Thursday, May 29, 2014

Paint & Mock Ups

Well it's a short week!  And I'm so glad.  Next week is going to be... interesting.  Lets leave it at that.  The first seven business days of the month?  Never a happy time.  But I intend to enjoy the weekend before I get slammed. 

So a few things accomplished in this past week.  I painted the outsides of the cottage.  Instead of going to the store and getting a paint color mixed I just took the dark blue trim color of the old house and the pale blue main color and mixed them together. 

It came out to a nice medium blue, not purple-ish which I was worried about, but a good creamy blue.  I really like it though I don't think it shows as well in this picture as it does in actual life.

See what I mean?  It's not super pale but it isn't dark either.
For the inside I plan on having the entire house with the same color walls.  The only exception will be the bathroom and that will be mostly the same but one area will be tiled.

See?  Here's the inside.  I'm doing a mock up of how I can put everything before I decide on the way the stairs will be.  See? Nice light blue.  Almost white but not quite.  (Rhymes! LOL)

It's a really pale blue but it's very beachy to me.
See the idea  is that if I use the second floor the way they say in the plans the stairs will be located in the rear left corner.  I've made pencil marks to show where the stairs would be.  I figure two inches square at least for the space they'll need.

Pencil marks wouldn't show so I did this instead.  I'm not sure if I like that location for the stairs.
So if I turn the upper floor over you can see where I think the stairs might work out better.

This makes a bit more sense to me as to where the stairs should be located.
And since I don't have the stairs yet I've decided to use a similar sized box for blocking. 

Like so.  It's not perfect but it gives me a good idea.
So here's my first set up for the kitchen and living room.  This is with the stairs in the rear left position.  I'm not sure I like it very much.  The kitchen doesn't flow very well.  I don't like the fridge being far away from the sink and stove much.

Pretend there's another wall on the right with a fireplace and a built in set of shelves.
So I tried it another way, just to see if I'd like it better.

And I actually like this even less.  I don't like the fridge being just inside the front door. 
 So I switched the stairs around to see if I could figure another way of doing this.  See the daybed looks deceptively large but it really is the same size as the couch would be.  And I need the daybed so I can add a trundle under it and that way the living room is good for a guest or kids.

See this is marginally better I think I like the island positioned like this at least. 
It means the stairs get moved back.  But that's not too bad.  I can also pull the island back somewhat. I even played with having the hutch cabinet and the fridge on either side of the stairs but I really don't like how it looks.  Too cramped on one side and too empty on the other.  I don't like how close the island is to the stairs and fridge either.

See this is very odd looking to me.

I think this is good but the island isn't really perfect.  I think I like the island being horizontal to the sink and stove the best. 

Yeah I like how the living room is placed but I think the island needs to be turned.
 I'm planning to recover the chair with a brown fabric.  Something rusty or oak in color.  The daybed needs a different cushion cover and some pillows to make it look like a couch.

The other issue is that the upstairs floor will be upside down so the floorboards will look more like a bead board ceiling.  So I might need to sand it and paint it white.  That'll give it a nice contrast with the crossbeams I'm going to do. 

So the upstairs will need flooring.  That'll be something to look for.  But that's okay.  I think the changed set up will be worth it. 

The plan is to add the fireplace to the right side of the house.  I've got boards cut for the built-in bookshelf already.  I mentioned that I want a chimney on the outside of the house.  What I'm planning to do is a combination of tape wire and direct wiring.  I'll have to do that after I put the house together (mostly) but before I put flooring or tile in.  There's an awesome tutorial on Greenleaf here

So I figure I'll hide the switches/transformer in the chimney.  I can use hinges and a magnetic lock to open and close it.  A few small holes drilled into the walls and I'll have the wires hidden either in the beams or the chimney.  The upstairs will be trickier but I can hide the wire tape behind some of the tile in the bathroom and put outlets in places where they won't be noticeable in the bedroom.

I can wire one to be behind the bed and that will power a table lamp.  And I can run wire and hide it with the center ceiling beam by drilling a hole through the beam maybe to get a ceiling light.  A rustic looking chandelier maybe?  Like this?

I'm planning a ceiling fan over the kitchen area and one over the living room area too. 

Like this only I want to paint the brass black or bronze or something.  Unless I really like the look of the brass once I get it near the house.  It might look nice with the daybed.  I just don't want to be overwhelmed with it.

I want to have a wall sconce on either side of the mirror in the bathroom.  But I don't want it too brightly lit.  I like these sconces.

Plus its an angled ceiling and the room is too small for a hanging light.

