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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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Art Deco Living Room Glitz at La Malcontenta!

Living Room -- 1030's Hollywood glitz!
Many of you asked about the interior of La Malcontenta. I did some posts at the beginning of this year and since many of you may not have been here yet, I am redoing the Living Room post with some extra "glitzy" details. The next post will revisit the Dining Room.

The three most “glitzy” 1930’s Art-Deco-Hollywood-glitz (with some Chinese Chippendale) rooms are of course, the living room, the foyer, and the dining room.

Just to remind us "who is La Malcontenta" (besides the Villa Foscari by Palladio-the most beautiful house in the world and my favorite real house! The Wikipedia discussion is in italiano, naturalmente). La Malcontenta means "the disgruntled woman", and there are almost as many opinions for this name as there are Italians! Ah, Italia!)

Mine is an Art Deco Spanish Eclectic, a bashed 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 ....
La Malcontenta is now contenta!
We made all the windows except the two HBS Palladian triparate windows, and all the windows work. We made the working double French doors with Palladian arches and "stained glass". We added working bashed, HBS dormers, "wrought iron" commercial plastic railings, and designed and made the main entrance. The house is stucco-ed with Behr Sand-Texture paint from Home Depot, and the roof is about a million sheets of HBS Red Barrel Tile vinyl sheets.

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 Importance 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 Hollywood glitz. Door in back goes to the kitchen.
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 added a half-round piece of wood onto the right of the bottom step of the HBS staircase to give it an elegant look, and some interesting posts and spindles, and stained the wood MinWax walnut except for the risers.
Staircase posts and spindles
The chairs (on the right) are from the Dolls' House Emporium of many years ago.  They didn't make them very long which is too bad since it is not easy to find Art Deco furnishings.

The crown moulding is a traditional classical simple trim. The walls and ceiling are painted white.

The chandelier is from HBS. I still can't find exactly what I want, but in the meantime, this is quite nice.

I love the arches (my jig saw does it all) and my Ionic columns are cake decorations from Michael's. The flooring is real house stone-like wallpaper, cut into 1-inch squares and glued onto a poster board template.  I like the tiles on the back wall but I wish they didn't have such a gloss finish. It's a tile sheet from a local dollhouse shop.I don't have the manufacturer's name but the company still makes many wonderful tile sheets.

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 pittance because it doesn't light, but I think I know how to fix it--just need some time. The brass items on the other table are by Clare-Bell.

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, an 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 it in the above picture.)
Living room looking toward French doors.
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 lit by grain of rice bulbs.

The following view shows the fireplace "surround" (I'm not sure what the correct word is) made from a small metal Art Deco picture frame from Michael's -- with the bottom side removed! The beginnings of the trinket box "curio cabinets" flank the fireplace. I am still waiting for a use for their drawers.
A small metal Art Deco picture frame becomes a fireplace surround (correct word?)!
The crown moulding is custom made from small real house detail moulding (Lowes) and whatever HBS trim struck my fancy. It is painted a mix of Delta Creamcoat copper and gold paint to match the copper textured foil paper on the fireplace wall. It matches very well in real life--not so much in this picture! The walls are painted Delta Creamcoat Light Ivory.

The stained glass in the Palladian doors is actually cut out of the fancy plastic covering of a fruit basket!
Palladian doors and faux stained glass
I added a wonderful eclectic mix of furniture and  objet d'art (including Egyptian, 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!

I hope you enjoyed this updated post of a re-post whether you read it before or not, e spero che non sarà mai la malcontenta! (Good heavens, I hope that is "good" Italian!)

28 comments:

  1. LOVE!!! This is one of my favorite styles and you've captured it so well.

    I think your 'bashing'/remodel is brilliant! I just picked up two 'kit' dollhouses that need some TLC and this is SO inspiring, Iris! Well done, my dear!

