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I will be receiving this beautiful house as a gift. I am not sure of the scale (it measures 31" wide x 14.5 inches deep x 24" high.) The previous owner said it may have been built in the mid 1950's or early 1960's but does not know anything else about it. Has anyone seen a house such as this one? Could it be a custom build or does it look like it came as a kit? I don't have it here yet - but will soon!

Many plans and ideas! I want to light it using battery operated LEDs, not copper tape method. Is that a good idea? I am learning how to make my own lighting using the LEDs. I want to use this house as a learning project to learn as many skills as possible from flooring to lighting to wallpaper to building furniture for it and installing kitchen / bath fixtures, cabinets, etc. Ideally, I'd like to build the windows and add window boxes - all very ambitious for someone who can barely finish cigar boxes correctly, I know but why not shoot high?

So, my new and very expert companions, what is the first step when embarking on a journey such as this? 

Are there interior design sites which help people decide how to approach a particular house? I just saw a beautiful house decorated in a black and white theme with a French flair - but then I'll click on another site and see something else I love. How do you decide what to do with each house you work on?

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16 minutes ago, Tinyroomartist said:

...what is the first step when embarking on a journey such as this?...

How do you decide what to do with each house you work on?...

Let the house tell you its own story and find out what it wants.  They truly will talk to you when they think you'll listen (sometimes they acquire a strident yell...).  Once you know what it wants, remove as much of the old stuff as you can,sand whatever needs sanding to get a nice, smooth, flat wall surface and have at it; stain or prime, paper, whatever.

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I had a hard time deciding too. But I knew Victorian (then I had to agonize over what time period of victorian), and i knew i wanted a copper tin ceiling. From there i made all my decor decisions to coordinate with the rose goal foil paper I used to simulate Cooper tin. I made really good friends with the paint department guy at home depo. He had a degree in art. So i brought in my scrapbook paper I would be using for wall paper and he helped me by picking out all the complimentary colors for paint. I know not all home depots hire art majors for their paint department, but someone with that knowledge is very helpful. Also, knowing I wanted a brick Victorian helped me choose floor designs and types of roofing (slate). Hope that helps.

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11 minutes ago, Medieval said:

I had a hard time deciding too. But I knew Victorian (then I had to agonize over what time period of victorian), and i knew i wanted a copper tin ceiling. From there i made all my decor decisions to coordinate with the rose goal foil paper I used to simulate Cooper tin. I made really good friends with the paint department guy at home depo. He had a degree in art. So i brought in my scrapbook paper I would be using for wall paper and he helped me by picking out all the complimentary colors for paint. I know not all home depots hire art majors for their paint department, but someone with that knowledge is very helpful. Also, knowing I wanted a brick Victorian helped me choose floor designs and types of roofing (slate). Hope that helps.

Thank you for sharing your insight! I have a friend who is an interior designer and will reach out to him. Do you recognize the style of this house, if it has one? I like it but do not know what it is! Copper tin ceiling sounds like fun! And rose gold is so beautiful.

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1 minute ago, Medieval said:

I do not know the style. But this forum is full of more knowledgeable and experience people. I'm sure someone will give you an idea by tomorrow night.

Just looked at your album. Your house rocks! Did the rose gold paper come with that pattern in it or did you stamp it in somehow?

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Thank you! I embossed it. At Hobby Lobby they have these metal sheets with patterns on them. I forget what section or original purpose they were for, but I used an embossing tool and created the pattern. The whole ceiling took two 12 X 12 sheets to do.

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Hi Diane, 

How wonderful to be receiving that cute house as a gift!  I'm no expert, but it looks like the style is 1950s colonial revival.  How tall are the ceilings?  They look about 8 or 9 inches, which would be typical for 1:12 scale.

Have fun with your renovations!

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3 hours ago, Call Me Crazy said:

Hi Diane, 

How wonderful to be receiving that cute house as a gift!  I'm no expert, but it looks like the style is 1950s colonial revival.  How tall are the ceilings?  They look about 8 or 9 inches, which would be typical for 1:12 scale.

Have fun with your renovations!

Hi! Thanks for the info. I will measure the ceilings as soon as I receive the house. It is not here yet but will be any day now! I'll also look at colonial revival houses from that period. All I know from the previous owner is that the house was likely built in the mid 1950's so you may be right!