Oh, here's someone who's going to be keeping an eye on the build.  This is Swoops.

He's very interested in the whole process.
Swoops was purchased at the same time as the dollhouse and I figured since I've already found an owl figurine and an owl picture that owls would be a sort of theme in the house.  Nothing major but a few knick knacks and touches.

The plan for the outside of the dollhouse is a stone porch with stone foundation and wooden railings and posts.  The railings will be white and so will the posts and arches.  I'm planning on the ceiling of the porch to have a hanging light, like a carriage light in the middle.  I don't know if I can manage a door light and hide the wires so I might do two hanging lights one near the door and once closer to the opposite end of the porch.  Kinda like this

So what I'll do to cover up the wire tape will be kind of like a wooden ceiling.  I think I could use Popsicle sticks to cover the ceiling and give it a finished look. 

What I'd really like is to figure a way to have a little bit of a garden around the house.  I need to clear off more of my desk obviously but I could get a sheet of plywood and put it on a turntable.  Then make a little bit of a front or side yard.  It'd be cool to have a little yard near the chimney and another on the other side.  It doesn't have to be huge, but it would be neat to have a more finished look.

But that is far in the future... Right now, time for me to get going.  See all of you later.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Decor details

The devil is in the details... at least that's what they tell me.  And we zipped through the house pretty quick the other week.  So I thought I'd show you a few of the little details that I really had fun figuring out and working on.

The one thing I especially like about the dollhouse is the foyer/entrance hall or whatever you want to call it.  Vestibule?  I'm keeping my eye out for a few little rugs I could either buy or make for just inside the front door and at the foot of the stairs.  I'd love to put a runner with brass rails on the stairs but that will have to wait for a while.  Something in gold or a good rich maroon maybe?

But I worry the whole entryway will look too cluttered if I put too many rugs in it.  So maybe no runner for the stairs, or only one rug near the dining room and then a runner?  We'll see.

The other issue is whether or not the front door needs some sort of curtain added to the window.  I'm not sure I'd want people able to look in my house through the front door.

In the mean time, here's a little shot of the hall table.

I'm thinking I might make an umbrella for Mrs. Doll and Dolly girl. Or a parasol?
And another shot as if you were looking in the front door.  Pretend that the rear of the house has an actual wall.  Though that could be a fun project... I wonder how much work that would take?  Hmmm...

If you were a doll this is what you'd see from the front door.

The silver basket is from and the table and mirror are from Hobby Lobby.  The silver box next to the basket is a charm from Hobby Lobby that I took some of the hardware off of so it looked less like it was meant to be hanging from something.

I like how they look together.  Shiny marble floor and shiny marble elephant.

I've had the little marble elephant forever.  Can't remember where I got it.  But it's the right scale for the lower shelf of the table and I like how he looks down there.

He looks pretty good there.

The other thing I love about the entryway is the grandfather clock.  I'd been looking for one that wasn't cheap looking and this was gorgeous.  It actually works if I push the little clock stopper in!  Reminds me so much of the one in my grandmother's house.

My working grandfather clock.

The upper hallway is another place I liked putting in some finishing touches.  One thing I had a lot of fun looking for was artwork.  I really loved finding miniature pictures.
I love how the frame matches the sconces and the picture has blue tones in it like the wallpaper.

I decided a vase of flowers was better for the bureau in the hallway rather than the Sears catalog.  And the white contrasts nicely with the wallpaper and dark furniture and floor.
And it looks good under the painting. 

And opposite the sconces on the same wall as the stairs is another gorgeous piece. Gold frame again of course.  And a simple landscape scene.  Restful but attractive right?

And its nice that the frame matches the painting opposite. 

I think this picture came from Denise.  I'm not entirely sure though.  But it's perfect for the bedroom.  I love the black and white with the gold frame.

I don't think it quite matches the era of the house but I still like how it looks.
Speaking of the bedroom...

I also thought you'd like to see a little more detail of Mr. Doll's bureau and his accessories.  I got this as a set from Ruetter Porcelain via Ebay and can't regret paying for it because its so perfect!

I remember my Dad had something like this, only doors on both sides.  It always seemed very adult to me.
Mr. Doll is a very proper, well dressed gentleman.  He wouldn't dream of going out without his hat and gloves.

I love the little clock too. 
Here's a closer look.  After all, that pocket watch is very nice isn't it?

I'm still amazed at how real it looks.  The hat is like one of my Grandfather's church hats.

I thought you'd also like to see the pastries in the parlor.  They look so yummy don't they?  The three tiered serving tray was found on Ebay and so were the pastries.  The table is from Denise.  It's the perfect height for next to the sofa.

