30 March 2012 4 comments

Color Combo: Blue N Green

I'm really loving the combination of blue and green.  The cool palette of chartreuse, turquoises, and teals, has given me some inspiration.

a cool color palette
It looks great in clothing, jewelry and accessories like these...

Chiffon Wrap Dress by Kay Unger
Sterling Cuff by Ippolita
"Felicite" Slingback from b by Brian Atwood

Then I found this skirt ensemble from the Proenza Schouler Spring 2012 collection and I used it to inspire this room. (I love playing over at Olioboard. I'm still waiting for Pinterest to respond to my request for an invitation. Ha ha.) Turning fashion into interior design is becoming a new fascination so you might just see some more of these. Tell me, what color combination are you feelin' right now?

This post is part of a Fashion Fridays blog hop hosted by Kori of Blonde Episodes.  Check out Fashion Fridays!

29 March 2012 6 comments

Retro Lake House Tour Continues

The main space of the house is for eating, lounging, reading, sleeping, TV watching and more.  The sheep skin rug and floor cushions make it comfortable for sitting around the coffee table or looking out the floor-to-ceiling windows to gaze at the lake. How tranquil is that? We aren't totally cut off while here at the lake, there's a phone and the antique TV.  There's loads of natural light inside during the day, but a paper lantern style pendant gives enough light when the sun sets. Let's take a closer look...
The television is on. (Oh no! nothing but static.)

Corner Kitchen: a bar size refrigerator sits atop
 a cabinet holding kitchen supplies.

The wood burning fireplace doubles as the kitchen oven 
except on the days when we grill over the fire pit outside.
Details:  wood sculpture is PRD miniatures; red cabinet is Mighty World; coffee cups, overhead light, refrigerator and telephone are Rement; wall mirror, coffee table components and bowl are craft supplies from Michael's; white rug, pitcher and red books are Dolls House Emporium; TV is keychain charm made by Kikkerland; yellow book, vases, bed and floor cushions are Kaleidoscope House; neck rolls are handmade by me.
28 March 2012 3 comments

Welcome to the Retro Lake House

Welcome to my Retro Lake House.  The first room we'll be touring is outdoors. (The outdoor space is as important as the indoor space with this structure and I really love that). We southerners love sitting on the front porch, even when there is no porch. The Rietveld chair is the perfect perch for people watching and enjoying an evening fire. The address is Lakeview Way because we're right on the lake. Looking over at the zen garden is so peaceful. It has been modified. In addition to pebbles, we've placed a large round sculpture in yellow, of course.  Everything rests upon gravel rather than sand (simply because it doesn't make a mess).   
Come a little closer. A glance through the door reveals a cozy daybed and two generous floor cushions. A mirror topped coffee table holds a collection of seashells.  Beside the sofa, a crate of books sits in front of the very old black and white TV. (It's a real antique but don't laugh sometimes you need the news, right?) Well, that's all for now. Sorry, only the family dog is home.  We're out on the lake. Gone fishin.' 

Details: chair, ReacJapan; yellow sculpture is a miniature letter 'o' from Barnes & Noble; miniature zen garden kit also from Barnes & Noble; firepit is a condiment bowl from Ikea with four mighty magnets from The Container Store; sign, coffee table components and bowl are craft supplies from Michael's; white rug and red books are Dolls House Emporium; TV is keychain charm made by Kikkerland; yellow book, vase, bed and floor cushions are Kaleidoscope house; neck rolls are handmade by me.
27 March 2012 3 comments

Color - Schemes & Backstory

Transforming the Neville House into the Retro Lake House involved a serious design decision. In the last post, I shared materials I had purchased for this project.  Ultimately, I left the wood surfaces unfinished.  The structure itself prevented good access that would allow me to do a top rate job covering or painting the interiors.  Without a second house, I didn't want any decor to be irreversible. Besides, the wood is just too fabulous!  I may give it a clear wax coat down the line, but for now the wood shall remain naked unfinished.  With that decided, here's how the rest of the design emerged.

