It All Starts Here

Sometimes our ideas flow from an existing kit to bash, a house style to scratch (aka custom) build, or from an interesting doll who needs a place to live. Our settings are always modern-day (ca. 2001 when we started this hobby). We try to create things that will make people smile and feel good.

We think that if we had to build the same house twice, we literally could not do it! Fortunately, we have very unique little people who have definite opinions and so far, no one has wanted a house “like so-and-so” has.

We work as a family unit: my wonderful husband, my beautiful sister, and I. We don't always agree as to the direction of the build, but I think that we end up with a better dollhouse because of all our grumblings -- and we do have a lot of fun!

The Purpose of this Blog

We needed a place for all we wanted to say about the background of the build and the nuts and bolts of the design and build process. Thus this blog.

All our dolls' homes have families living in them and a story is built around their personalities and lifestyles. This story is an integral part of our building process. We would like to share these stories -- actually, the little people insist upon it!

Many of our houses are located in Fredericksburg, Virginia because that is my sister's favorite place.

Also, we have started a Rouges' Gallery with photos of our little people and information about the dolls.

If you would like to start with the dollhouse that "started it all", it is the Original Rowbottom Manse; if you would like to see the scratch-built Georgian that our first build gave us the confidence (or fool-hardiness) to do, it is Sunnybrook Farm.

Let the stories begin!

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Interior Design-Dining Room & Kitchen: La Malcontenta

I think I forgot to mention in the previous post that this house was started summer of 2004 and is still being built!
The dining room and kitchen complete the main floor.
The Dining Room:

Before I show pictures of the dining room, I would like to show my inspiration for this room and the design of the columned entrance to the living room and dining room. I also must apologize that I can’t find the name of the artisan who created this magnificent room. I would love to give credit where it belongs. (I do have the note that it is called “Morning Splendor”.) This just took my breath away:

Miniature Collector magazine in 2004?
 My version:

Dining room with view across foyer and into living room.
I copied the style of the arch and used cake columns from a craft store and painted Delta Creamcoat Eggshell. I am happy with the result. I did find the same wallpaper (Brodnax) and even (I think) the moulding that was used. I bought the Unique Miniatures moulding but I could not apply the right amount of heat to get it to curve—it kept breaking. After a few heartbreaking minutes, I realized that I had to do something else. I found an interesting blue, thin trim at a craft store, stiffened it with glue and curved it. When dry, I glued it to the arch. I think I may need a second row but that’s for another day.
I could not find the cabinets in the picture so I decided to do something different. I found a six-sided, thick clear acrylic shape at the craft store (I spent my life there). I cut it in half with my handy-dandy band saw, and I had two glass table tops! I placed them on “stone” landscaping pedestals from Dolls’ House Emporium, placed them on either side of the arch. I did find harmonious paintings to hang. The front wall has Japanese woodcuts.

The walls are painted Delta Creamcoat Light Ivory as is the cornice and baseboards. I can’t tell you the blue because I made it up somehow.

The ceiling is real-house wallpaper. I found a beautiful chandelier from Cir-Kit. I purposely did not put a ceiling canopy, but now I think want one! Oh well.

I love the glass dining table in the picture. Even if I found it, I am sure I couldn’t have afforded it. Then I found the Bespaq Chinese Chippendale dining table and chairs—end of search.

The flooring did not turn out very well and I am going to redo it.

Fireplace wall to be finished.
 The next thing to be done is the wall above the fireplace. I have Unique Miniatures items for the scrollwork and the brackets, and I have a set of blue and white Chinese jars to display. The sconces may go away.

I think that someday I would like that glass-topped dining table with the dolphin pedestals in some dollhouse, and that I will be able to bend thin resin moulding into an arch—or maybe I have to mould it in that form?

The Kitchen:

The kitchen completes the main floor. Nothing too exciting here except I love roosters in kitchens. The tile is a glossy paper from HBS which I don't think he sells anymore.
I love roosters in kitchens!

The problem area.
I decided to make a large dining room which became a slight problem when I went to the kitchen—there was no room! So my ever patient husband cut some lumber so I could “bump out” the back wall so the necessary kitchen appliances could be placed. It worked out well, just time-consuming. Also, the kitchen ended up with beams so I could get the lamp wire out the back of the house where the tape wire is located.


  1. Hello Iris!
    Yea more pictures of your work! Thank you and do keep posting..
    I was surprised and delighted to see the picture of "Morning Splendor". I designed and built that room many years ago and sold it to "The Museum of Miniatures" in Los Angeles (now closed). They sold it to the Museum of Miniatures in Taiwan and is part of their permanent collection. They have about 28 of my pieces some of which have never been seen in the US. I am glad you found inspiration from it. Your Dining room is gorgeous!
    Warm regards from Ray

  2. Ray -- Thank you so much.

    I have othet pics of you rooms and love them all. I hope my trying to copy your room did it justice. Do you have pictures of your rooms "that have never been seen in the US"?

  3. Wonderful, Iris! You really have chosen well for inspiration. I have the same yellow Chinese chairs, they are so pretty and delicately painted. I love the kitchen with all the cupboards. I can't wait to see more.
    Best wishes

  4. Hi Iris,

    What a lovely house and such a lot of thought and detail. It's wonderful that it's a "Family affair"and every one can join in.


  5. Que fantasticos trabajos, estoy encantada de haber encontrado tu blog.
    besitos ascension

  6. Hello Iris,
    Absolutely fantastic work. The roonm is great and the furniture and accessories are perfect! Great work!
    All the best,

  7. Thank you, all! I just love being part of this "community". I get such inspiration from your work and watching what you are doing reminds me to keep going.

    Muchas gracias por tus palabras amables. Estoy feliz que tu estas aqui a mi blog. Aprendí español hace muchos años. Espero que mi español is “OK”.

    Simon: Thanks. Those chairs are gorgeous, aren't they. I had the opportunity a few years ago to buy more, and I am sorry I didn't--I am sure I would have found somewhere to put them!

    Fi: It is fun doing things together, we have so much fun and now each our dollhouses has so many memories!

  8. As the "ever patient husband", I have a great job. Provide a minor assist now and then and then enjoy the creativity first-hand. I am one lucky dude!

  9. Wow, what a living room. I love your way to decorate living room which looks amazing.I also like idea of lighting system in your living room which looks very innovative. Nice selection of color for kitchen cabinets. The post pretty impressive. I am truly impressed with this blog.