I could really go for some chocolate cake right now...Yum...
 Here's another view, from above. 

One of those fruit twists or turnovers would really hit the spot right now.
I also put out the coffee set that reminded me of my grandmother's set as well as another tray of pastries.  It's laid out on the coffee table.  I guess that's why it was called that?  Because people used to have coffee there?

I love how the china part of the coffee cups look like they have coffee in them.

And I have a few knick knack's added to the organ top.  Just little mementos.

I think the balloon is my favorite.
And here's a better view of the painting in the parlor.  I just fell in love with it when I saw it. 

Very romantic, at least to me.
I took a few pictures of the liquor cart too.  It's another Reutter Porcelain purchase and the details are so worth the price.

Olives and pineapple!  And a seltzer bottle!

I also did some work on the dining room.  I put the entire china set away and set out the wine glasses.  Man I went through a lot of zots to do this.

All nice and organized.

A closer look at the top of the china cabinet.  I love the look of platters and bigger pieces balanced back against the wall.

That big platter is so pretty.  I'm really pleased with how this turned out.

The sideboard got an addition or two.

A nice tray for after dinner coffee?
And the table looks a bit more finished with the glasses right?

I love the scalloped edges to the bowls.  So pretty!

So that's it for our little decor close up today.  Though I do have one more thing for this house.  We can't neglect Mrs. Doll can we?

It's just a clearance item, not sure what it would be for originally.
But with a little trimming of the feathers...(fluff everywhere...the kitten was terribly amused for five minutes).  We have this:

Any ideas?  No?
Surely you understand that every gentlewoman who attends the theatre must do so with a fan to keep herself refreshed?  A fashionable lady would never be caught dead without her ostrich feather fan.

A little dark but you get the idea. Right?
We have one addition to the kitchen.  Some much needed help.

A cook!  She's obviously been busy.

And now...a little preview of some modern knick knacks.  For the beachhouse.

Something for a shelf? Or on the fireplace mantel?

He was a bead that I unscrewed the loop from.  Isn't he cute?
And a nice modern frame...for a picture or mirror...not sure about that yet.

Another find in the bead/pendant aisle.  I love the scrollwork.
So that's it folks.  I've been doing some painting of the new dollhouse walls and I'll show you guys what I've accomplished in a little while. 

In the meantime have a great holiday weekend!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Modern Beachhouse Inspiration!

So this might be a weird post because I'm still formulating and figuring in my head what I want to do with this new little dollhouse.
I know I want it to be modern.  But not the sharp shiny modern that's so cool to look at but doesn't seem like it'd be comfortable you know?  I want the Bungalow to be just off the beach, maybe on the same property as the Gothic Victorian.  Maybe it's occupied by a great grandchild of Mr. & Mrs. Doll, Dolly's granddaughter or grandson.  Or maybe the property is rented out for the season or its a guest house for the current owners of the big dollhouse.
Whoever is living there, I want them to be comfortable but definitely living in the same world I am.  And that means they have proper electricity, and a floorplan more conducive to casual living.
When I was a kid we used to rent a cottage up on Lake Delton (I think that's the spelling) and I remember the furniture was older and everything was a little hodge podge.  As if when something broke it was replaced with a new whatever but no one ever bought furniture or appliances in sets.  The fridge wouldn't match the stove or sink, and there was no dishwasher.  My mom was the dishwasher.
Come to think of it that must have been a sucky vacation for my mom. She still had to deal with us kids, still had to cook, do laundry and dishes.  She just didn't get to do it in her own home.  Not much of a vacation really. 
But that's the feel I want for the Beach Bungalow.  Mismatched, comfortable, but modern.  With all sorts of touches that make the people who live there feel like they haven't traveled back to the seventies.
So my inspiration...well I've got some pictures to show you.  I want to wire this dollhouse and that requires more than a modicum of planning.  The dollhouse shows the upper and lower floors divided thusly.
I'm not sure I like how small the rooms are with the dividers.  Not very modern is it?
So my thought is to take out two of the dividers.  I'll leave one in upstairs, to separate the space for a bathroom.  But the one that makes a upstairs hallway and the first floor divider?  Yep, those are gone.  Like, gone gone gone.

So big open spaces.  One main room with the kitchen and family room merging into each other.  I want the kitchen on the left I think.  There's enough room for a sink, a stove and a fridge and some shelves maybe or a few cabinets.  This is the sink I have in mind.

It'll be so pretty under or just to the side of the big window don't you think?

As for the stove, I don't want anything too modern.  But let's not make it completely difficult to cook right?

