that, and I am very pleased!  Moral of the tale, never throw anything you make away, and always check your stash before embarking on a new project.

The birds look like fantastical Golden Pheasants, one of the animals I always associate with my childhood in Hong Kong.  Plus it is a welcome break from florals!

Here is the collection of embroideries I have made, some old and some new for this room.  They are all different, and I think  this gives a natural 'lived-in' feel to the room.

And of course, the carpet!  I started this at the end of the summer last year, and finally finished it this April.  I don't sew every day, and pick it up in the evenings after work.  When I travel, I take my embroidery with me - I think I am the only person who makes miniature carpets on planes and in airports, but I'm sure there are other miniaturists out there who do the same.  Perhaps we will meet across a crowded departures hall one day...

It is a square carpet for a rectangular room as I wanted to break up the tunnel-like effect of the room, and make a seating area in the centre of the room.

I make my carpets on 46 count linen, not silk gauze, as I prefer the finishing;  the carpets are are still very flexible, and easier to block.  The linen can take a bit more rough handling than silk gauze; it doesn't fray and it for me personally, I prefer the softer feel of linen.  Plus it is much more economical when making a large carpet!

I made the design myself as I sew (as I do for all my carpets) because I can make something completely unique for my house, the perfect size and colours I need, and also (for the most part) because I can't stand reading charts!  I complete one corner first, and then copy the design in the other three corners.  

When I finished the carpet, I made a cushion with some of the same design elements.  Here I used 48 count silk gauze, as it is more delicate for a cushion.

The chaise longue (or meridienne) was a lovely find a few years ago on ebay.  It is unsigned, but it looks like a David Booth model.  I reupholstered it with striped silk, to match the striped silk on the Nancy Summers arm chair.  It is also a great place to display more cushions!


Every drawing room needs a small desk to write thank you notes and billets doux, and I love this little desk by Escutcheon.  It is quite small, but has enough space to display items.  The little cupboard opens, but I haven't decided what to put in it yet.

The desk fits perfectly along the wall without being too dominant.

On the wall I put some antique engravings of Hong Kong harbour.  I made these years ago, and they are starting to lool a little shabby, so I will probably remake them.  The plate is a copy I painted of an antique Crown Derby plate that belonged to my great grandmother.

The large landscape is by Andrew Nichols; it is not a Scottish scene, but reminds me of a place in Buckinghamshire where I spent some years.

I have a number of paintings by Andrew in Daviot House, and I am always delighted by their detail  He also makes wonderful frames for his paintings.  I like the size of this one, and the road that takes you on your travels...

This lovely gilded bronze French photo frame was found in an antiques shop in Dijon, and I love the Rococo swirls!  Whenever I visit a place I always try to find the tiniest souvenir possible to put in my house.   I haven't decided which painting to put in it yet, but for the moment there is a print of an early 16th century child.  I love her embroidered dress, and I am tempted to recreate it in miniature!

This beautiful hand painted miniature was a fabulous find in a local garage sale, bought for the princely sum of 5 euros!!!  I tried to keep a straight face when the man told me the price, and I grinned all the way home!

I like the curved shapes of these objects, the painting, the clock and the inlaid demi-lune table, it has a certain harmony.

The clock is an exquisite work by Keith Bourgourd.  I love the bright parrot green, and the rich brass filligree.  I am always amazed by his work.

A tiny dumb-waiter has found its way into a corner of the room.  I haven't finished filling it with knick knacks and souvenirs from travels, but it will take a little time.  It is always good to leave some space in a room to continue collecting.

The bird cage has needed a permanent home in Daviot House since I bought it.  It never quite looked right in the other rooms, and I think this is probably its forever-home.  There is a tiny yellow bird iside, and I think I shall make some more, to keep it company.  For the moment, Pooter the Parrot is visiting from the Library.

More birds in the form of V&R miniatures spill vases, and another Chinoiserie touch with a beautiful Muriel Hopwood vase on the mantlepiece.

The large oil painting I did for the sitting room looks much better here against the yellow walls.