The yellow fireplace got me thinking about a color scheme. Since its style is straight out of the 1970's maybe just go with it. I then looked for materials that were from or felt like they were from that decade. I went all out with the yellow and grey and came up with an inspiration board. It felt more modern than yellow and black.  
But, as I began selecting furniture to work in this small space, a new co-star and complement to the groovy fireplace emerged.
So it was in with the Rietveld chair and out with the grey. New color scheme? Why, all the colors of the chair, of course.

Every mini home becomes easier to design and outfit with a backstory, right? The wall of windows screamed, "setting with a wonderful view".  To me, wonderful view is almost always synonymous with a body of water.  But this Asian-influenced design didn't strike me as a beach property.  Then, it came to me...a lake.  A vacation property, a weekend home...but just how luxurious or stark would it be? I came up with this mood...

26 March 2012 8 comments

I'm A Giant Wannabe

Emily Henderson's Famous Dollhouse Challenge

I know, I know the audacity of me to launch into this series of posts and associate them with the famous and now defunct apparently ended dollhouse challenge.  But alas, this is a true story and maybe Mini Dork wouldn't mind adding this wannabe me to her Giant Roll Call. *wink, wink* There appear to be no prizes at stake, so friends give me some latitude, okay? *Wry grin from ear to ear.* 

With the launch of the I'm A Giant Dollhouse Challenge last fall (I didn't stumble on it until mid-October), I was motivated to finally remove my Neville House from its box.  It had been sitting in my craft room for months, waiting for me to clear away a space to set it up and give it some design attention.  At that point, I had not done anything with my dollhouse miniatures for some time because play-scale dioramas had been getting all of my attention. 

my first adult dollhouse purchase, the Neville House from CB2
Never-the-less, I got all sorts of ideas, thinking the challenge was just what I needed. But I still wasn't committed to blogging about this hobby of mine...maybe I'd document the updates on Flickr.  I was so moved, I hopped online to Miniatures.com and purchased some materials...flagstone flooring paper, tin roofing material, and wood wall paneling.
Perhaps, the Neville House should really be tricked out!?   But alas, the more I cruised the other participant's websites to enjoy their updates, the more intimidated I became.  People were doing scratch-builds and working with large multi-room homes. My house was just a shack okay a well designed studio, but one room nonetheless.  Then, I check out my regular blogger hangouts only to find over-the-top creativity in the form of unconventional structures.  Dazzling! So my inertia won out, partially. I just decided to continue being a stalker.  However, I did follow through with creating what I think is a nice design for this beautiful architect's model dollhouse. Allow me to share just how the Neville became the Retro Lake House. More to come... 
23 March 2012 6 comments

Love Your Shoes

Images via http://cubeme.com
I spyed this lovely piece of furniture recently.  It's a wonderfully simple design that can change and evolve depending on how you fill it---be it with 30 pairs of... 



Image source: thecontainerstore.com

Though,Yordan Atanasov has named his design "Love Monono" (warning: designer shoes not included) it would nicely showcase any shoes.  I like these...
Slingback Wedge Ankle boot by 
Diane von Furstenberg

Julie by Dolce Vita

Bella by Dolce Vita. Pick any of these up 
from studio7 at Styleowner.com

Here's a nice bonus. He has intended the design be environmentally friendly and specifies that the cabinet should be constructed from recycled plastic or reclaimed wood.  Never mind that I don't have the space, this "Love Manolo" shoe cabinet would be such a fabulous alternative to my current shoe storage option.  
Practical but lackluster storage solution for 
just some of my shoes.

Well, you can't stop a lady from dreaming or getting some design inspiration for that matter. That's my shoe situation.  How do you love store your shoes?

This post is part of a Fashion Fridays blog hop hosted by Kori of Blonde Episodes
Check out Fashion Fridays!

21 March 2012 0 comments

Got Midcentury Modern Chairs?

I found these at a cute home accessories store called Tabletop and I thought about just how on-trend the pattern is and all of my friends here in the modern miniature blogosphere.

