It’s all hands on deck now at Normanby Hall, with the decorators starting work on touching up the paintwork in some of the rooms, and completely transforming others. This work will take place over the next few weeks.
The first job is to touch up areas in the Drawing Room (previously the West Silk Drawing Room), Library (previously the East Silk Drawing Room) and staircase where there has been previous damage due to water ingress. Some of the paintings in the Dining Room are being removed so there is also work to be done to touch up the walls in there. The decorators face the challenge of working around the Collections team and a furniture moving company for the first couple of days as we finish clearing a path for the work to be done, as well as removing paintings from the walls. Once one room is completed by the decorators, the team will then work quickly to set the furniture and thoroughly clean the area. The photography company can then photograph the rooms and the objects, which I will upload onto the touchscreens as object and exhibition guides.
After the repair work has been done in these rooms, the decorators will give the Bedroom a much-needed refurbishment, painting the walls, ceiling, skirtings, door and window frames. In the following week, the decorators will transform the old Nursery, stripping the wallpaper and painting the walls and ceiling, ready for the floor to be sanded and polished to make it look good as new. Once this work has been done, I can start installing the new Life Below Stairs gallery.
And in the final week, the Library will be stripped of its wallpaper and completely painted, then I can turn it into the Study. The biggest challenge we face in this room is moving the huge Gillows bookcase away from the wall, or there will forever be a patch of wallpaper behind it!
Once the decorators have finished and the photography has been done, a company will spend two weeks replacing the UV film on all the windows and installing new blinds in the rooms. The blinds are an upgraded version of what we currently have, which I will explain more about in the next blog.