Interior work of the Château

We always knew it would be hard, but the extent of it, well, only over time, has that truly hit us. As they say “nothing comes easy, only by hard work, will you achieve the end goal” for us that’s true, our end goal is being able to share this beautiful building and be the most romantic place that we can be.

Bromley Family

Where does one even start with the interior work of the Château, with one step forward this old lady hit us with twenty back.

With now fourteen bedrooms and ensuites, three main hallways on three levels, three staircases – Wooden, Spiral stone, and the main Grand iron staircase, with its beautiful landings. Then a huge kitchen, soon to be Cognac room and Dining rooms.

As we aren’t listed as a heritage property, we come in under the regular renovation regulations and red tape, also because the Château is zoned as residential premises, and is not available to the public as yet, we have to bring it up to a public use standards, with fire alarms and safety systems, wheelchair accessibility and general safety, in which all are considered before we can move on.

Nothing happens fast here, if you have experienced a renovation project, you know every step takes time, everything gets checked, double checked, for safety reasons, and to make sure it’s all done correctly, but like anything, it’s always worth taking it slow, “slow and steady win the race” as they say..! and getting it done right, the first time, is one thing we aim to achieve every time.

It might not sound like much, but everything has been pulled back, to its bare stone shells, nothing was safe, everything needed to be redone and this time done right, for safety.

We have run around 21km, “yes” 21km of electric wires, we’ve run all fire alarm wires, all the lighting, all the hot and cold pipes, all the plumbing for toilets and heating, so that about 600 meters, after fitting in Two new heating systems, we’ve sprayed all vermiculite to seal up all the gaps, for our fire rating.
All the boring jobs that no one, will see when all the plasterboards, decorative cornice and panels are up and on the walls.
But still, very necessary and important jobs, that have taken us forever to do

We have been working alongside electricians, we’ve had to drill many holes through 500mm to 2 meters thick stone walls, to run the cables between rooms and between levels, everything being prepared to connect it to the sockets and switches.
This has been a task! Because the wiring that was already in the Château was dangerous and outdated, we’ve had to pull it all out and start from fresh, everything will be new, safe and modern with our old-fashioned century twist.

We cement rendering, which means we seal up all the exposed limestone walls.

This is an important part of the work, which adds a little stress, mixed in with some strenuous, hard work, we have mixed and applied over 15 tonnes of sand and 2 tonnes of cement (plus waterproofing additive) to the walls.

The coating has many benefits, importantly, it will help to keep the dampness out of the ground floor, by stopping moisture from coming in through the external walls. It also allows us to smooth out any bumps and dips in the walls where there has been a movement over the years, the render will also add strength to the walls and provide a firm backing to the decorative work that is soon to come.

To get the walls ready for the decorative plaster panels, we applied “One coat” plaster to them, this is a finished product, it takes about 5 stages to get this right, along with very good timing and skill!
Stage one is applying the plaster, the second is flattening with a straight edge, the third is flattening, the fourth flattening any lines in plaster and the fifth is a wet sponge and polishing it.

It’s a fast, but difficult process and it takes everyone to get it done right, everyone has a job to do for the result to be perfect, this is one of many, many, many walls that need doing, throughout the whole Château

But we remind ourselves on a project like this, mishaps and complications will arise, it’s how we manage as a team that makes or break us.

For all the ceilings, we insulated, frames with the fire rating metal and we’ve double plaster boarded with fire rating boards (so a 1 hour fire rating), carried a lot of 13mm by 2.4m boards, up, around, through tight and small spaces, a great way to see if you’re good at a 3D puzzle, this included to ensuites and the hallway and master staircase.

We have had some hard days, weeks and even months, everything that could go wrong, pretty much has gone wrong, orders, sizes, walls and stones falling, close calls and even some unforeseen changes.
We would be lying if we didn’t say, that at some point or another, it’s been overwhelming and even a little hard to keep going.

Between doing all this we also started on the kitchen, we removed the 1950s terracotta brick walls which were installed in front of the stone walls, and we stripped the bottom half of lime plaster from the walls and re-rendered it.
Once it was dry, we tiled the walls with these stunning classic metro tiles

The most important Ceilings in the Château is the entrance ceiling, high above the main staircase it’s the first ceiling you will see when you walk through the main “Green” doors”.

This ceiling is going to make a statement, the pure pleasure between romance and the feeling that you’re standing back in time with the added-on twist of modern features (due to requirement), with that beautiful centrepiece, where we are going to be hanging on, an one of a kind chandelier, all the while overlooking the stunning stone and iron staircase, which has its own “wow” factor.

The hallway on the ground floor was another big job that we did. We put up the first plaster architrave around the door and then added the plaster wall panels all the way down the hallway.

Then we added the Architraves/Mouldings down the hallway as well, this was one of the most beautiful touches, that the Château finally deserves, this was a fun and very detailed job to-do.

We also took some time to clean up, sandblast and re-pointed the sandstone in the entrance way this is one of the first things you will see when walking through the green mysterious doors.

Where we have the reception area we have planned for a beautiful seating area which will be next to the main staircase.
We decided to also build a reception desk from scratch making it one of a kind. We then plastered it ready for the decorative panels to match the hallway we are also tossing around the ideas for the countertop.

We even started making our very own unique plaster architrave for the Château although we had a few mess-ups with the mixture and a few mistakes with the mould, in the end, it turned out exactly as we had imagined. It’s something unique to the Château and a personal touch from us.

We made progress on the bathrooms as we tiled them, put up the wall panels, and put in the toilets and the claw-foot baths.

We have finished the Entrance, the vision we’ve only seen in our heads, has now started to come alight, for all to see – now when you walk in through the doors, the first thing you’ll see is the newly painted powder blue walls, with the Crème de la crème white frosting cornice, skirting and ornamental plasterwork, keeping it to an authentic look as close as we possibly can.

When you look down the corridors you also see the beautiful powder blue walls, with the Crème de la crème white frosting cornice, skirting and ornamental plasterwork, that leads you to the bedrooms.

We have sandblasted, stripped and repaired the iron bannister on the main staircase and painted it high gloss black we missed all the flowers to put in some gold leaf.

We started painting our ensuite a steel blue.

Then we started painting the first and second rooms, Forest Green and Château Red.

As we prepare the kitchen, we will be painting and freshening it up,

This is only a small summary of what we have accomplished in the interior so far, theirs are still enormous tasks ahead of us, but it will be exciting to reveal the room colours and the surprise we have to make this old lady shine bright.  

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