I had originally wanted a coffee table in the centre, however all the tables I had obscured the centre of the carpet, which I thought was a bit of a pity. For the moment I am using a wine table by Val Kraeger for the coffee and flowers, made from kits by Pascale Garnier.

The delightful Queen Anne coffee pot is by Stephen J Randall, and the cups and saucers are by Avon Miniatures.

To protect the table from the heat of the coffee pot, I have put down a beautiful crocheted doily by Minigio, and there is a tiny box of sugared almonds from Ladurée.  Perfect for a mid-morning tête-à-tête.

I wish you a very pleasant May Day,




  1. Dear Jonquil, Happy May Day! I am sorry to hear of the loss of your Father, and can join you in sorrow, having just lost mine after a short decline. It is disorienting to say the least. As for your appreciation of the mini details, I love your work! You do exquisite embroidery and I am a big fan! I have not "graduated" to free-hand design with the petit-point work, but am at least attempting some of my own designs. It is addictive! Your serendipitous finds of the scraps of earlier work is true harmony! I love those things we have kept since forever and suddenly they have their home! The bird theme is lovely as are the soft yellow colors, not trying too hard to "match" but just to "feel" right together. Your carpet is a tour de force! You have an amazing ability to design as you go! The results are stunning! I love how the central medallion mimics the ceiling "compass rose" but not exactly! I am intrigued by your cold porcelain work.... I may have to look into this myself! As always, you have made a beautiful, elegant, comfortable and serene room! I would love to sit there for tea and sugared almonds!!

  2. I am very sorry for your loss. The room is wonderful with your gift for details. I always enjoy reading about all these details. I admire a lot your embroidery work, the carpet is astonishing and the embroidery for the firescreen is beautiful. I love your bouquet. I won't write about everything that caught my eye and I like otherwise this comment would be very long.

    1. Thank you so much Geneviève for your kind thoughts. I am glad you dnjoy reading my blog, I seem to write less these days but I like to document whatever progress I make! 😀

  3. Siento mucho tu pérdida , la ausencia será muy grande en los momentos que compartías los trabajos con él. Es impresionante tu alfombra y más diseñándola tu misma; todos los bordados igualmente .Enumeran todos los detalles tan delicados me faltarían adjetivos para todos ellos ; logras una armonía perfecta. Es emocionante encontrar esos pequeños tesoros; espero encontrar alguno en mi visita programada a Lyon y Dijon ahora en el mes de mayo.

    1. Muchas gracias Rosa Maria, no hay muchos brocantes en lyon pero hay una tienda maravillosa que se llama Antiqites Marilyn donde a veces se pueden encontrar cositas. La dirección es 55 rue auguste comte, pero deberías comprobar sus horarios de apertura antes de ir. Espero que disfrutes mucho de tus vacaciones aquí!

  4. A beautifully and skillfully made room. I have watched it many times how real it looks. I wish you strength in your grief.

    1. Thank you! I think realism is such a good compliment. Thank you for your kind thoughts

  5. J'admire les broderies et le tapis !

  6. When I was away from home nursing my dying Dad I used the planning out of my miniature dreams as a distraction. I'm sorry for the loss of your Father. How lovely that he spent time creating things for you! I shall probably re-read this post many times to absorb all the details...I love your work.

    1. Thank you so much Jill, and for your kind thoughts. I agree, miniatures have a wonderful soothing quality to focus the mind away from stress, perhaps along with gardeners, miniaturists invented mindfulness! I'm so glad you enjoy the blog 😊

  7. La estancia ha quedado preciosa.Tiene bonitos detalles que están muy bien conjuntados. ¡Me encanta la alfombra! Aporta mucha elegancia.
    Lamento la muerte de tu padre.

  8. You were very blessed to have had a dad who made your childhood feel special, and I'm so sorry for you and your family's loss. I'm sure he enjoyed being a grandfather to your boys so they must be grieving too.
    Miniatures are a good distraction and you've once again outdone yourself with the decoration and accessories of this quiet and serene yellow room. I've no doubt that your father was Very Proud to have had a daughter as talented as you, able to carry on his creative legacy. ❤️


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