A Continuing Niche


The stairhall niche a few months ago. All the wood was dark with aged shellac, an AC duct winded its way under the ceiling joists, forcing a lowered ceiling. And the walls were highly damaged.


By using the patented Baby Steps Method™, I slowly restored all the wood to its original, lighter finish. And I was able, after an absurd amount of work, to get the AC duct up INTO the ceiling joists. Thus, the original ceiling height could be restored.


Much repairing then ensued.


And today I was able to prime!!!!!!!! I have the missing trim bits.


I am working with the Stencil Library in England to create a stencil version of the original frieze and ceiling pattern. A luscious period-correct gilded picture rail, a gift from Blair, will be installed about 22-inches below the ceiling to recreate the lost original rail.

In the meantime, I plan to paint the walls and ceiling in an approximation of the original background colors of the 1894 papers.

And when all is done…Bo’s mystery light will be hung!!!!!!!!



  1. Vilya on June 2, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    I am obsessed with the niche, and I cannot WAIT to see it fully restored to all its former glory!

  2. Kim on June 2, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    Wasn’t there mention of a light fixture for the niche? Is that an impossibility with the duct work up there?
    This is so exciting- I can’t wait to see the stencils for this area! ☺

  3. Annette on June 3, 2018 at 12:15 am

    Oh my sweet lord what an impossibly huge improvement. It is looking so much better. A mystery light from Bo, how cool. Can’t wait for it to be finished. It will be a gorgeous promise of how amazing the rest of the house will be.

  4. Dan Goodall-Williams on June 3, 2018 at 7:23 am

    Wow, progressing so nicely. Oh, how is the radiator?

  5. Sandra Lee on June 3, 2018 at 9:26 am

    The niche work in progress —fabulously coming to fruition!

    Restored wood amazing!

  6. Celeste on June 3, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    Ross, the north niche is already showing a massive improvement with the restored ceiling level, clean unbroken plaster, lightened wood trim, cleaned radiator, and restored stained glass windows.

    I’m very curious about Bo’s light and can’t wait to see it installed.

    I’m looking forward to your future “after” photos. Actually, that is a bit of an understatement!

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