Inside and out

Kate cleaning chest of drawers in the Yellow Taffeta Bedroom at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Kate cleaning chest of drawers in the Yellow Taffeta Bedroom at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

During one of our recent Conservation in Action days, we focused our attention on the lovely satinwood chest of drawers in the Yellow Taffeta Bedroom. Continue reading

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Continuing the Winter Clean

Jo and volunteer, Linden, both with hip vacs, dusting dado rail in Long Gallery at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Jo and volunteer, Linden, both with hip vacs, dusting dado rail in Long Gallery at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Last winter, our house team worked their socks off, Continue reading

Surprise in one of the lacquer cabinets

While condition checking and cleaning one of the lacquer cabinets in Mrs Child’s Dressing

The Lacquer cabinet (with a drawer missing) in Mrs. Child's Dressing Room at Osterley Park.

The Lacquer cabinet in Mrs. Child’s Dressing Room at Osterley Park.

Room, a couple of unwelcome visitors were discovered in a bottom drawer.  A few woolly bears (no longer alive) were found amid a pile of suspicious looking fragments. The base of the lacquer drawer was also patterned with golden blooms that may have been a result of previous mould damage, or some sort of damage to the wood layer underneath the resin layers. All the other drawers and the shell of the cabinet were in great condition, so the discovery of the problematic drawer was completely unexpected and poses some interesting questions. Could the drawer have contained something which attracted the pests and caused the damage to the surface?  Could this explain where the dust fragments we found came from? Continue reading

Putting the State Apartment to bed

Curtains let down in Tapestry Room at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Curtains let down in Tapestry Room at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

By now, lots of properties have started their winter clean for 2014/15 and Osterley is no different.  Having got a head start in September, thanks to the Conservation in Action that we carried out during London Open House, we have now finished in the Drawing Room and the State Apartment, and the rooms are sleeping peacefully, waiting for the new season.

Continue reading

Ssshh! No talking in the library!

Library in midst of winter clean.

Library at Osterley Park, during the winter clean (image: Laura Brooks)

Osterley is a house full of things to intrigue and excite, and I don’t just mean the collection.  One room that sometimes proves interesting to visitors is the Library.  There are a couple of reasons for this, one of which we’ll blog about at a later date, but the other is its colour, or rather, lack of, as some would say.  For a house that combines pink with green in one room, contains a rather beautiful shade of blue in another (if we do say so ourselves), whilst yet another is a riot of colour (and largely unfaded after more than two hundred years), you could be forgiven for thinking that every single room was just as colourful, other than the servants’ rooms, of course.  This is not the case. Continue reading

Cleaning in a 130ft long room

Long Gallery in November 2013

Long Gallery during open season (image: Laura Brooks)

A few weeks ago, with the Drawing Room and the State Apartment (otherwise known as the Tapestry Room, the State Bedroom and Etruscan Room) done and dusted (literally), it was time to move onto the 130ft Long Gallery. Continue reading

And the clean goes on…

Kate cleaning gilding by window pelmet in Drawing Room.

Kate cleaning by frieze in Drawing Room (image: Laura Brooks)

We are well into 2014 now and the winter clean is continuing, ready for when the house opens in March.  As explained in our post ‘That time of year’, the winter clean is also known as ‘Putting the house to bed.’  Charlecote Park, a National Trust property in Warwickshire, also blogged on this recently and gave a good explanation as to how and why it is done, in their post ‘Putting the house to bed’. Continue reading