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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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Interior Design-Foyer & Living Room: La Malcontenta

Well, I did get the pictures taken, As usual, some didn't turn out too well. I need to figure out how to work without the flash, amongst other things. The interior design write-up will be done in sections.

Just to remind us "who is La Malcontenta" (besides a villa by Palladio-the most beautiful house in the world!). Mine is an Art Deco Spanish Eclectic, a bash of the RGT Thornhill. I did post a Behind the Build for this house, but never added all the details. I intended to get back to it, but somehow ....

We made all the windows except the two HBS Palladian triparate windows, and all the windows work. We added working dormers, "wrought iron" railings, and designed and made the main entrance. The house is still not finished, but we intend to live a long time.

Just a comment on the designated style for this house. When I started this house it was a Spanish-Eclectic Art Deco style, but before I finished it was an Art Deco Spanish Eclectic, where "eclectic" covers all the previous words. See my post The impotance of Being Eclectic to see what I discovered and how this came about.

Today we will discuss two of the four rooms on the main floor:
First floor floor plan.
 Enter here: The Foyer:
The Foyer -- My take on 1930's Art Deco Hollwood glitz
I did want either a more Spanish-looking staircase or a more Art Deco staircase. I couldn't buy or figure out how to do what I wanted, but I am happy with what I could do. I love the arches (my jig saw does it all) and my Ionic columns are cake decorations from Michaels. The flooring is real house stone-like wallpaper, cut into 1-inch squares and glued onto a posterboard template. I added a half-round piece of wood onto the bottom step of the stasircase to give it an elegant look. The railing and the ballisters are walnut stained wood.

The silver tables are "custom" found at a dollhouse shop. I should have taken a separate picture of the mirrors-- lots of glitz and angels! The table on the left has a wonderful Art Deco lamp which I got for a pittence because it doesn't light, but I think I know how to fix it--just need some time. I like the tiles on the back wall but I wish they didn't have such a gloss finish.
Faux door to basement under the stairs; also a view of the mirror and lamp; and into living room through the arch.
 The Living Room:
Living Room
Real house wallpaper lines the ceiling. It's great but it is tricky to glue down embossed paper without squashing it! Plus, this room is 15 3/8 x 25, so I was in the room working up! There had to be an easier way! The flooring is a customized HBS flooring sheet of black walnut with a trim of red oak stained MinWax Provincial.
The fireplace, a OOAK from a dollhouse shop. I modified the color to blend in with the copper foil paper (very tricky to use) on the wall. I also painted a "real firebox" in the fireplace, and gave it an Art Deco Brooke Tucker firescreen. See above picture.
Living room looking toward French doors.
We made the working double French doors with Palladian arches and stained glass.
The curio cabinets are trinket boxes with the drawers removed. The working Art Deco lights on the top of the cabinets are made from Art Deco style perfume bottle tops. I added a wonderful eclectic mix of objet d'art (including Eqyptian, Chinese, Italian, and Clarice Cliff) and paintings (including Tissot, Klimt, Monet, and Constable). I just LOVE eclectic! The wonderful triple tulip floor lamp was another bargain because it didn't light -- but I fixed it!


  1. Hello Iris!
    Wow! You have done an amazing conversion of the Thornhill! I am, and always will be a fan of Art Deco. I see that influence in many of the elements you have used in your house. Well done! show us more of your work please!
    Kind regards from Ray

  2. Ray and Carmen,

    Thanks for the nice comments. This house has been fun to build. I am really a Georgian "nut" but I am so glad I decided go with my loves of Art Deco and Spanish.

    Ray -- I have been rather lazy about bloging but I am turning a new leaf. I just have to improve my "picture-taking" skills.

    By the way, I think I could have used your Auto-cad and the laser cutter for this house!