Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Apple Store

We have done a lot of work in the last year at Fasque House in Kincardineshire a wonderful wedding and conference destination that has been created in the house and grounds former home of Prime Minister Gladstone's family.

The owners Doug and Heather Dick-Reid have taken on what is a seemingly impossible task of restoring and bringing to life a house that seemed beyond economic to do so. With a whole floor of the house attacked by dry rot and parts of the rest of the house that hadn't even been opened in 30 or 40 years, and if they were to get grants it required them to  replace like for like lathe and lime plaster had to be replaced with lathe and lime plaster, stone had to be repaired with lime mortar.  No plaster-board and silicon for these guys...that puts a huge strain on the budget even when you have grants given. Sometimes a grant given to help rebuild an historic home is only just economically viable depending in the constraints that are levied on the restorer, and the hoops that are required to to be jumped through can be endless, paperwork alone taking many hours to prepare.

A little part of Fasque's estate hidden down in the then dilapidated kitchen garden was the sweetest building originally called the "Apple Store" now known as the Garden Rooms and sometimes referred to in documents as Fasque's Gothic Pavilion

Source here

Here it is looking a tad sorry for itself, windows broken, roof crumbling and in desperate need of repair.

When we first took a tour of this building they had just started on the renovations and much of the original character remained despite it's sad state

The stair turret
The distempered walls in a sky blue were charming but flaking beyond repair and while the green is a rather stunning colour it is mould...

original graining but only one small section could be salvaged

Upstairs in what is now the bedroom and toilet turret the lath and first coat of lime plaster was in full flow

traditional lathe hand made by the builders on site
Using traditional lime plaster limits you as to what you can apply to the surface in the ensuing period. The walls need to breath and must have vapour permeable products applied. This precludes all normal vinyl matt paints and acrylic paints as well as oil based products, nor can you wallpaper as the wall will "sweat" beneath the paper or non breathable paint and the alkali nature of lime will break down these surface coatings.

We had a challenge ahead when we were asked to complete decorative finishes that would look amazing and could be applied to fresh lime plaster....of course we rose to the challenge. And we have some of the most beautiful and innovative finishes in this tiny building- necessity is the mother of invention as they say.

Here is the Lathe and Plaster room finished

a close up of the sparkly finish

The graining done afresh although one area that will still good was retained

The bedroom

The ceiling and wall finish

A sky ceiling was applied to the stairwell

Along with a cherub or two

And here is Emily my stalwart throughout much of this project, very adequately demonstrating the conditions on the site.
But this is how we left amazing team!

To see more of how it is today visit -

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