An Aga stove!  Just oddball enough that it works but its not a coal or wood burner!
And Denise gave me a kitchen set with a cute little fridge.  It's white.  I'm wondering if I could wire it to light up when it opens.  Wouldn't that be cool? No picture but its a nice little wooden piece.  But it can't be a huge kitchen because of the stairs, the window and the living/family room need space too.

Which leads me to something else I dislike.  I really don't like those stairs.  They're awkwardly placed.  And if you walked up them you'd smack your head on the eaves of the roof when you got to the second floor.  So what I want to do is something like this...

Isn't it pretty?  And space saving too.
It would leave more room for the furniture and kitchen.  So I could have cabinets or something rather than the stairs taking up all the wall space.  Or it could be a little office area.  I mean we need a spot for the laptop don't we?

The opposite wall near the front door has a decent amount of depth before we run into the front door.  See?


See? It looks like around an inch and a half.  Which leads me to the idea I had for that wall inside.  This is my inspiration photo.  I love how this looks.

Isn't that lovely? I don't know if I could do the windows, I'd have to see. But I love how that looks.

But I do have a fireplace...

It matches the floors. So I could do the shelves in white I think.

I want to wire this dollhouse for electricity and a chimney is a handy place to run wires through.  And the dollhouse comes with a chimney for the roof.  So I find my position, make a chimney for the outside and shelving for the inside.

And for the ceiling fans for the first floor, I want to do something like this:

I can hide some of the wiring inside. 

This is something else I absolutely adore.

I don't want anything quite so extreme but some built in shelves against the bedroom wall common to the bathroom?  That'd be neat right?
I'll admit, I really debated what to do for the ceiling on the second floor.  I thought beams at first with beadboard between them but then thought the roof came so close to the floor that it wouldn't be practical.  So I figured paint it and then just see where inspiration took me.  So it's not as planned out yet.

But I did find other ideas for the main floor.  I'd absolutely love to have an island instead of a kitchen table. With little stools around it to eat at.  So I found this.

The cabinet doors actually open!
And in order to make it more table or bar like I figured I'd find something to extend the top of it for the squared off part.  So cabinets on the kitchen side and then high stools on the opposite for dining.

I'm trying to figure out if I could make a pot rack to hang above it?  Or if I don't have enough ceiling room.  Maybe I'll do a pot rack over the stove or something.  But I love how pot racks look.  I bought some dark copper and bright copper wire so maybe I could make one.  Still not sure about it.  But this is gorgeous. 

So pretty.  But very large for such a little dollhouse. 
Denise gave me a couch, love seat and chair in a pretty blue that will just go with the fabric I found for the curtains.  More on that in a minute.  But I don't want to be too matchy.  So what I was thinking was a daybed/trundlebed.  Just in case who ever rents the house has guests or kids. 

I found this on ebay pretty cheap.  I'll have to make the trundle bed but that won't be too hard at all. Some nice bedding and no one will notice. And its more subtle than a murphy bed.

See? Enough space beneath it for a trundle but with some pillows and covers it can double as a couch or love seat.

Inspiration dishes!  These are adorable but still a little too formal for the casual house.  Almost too pretty to resist though.  Must resist! 

I want something with bright colors, almost like Fiestaware but in miniature.  Have to keep looking.

Love the bright little flowers!
This lamp would go perfectly in my color scheme...

Brown, cream, bronze... and it would match the daybed.
And I'd like to cover one of the chairs in brown, so the whole living room doesn't match.  Kinda like this brown.  It's sold now though.

Love that fabric!
Here is a shot of the fabric that inspired the color scheme.  I want to use it for the curtains on both floors, some pillows and finishing touches to pull the house together.  The main floor kitchen/family room is going to be blue and brown.  The second floor is going to be more cream and brown with touches of pale blue.  The walls are going to be the same throughout the house but the bathroom will have white tiled walls near the tub.

Love the dark and light blue and mix of tan and brown and cream.
 I'm kinda excited because I think I know how I'm going to make the curtains and curtain rods.  I've got some chopsticks that are too big to use as curtain rods for the other dollhouse but they're the perfect length for the windows in the Bungalow.

I can either make the curtain hooks or buy some little jewelry findings and sew them onto the curtains. Still working that part out.  But I'm so in love with this fabric and the idea of a color theme throughout the dollhouse.  It's such a contemporary idea you know?  Or at least its contemporary to me.

So? What do all of you think?  Are you as excited as I am?  Husband is teasing me that I have an Ebay addiction... he might be right. I think I might have to snatch up that spiral staircase!