Saturday, March 5, 2016

Establishing a Theme

Getting a project started from scratch is never easy for me.  At least with dollhouses.  The last one didn't go quite as well as I'd hoped and let's all just pray that I learnt from my mistakes on that one.  Strangely enough, starting a new story is the opposite. I'm always overflowing with ideas that pour themselves onto the page but peter out after a while.

With stories, finishing is the hard part.  Plot, theme, character interaction, those all try to do what they want and corralling them into a finished story is a little like herding cats.

With the dollhouse... it takes me a bit to get going.  I've got some great inspiration photos.  Gorgeous shotgun houses down in New Orleans, beautiful two story homes with similar rooflines, and Bourbon street row houses with balconies that make me drool.


For safety's sake I need a higher balcony railing.  But I am enjoying the clean look of the roofline.

I really want to find some four inch brackets like the first house on the right.  Love how those look.

I think I could pull off something like the brick house here. Carved posts and fancy brackets underneath?

Much as I love the fancy balcony roof trim, it might be too much.

This is another favorite. 

So obviously I've got plenty of inspiration about the outside right?  The inside, the overall theme of the house... that's a little more difficult.  But with some looking around and shopping I think I've got an idea.

The Architect's Abode was very modern.  To the point of turning the second bedroom into a studio.  It had very chic furniture thanks to the Etsy shops of Otterine and ModPodMiniatures.  I want something a little more blended this time around.  New Orleans is this crazy, wonderful place with plenty of history but updated for modern living.

So I want the house to look as if it has history.  And I think the trim, moldings, floors and railings will be the way to establish that.  The furniture will follow, comfortable but still elegant enough that it doesn't look out of place.

The kit comes with those gorgeous windows and doors, and really that's what sold me on it.  I don't like how low the ceilings are or how small the original footprint is, but those windows and doors just called to me.

I liked how they had the cross bar but the curve at the top of the window was very modern.  The curve softens the effect of the windows.  So taking that as a jumping off point, I decided to go with a combination of angles and curves. 

So here are some of the things that will establish the character of the house.

An overall view

Crown molding, the front door and the living room/dining room floors.
Otterine did this gorgeous patterned floor in her Haunted Heritage, Grandma's Parlor... And I'm hoping to do something similar for the NOLA House living room/dining room.

The stair rail, a kit window and the window for under the roof peak
The stairs call for a ten inch wall for the lower level which is just about how I like it.  For the second floor I'm going with a nine and a half inch wall.  It's about an inch higher than the kit calls for but in order to have a balcony that won't look super cluttered or closed in, I need a higher ceiling.

I feel for the railing right away with the combination of curves and angles.  The diamond shapes match the floor and the curves echo the tops of the windows.

For these stairs I don't think I'm going to build a wall and a hidden bath.  Shotgun houses tend to have a lot of open space so I'm going to leave the space beneath them open. 

Some flooring, cherry beadboard and another kit window.

I thought about using the bead board for wall paneling but I didn't want it to be too dark or busy, considering the geometric pattern for the flooring.  I have three pieces about this size in cherry wood but I've got some larger pieces in plain old bass wood and I'm planning on using them for the ceilings rather than plaster/paper.  The second floor will have a half attic over the bathroom with a higher ceiling in the bedroom.  And I'm debating doing an attic door like Otterine's.  Given that the hidden stairs I found on Ebay are more than twenty bucks.  That's a lot of money for an attic you can't even stand up in.

At least that's the current plan.  I love the look of dark roof beams with beadboard paneling between them so I'm going to do that for the bedroom ceiling. 

Flooring for the bedroom will be a bit simpler.

As for furniture, I'm hoping to make a lot of it.  I've got a bunch of kits and some good ideas for the kitchen.  I'm flexible on colors but I was thinking of something earth toned.  Browns, golds, with pops of red maybe.

So? Any great thoughts or suggestions for me?

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