    John XOXO

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    1. Thank you, John. As I look at this room, I remember your funny comment about something or another--"it's not done until its overdone!' Well, I hope this room is not "quite" overdone, but just a lot of fun.
      OK, you now have officially caught the dollhouse bug and are starting a collection. I can't wait to see them.
      Cheers and a big hug,
      Iris

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  2. Oh Iris, esa casa es una preciosidad!
    Un abrazo

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    1. Muchas gracias y un abrazo de mí, también.
      Cheers,
      Iris

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, a little different than my ususal "tradition" style!
      Cheers,
      Iris

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  4. c'est un OH !très admiratif que je pousse ... Superbe déco.
    Minima

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    1. Bonjour Minima,
      Merci beaucoup. I am glad that you like what I did here.
      Cheers,
      Iris

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  5. Iris, you did a great job. It's would be toobusy in a real house for me but it works wonders in mini. Rosanna

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    1. Thanks Rosanna,
      The little people have all the fun!
      Cheers,
      Iris

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  6. I love the tiles on the Foyer back wall! They look like glass..this is my fave room - love the mirrored hall tables and the stairs look fab! J xx

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    1. Thanks, Jazzi,
      I like the tiles also but I was worried that they had too much gloss--I didn't think of them as "glass" tiles, but that makes sense--thanks for mentioning that.
      Cheers,
      Iris

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  7. it's a wonderful house, you are doing a fantastic job!!!!
    Luisa

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    1. Thanks Luisa,
      It's nice to do very different houses now and then--let my imagination run wild!
      Cheers,
      Iris

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  8. Hello Iiris,
    I think you did a fantastic job! Like I said the last time I hink you did a wonderful job transforming the Thornhill. The rooms are perfect. It shows that you have put a lot of thought into the furniture and details. The rooms feel very complete...down to the last detail everything works together.
    Awsome!
    Hugs,
    Giac

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    1. Hi Giac and thank you for your nice comments. It was not easy to find things for this house, and of course, there is the problem of taking Art Deco, Spanish, and Eclectic too far and going "over the top". But I am happy with it.
      Cheers and many hugs,
      Iris

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Sorry about the "non-comment", but this system still confuses me!

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  10. Hi Iris, great rooms I love the chairs, and agree, art deco is not so easy to find as older periods, but you have adapted things very well to suit the style!

    the console tables in the hall are very glitzy too, perfect!!

    Can't wait to see more soon

    Hugs
    Andy x

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    1. Hi Andy,
      Thanks for the nice comments.

      Art Deco is a great style but difficult to find in miniature. It seems that if something is made, you have to buy it at once because it doen't stay very long. I had to do more "eclectic" style in this house than I wanted because I just couldn't get all the Art Deco I wanted.
      Cheers,
      Iris

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  11. Thank you for your visit and for your nice comment Iris. Looking your Living Room, I can dream the beautiful Art Deco period. Art Nouveau and Art Deco are my favorite styles and I love them. So you have made an excellent job!! Thank you also for the link of "la Malcontenta" ;o) I'm reading these interesting article "in italiano" wow ;o)) Very beautiful house! "Baci"

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    1. Thank you so much. I love Art Deco so it was such fun to do this house.
      Cheers,
      Iris

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  12. Hi Iris, I have mentioned you and this setting in my Weekly Wrap-Up! xx J

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    1. WOW, thank you Jazzi. That is so nice of you.
      Cheers,
      Iris

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  13. Hello Iris,
    I have never done an Art Deco or an Ecentric room. I imagine that they are fun and that it is a challenge to find anything for those designs. I love the wood floor and the celing in the living room. But I have to admit that when I looked at these pics that I did not know what was at the back of the foyer. To me it looked like a wall of tiny windows. I still love it and the stone floor.
    I love all of your dollhouses with the contents of the dolls. The dollhouses should be inhabited to mimmick real life.
    Are you going to build some more?
    Blogger changed automatically on my blogs. I did not know that Blogger was changing. It looks cold and impersonal - no color. And yes I see you in my blogger list. We are both following each other.
    Many hugs and kisses, conny

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  14. Hi Iris, I'm very happy to make the books and the bottle box for you. I will add a special italian gift of course ;o) Please send me your e-mail to this address: myrblu@yahoo.it so I can ask you something about the bottle box. Your completed order will be listed with Reserved on Etsy but I need some days for working on. Thank you again ;o))

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  15. Wow! Your 1930s Hollywood glam foyer is fantastic!!! It really dazzles! I always enjoy seeing what you're up to on your blog. I'm celebrating 1 year of blogging with 8 miniature giveaways! Welcome, and thanks again for the inspiration! :-) Jennifer

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  16. hi iris! thanks alot for the comments and cheers i'll try to do what you said.
    about your houses they're beautiful
    hugs :)

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