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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 February 2006, 19:20 GMT
Flat turned into Baroque replica
Dennis Nelems has spent 30,000 decorating his flat

A cabinet maker laboured for six years to turn his Lancashire retirement flat into a copy of French king Louis XIV's Palace of Versailles.

Dennis Nelems, 65, of Cleveleys, near Blackpool, spent 30,000 recreating the Baroque masterpiece as he hated his flat's beige carpets and plain walls.

The two-bedroomed home is now adorned with angels, cherubs and sketched paintings in the style of Michelangelo.

Mr Nelems wife, Norma, 62, said she "wouldn't have it any other way."

She added: "When we got married I had no idea he would do something like this, he just said he was going to do some decorating."

He just said he was going to do some decorating
Norma Nelems

Mr Nelems said he had always been interested in Baroque and Renaissance art and had decorated four previous homes in a similar way.

After modelling a design in clay, he makes a latex mould, fills it with plaster and, once set, screws it to the wall and paints it.

He has added pillars, cornices and gilded frames to the lounge, hallway and the dining room.

"I couldn't bear to be idle when I retired, this became what I do all day," he said.

"I don't know what else I am going to do so I might have to do the bedrooms next.

"People always say it is wonderful when they come to look and when we sold the other houses the buyers asked how we could leave something so beautiful.

"But I just say I will do it even better in the next house, although I think this might be the last one."


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