Friday, January 27, 2012

Painting the Servant's Quarters - Part II

If you've been watching Downton Abbey, you have a pretty good idea of what a maid's bedroom looks like. Above is a shot of a maid's quarter recreated at Trail End in Wyoming, a beautiful mansion, now a museum. Although the DV is very far from being like Downtown Abbey and Trail End, I think that the maid's quarters would have been very similar. To know more about the servants' duties go to this historical site on Weddington Castle here.

One of my pet peeves: people who do not remove the hardware before they paint a room or a house. And it's probably the worst pet peeve to have when you own a century old house.



If painting a room was actually just painting a room, I would be finished by now. But for the owner of an old home, all that prep work before the actual painting is like a track and field obstacle course. I also prefer painting my doors flat, so I'm also one of the reasons why it takes longer. Thank goodness I don't have to deal with structural problems.

The following shots will show you how the maid(s) quarters were and still are separate from the rest of the house with its own door, hallway and staircase leading down to the kitchen.

Up the main staircase, on the landing of the second level there's a door.

This door leeds to a small hallway and two other rooms. On the left the bathroom, on the right the laundry room.

Work in progress in the laundry room.

The small hallway leads to a staircase...

..which leeds down to the kitchen. When we first moved to the DV, we were not used to the narrowness and steepness of these stairs and we all, at one point or another, took a tumble, dogs included.

When the two doors are closed, they really help in cutting down on the kitchen noises, convenient for when we have guests and we have to get up early to prepare breakfast.


Ashley said...

I love your back staircase! I so wish our house had one.

Your hardware looks AMAZING.

The Dusty Victorian said...

Thanks Ashley,
Our dogs have stop using this staircase, no love there.
It's the only time they won't follow me up or down.

Richard Cottrell said...

I love backstairs. They were so fun and meant so much in society. Mine was removed in 1860. Sad, I did not put it back. Maybe someday. Love yours. Richard from My Old Historic House.

The Dusty Victorian said...

Hello Richard,
I appreciate them the most since I'm the cook and the maid in our home. It's remarkable that you know that your back staircase was removed in 1860. I envy all the information you have on your house. It's wonderful.

JC said...

Wonderful job so far. I am also one of the people who is really annoyed with people who don't bother to remove hardware, light fixtures, or even outlets/switches before painting. How hard is it to at LEAST tape around them...

The Dusty Victorian said...

Totally agree JC, I consider myself pretty good with a paint brush, but even I don't take chances.
Thanks for dropping in.

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Any├Ęs-

I just love all the mouldings and woodwork in your house! So massive and detailed. It's great that you still have all the doors, and even the back stairway. I grew up in a house where everything had paint all over it, so I just grew to hate paint, even on walls! I'd much rather have varnished wood, and wallpaper everywhere. That's my dream for my house. I like your door hardware after the paint removal... looks brand new!


The Dusty Victorian said...

Hello Pam,
I totally understand about wanting the opposite of what we grew up from. If I had unlimited funds, there are areas in the house I would strip back to wood. Even if I'm not big on knotty pine, I do appreciate the look of rich varnish wood. Your house will be soooo charming with your vision for it.

Mrs. D said...

Hi Anyes,

You are so patient with each task you perform. I'm glad you shared your pet peeve and in pictures show us the results of your hardwork--the hardware looks so grand!

You deserve lots of praise. The house looks wonderful. Keep posting pics of your house. I never get tired of seeing them!

your friend
Mrs. D

Mark D. Ruffner said...

Hello, Anyes,

My first apartment away from home was in a house built in the 1890s. It also had a back stairway to the kitchen. I had a landlady for whom I was a surrogate son, and when she fixed me breakfast, which she did now and then, I'd always go down the back stairs to her kitchen. It's a pleasant memory.

My apartment had been the master bedroom suite, with two fireplaces. There were also still push buttons in the bedroom for summoning the servants. I guess people needed coffee in bed!

The Dusty Victorian said...

Thank you so much Linda,
I could tell you stories about my patience, or the lack of it, I should say. But I guess we have a lot of patience for the things and people we love.
Always a pleasure,

The Dusty Victorian said...

Hello Mark,
Your comment reads like the beginning of a novel. I can totally imagine this scene. What a sweet memory.