(For a complete pictorial chronicle, see the Webshots album listed on the left.)
I have always been fascinated by octagonal houses, and I had toyed with the idea of building an octagonal dollhouse. About the same time as I was thinking about this, I got an urge to build a shop of some kind. I have always liked teashops, so I merged both interests and set out to design and build an octagonal teashop. This project started around mid-2002.
I wanted a “Colonial” feel for the present-day building. The first plan I developed was based on a regular octagon. Then I realized that for the purpose of this shop, a regular octagon did not put the interior space where I needed it. Thus I elongated the octagon and found that 30” wide x 24” deep was the answer.
After I finished the design, my husband cut the wood, and my sister furnished this octagonal, front opening, teashop and bakery. The front section is held on by a magnet and just lifts off. Amazingly, the two side doors swung open & closed properly on my husband’s first attempt at beveling door edges and my first try at installing hinges! The building is about 31’’ long x 28 ‘’ deep x 28 ‘’ high (without cupola).
The teashop is built of 3/8’’ cabinet-grade birch plywood. The teashop rests on a plywood base, and on that is a Styrofoam layer around the teashop. The Styrofoam makes “planting” easier.
The siding was put on with clapboard sections glued to the plywood. The slate roof is made from 12 x 12” vinyl flooring tiles, cut into 1” strips and then cut ¾” deep to simulate individual tiles. They are glued on with contact cement. The cupola is a Michael’s Lemax Christmas Village gazebo. The front section of the roof lifts off to view the attic.
The teashop and bakery are on the first floor; the office and a “short-order” kitchen are on the second . Obviously, more cooking area is needed and is set up in a large well-appointed basement cooking, scullery, and storage area (not built).The teashop has a ‘dumb-waiter’ and a service elevator to get items from floor to floor. I did install staircases all the way to the attic; unfortunately these can only be seen by looking in the back windows!
The first floor flooring is walnut grained Con-Tact glued onto card, cut into ¼” to ¾” strips, and then glued to the floor to simulate random planks. The kitchen has a cork floor. The windows are Timberbrook Tudor on the first floor & HBS 9/9 on the second. The curtains on the first floor are on bamboo skewer “rods” hung on cinched brass nails. The curtains on the second floor are made from “wired” ribbon cut at the bottom with pinking shears and then folded like Roman shades.
There is also an outdoor dining area . The area around the shop is packed dirt -- coffee grinds, tea leaves, and sand sprinkled onto glue on the brown-painted Styrofoam base. Planting areas are shaped from Styrofoam, painted brown, and covered with coffee grinds. Flowers are made from pieces of silk and dried flowers. The trees are purchased.
The “lattice” fencing along the sides and back is vinyl gutter guard (comes in brown and white). There will also be a waist-high fence in the front.
A petting zoo is adjacent (still evolving)
At some point, the shop will be electrified with Colonial style lights. It will be electrified by pulling the lamp wires through the wall to the outside back of the shop, and then plugged into a “Power strip with on/off Switch” wired to a transformer.
I had to make some things up as I went along. I had an original plan, but there were holes in some of my ideas and some things just did not work out, so I had to find alternate ways. Abigail and Anna, the owners, are pleased with my results and are happy that they are open for business.