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I took a careful look at the rooms and layout of the house and I am confused! It looks as if it has a center hallway for the stairs. On the first floor, one room would be the kitchen and it needs a living room. Upstairs, it has two large rooms and a center hallway. But where is bathroom? And no dining room (eat in kitchen?) I live in 550 square feet of real apartment and this house looks huge! But I am not sure how to fit everything in functionally. So funny! Is it a one bedroom house with the bathroom upstairs? Would love ideas. Lots of square footage devoted to stairs and hallway in the center of this home unless I do not understand the layout.

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Diane, there's more room if you think of the stairs and any missing rooms might be in the invisible rear half of the house...

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2 hours ago, havanaholly said:

Diane, there's more room if you think of the stairs and any missing rooms might be in the invisible rear half of the house...

Hmmm. So do dollhouse designers choose which rooms they want to show? For example, if creating a bathroom interests me more than creating a bedroom, it does not matter because "dollhouse" people understand that the bedroom is in the imaginary space on the other side of the house? Same for the dining room if the kitchen has no place to eat? Or if I opt to include an artists studio instead of a bedroom? I am so used to making a small space work because of living in my apartment I was not sure how to approach it! Also - would love ideas for the "attic." A proportional person would not be able to stand up, so storage would be the obvious answer but if anyone has another idea - curious!

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Could a 1:12 little person have an attic apartment?  When the hubs was drafted into the USMC in 1966 we lived in a one-room apartment above a Chinese restaurant in Kailua, HI, so I crammed a bed-sitting-dining room, kitchen and full bathroom onto the second floor of my Brimble's.  It's YOUR dollhouse, you build it however you want to.

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1 hour ago, havanaholly said:

Could a 1:12 little person have an attic apartment?  When the hubs was drafted into the USMC in 1966 we lived in a one-room apartment above a Chinese restaurant in Kailua, HI, so I crammed a bed-sitting-dining room, kitchen and full bathroom onto the second floor of my Brimble's.  It's YOUR dollhouse, you build it however you want to.

OT - How amazing that you lived in Hawaii. I have a friend who is living on Maui (for the second time in her life, permanently now.) I've been there 3 times and to the Big Island, too. Most recent visit was just prior to the big lava flow! Actually had stayed in Volcano, HI. I hope you enjoyed your time there.

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Welcome Diane.  First you have to decide what you wish to gain from making this dollhouse.  For some it’s getting everything as accurate and correct down to the last detail.  For others it’s about a sense of style or playfulness.  Others have memories of a childhood home and like to decorate it as such.  
   For me, my first house I straight up copied someone else's design.   I did this because 1) I really admired it (blew me away at the time).  2) It was a huge challenge for me, plus someone said I couldn’t do it.  3) I knew if nothing else, it would be a great learning experience...and boy was it.  I did acknowledge the original artist all through out the process as my intent was not to claim this as my own.  In the end it brought me joy and a sense of accomplishment.  That’s what its all about....the joy!

 To sum up, there is no right or wrong. The dollhouse world is an imaginary playground where our inner child thrives and anything is possible.  

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55 minutes ago, Keifer said:

 To sum up, there is no right or wrong. The dollhouse world is an imaginary playground where our inner child thrives and anything is possible. 

Absolutely! 

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1 hour ago, Keifer said:

Welcome Diane.  First you have to decide what you wish to gain from making this dollhouse.  For some it’s getting everything as accurate and correct down to the last detail.  For others it’s about a sense of style or playfulness.  Others have memories of a childhood home and like to decorate it as such.  
   For me, my first house I straight up copied someone else's design.   I did this because 1) I really admired it (blew me away at the time).  2) It was a huge challenge for me, plus someone said I couldn’t do it.  3) I knew if nothing else, it would be a great learning experience...and boy was it.  I did acknowledge the original artist all through out the process as my intent was not to claim this as my own.  In the end it brought me joy and a sense of accomplishment.  That’s what its all about....the joy!

 To sum up, there is no right or wrong. The dollhouse world is an imaginary playground where our inner child thrives and anything is possible.  

Hi! Thank you for your helpful and encouraging insights. I saw your work here and am speechless. I'd like to learn how to do work of similar quality and am so far away from that now . . . would love to know where you began and how you traveled from point A to Z in your learning process! I agree that much can be learned by credited emulation (copying) as well as taking inspiration from others. I can't wait to get my hands on my houses and am gathering inspiration in the meantime.

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Felt I had to jump in and add my two cents about dividing space in a dollhouse. The imaginary element is such a huge part of the appeal of a dollhouse, and yet I am one of those people that likes the rooms and layouts of my dollhouses to seem real. I am kind of a have your cake and eat it too dollhouse owner.  It has taken me a long time to discover and embrace the idea of hidden or partially hidden space. You can add interior walls. making the dollhouse 2 rooms deep in spots. the space can be divided up in an accurate manner if there is room, but if there isn't enough room -If you are clever, and this takes some thought, you can divide up a space to give the impression that an entire room exists behind a wall where doesn't. A common room to fake is a bathroom. Usually you use a space at the back of a room viewed through a door ajar. Through the slightly open door can be partly seen a bit of vanity, toilet, or tub giving the distinct impression there is a bath in there. My method is to mock everything up with cardboard ( cut from a cereal box) walls stuck up with blue tape. I move the walls and try things out until I come up with an idea that works, or I find it doesn't and give up. There are some people that are absolute geniuses with this idea adding sewing rooms, libraries, potting sheds... some people fake the necessities and embrace the extras. For instance the sewing room is front and center with the bedroom mostly hidden.  It is your house to dream in however you please.

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Oh I wanted to add that a great book that uses the space viewed through open doors effect very well is " The Big Book of A Miniature House" by Christine Lea Frisoni. it is a lovely inspiring book and you can probably get it at the library. It is an inspiring read and if you can get hold of it you might enjoy browsing through it while waiting.

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17 hours ago, Tinyroomartist said:

Also - would love ideas for the "attic." A proportional person would not be able to stand up, so storage would be the obvious answer but if anyone has another idea - curious!

In my first miniature house, I used one attic room for a child's bedroom and play room. I figured that the lower sloped ceilings would not bother a smaller person the way they would an adult. Another space became the attic storage - a place to put all kinds of interesting things that I had left over from furnishing the other rooms and had no room for: an antique style treadle sewing machine, discarded or outgrown toys, a trunk, a birdcage, etc - just a hodge-podge of random stuff. I left the ceiling and walls unfinished, with some rafters visible and the floorboards raw wood as well. Another idea, if you are into whimsey, is an animal's home - smaller scale, rustic furnishings for a woodland creature such as a rabbit or squirrel, who has found a place out of the cold!

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Look what I found! A Feng Shui article with a diagram which matches this house almost perfectly! Curious what others think. Has anyone used Feng Shui in your designs? I know I am free to do what I like - am so curious about the choices that other, more experienced miniature artists have made and what inspired your decisions / designs. https://feng-shui.lovetoknow.com/feng-shui-home/feng-shui-tips-center-house

 

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From a building/contractor standpoint, it makes sense that the bathroom is above the kitchen.  Keeps all the plumbing condensed.  

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5 hours ago, Keifer said:

From a building/contractor standpoint, it makes sense that the bathroom is above the kitchen.  Keeps all the plumbing condensed.  

Unlike our present house with bathrooms on one side, one towards the front & the other at the back, and the kitchen on the opposite side of the house, and the laundry room in the middle.

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Hello. 

I too am starting on my house. One thing that helped me finally decide on what direction to take it was to figure out the "story". So I have a young American couple (sorry, I'm American so that's where my mind goes) transferred to France. They bought an old country house in serious need of work. The wife is an interior designer. She has spent the better part of 4 or 5 years slowly fixing the inside now they are moving to fix up the outside. Then I headed over to Pinterest and created a board for this house and found furniture, room ideas, outside looks, kitchens... everything that looked like it would make me happy. I found an amazing bunk bed that I absolutely must have so, they now have twin boys. I have a problem with not having "all" the rooms as well. My solution is to close the stairs going up to the third floor and make a false staircase in the living room (you'll only be able to see part of it) and then a false door at the top of the third floor. Presto! a back staircase, and another room that will become wife's studio. I'm planning a bathroom and laundry room with barn doors and open doorways to create the illusion of more rooms. 

Just have fun! I like to make things distressed and worn and I'm going to have fun making the outside look worn with old doors and windows and then the inside nicely updated. 

Enjoy! 

Kim 

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