So you've collected all the Reac Japan Designer Chairs or decorated with as many refinished vintage finds as your life-sized house can hold, but you still haven't satisfied your craving for the modern designer chairs from the mid(20th)century.  What are you ever to do??? From Etsy to Inhabit to SFMOMA, check out this roundup of the iconic silhouettes on everything.

Is this good or bad design?  Does it take away from the original sculptural beauty of these chairs? Which chair is your favorite? Talk to me, let me know. (Note: click through to Olioboard for all the details on the items in the roundup.)
19 March 2012 8 comments

Those Who Live in Glass Houses...

(17 3/4"W x 13 3/4"H x 8 3/4"D) Image Source: Ikea.com

I just thought I'd share another product with you. If you're in the market for a greenhouse glass house, this one is perfect for your miniatures!  And, of course the price is right ($19.99).  There is one drawback however, you cannot purchase this item online.  It is only available at the Ikea stores.  It you already have this little gem and have repurposed it, please let me know how it all turned out.
16 March 2012 8 comments

Going Bold in A Small Space

I came across this photo while web surfing.  It was part of an article entitled Go Bold in A Small Space and I was reminded by the scale of the wallpaper in this bedroom that there is a miniature challenge under way.  The task is to begin with a sheet of speciality paper and see where the inspiration takes you.  With that said, I considered these choices...  

but settled on this.

The iconography makes for an easy room choice, huh? So, I reached in my stash...

This is what's slowly taking shape so far.  Stay tuned...

Tutorial : Exposed Brick Wall

One of the great things that has come from renovating old lofts and brownstones is the design feature of an exposed brick wall, like this one.

Photographed by Michael Morcol
When I began creating my dollhouse inside a storage cabinet from Ikea, I thought it might be nice to bring this hip feature to one of the rooms.  I used cork contact paper which has an adhesive backing and canvas paper that can be fed through the ink jet printer.  First, determine the color you want for the brick and paint the cork paper.  I chose white, but shades of beige, grey or reds can also work well.  Set aside and allow the painted paper to dry.

Search the Internet for a complementary image that looks like plaster, then print it in color onto the canvas paper.  Use as many of the 8 1/2" x 11" sheets as your wall or room will require.

Image Source: www.ballarddesigns.com
Return to the painted cork paper and determine the size for each brick.  Using the grid on the back of the contact paper makes this easy.  I chose 1 x 2 cm squares for the size of my bricks and used scissors to cut them out.

Remove the backing paper and arrange the bricks on the canvas paper to lay the bricks.  Get creative here, leave openings on the canvas paper to create the illusion of decaying plaster. Use an all-purpose glue if necessary to secure the bricks.

So, at this stage I realized that my plaster is beneath the brick instead of on top of it. Ooops! I decided to minimize the plaster areas because of this fact. Next, use paint to touch up any areas of exposed cork, create the brick mortar, and a mottled effect on the bricks (if you so desire).  Finally, seal the wall with clear-coat varnish.

This wall is not as deconstructed as I envisioned.  It's a bit more like a peeling paint brick wall. But, by using materials I had in my stash, I was able to create a surface that has a lot of texture and is still fairly realistic.  Not too bad for my first time out with this technique.  Now, install your wall.  I used double-sided tape.  Decorate. Decorate. Decorate.
14 March 2012 4 comments

Cork, the Other Wood

Created at http://olioboard.com go there for all the product details.

A renewable resource, the unique qualities of bark from the cork oak tree help make our interiors safer and more livable places.  As a result, cork products continue to proliferate in interior design applications.  We see cork on floors and on the walls.  It's been used to create tables, seating, and storage pieces.  It can even be prepared into a fabric used to cover pillows and lampshades.  It's a superior insulator, heat retardant, impermeable and mold resistant.  The flexibility of this material also makes it very comfortable underfoot.  In short, cork is cool.

Details at http://olioboard.com
So, there was little surprise my search for new spring 2012 fashions yielded designs using cork again and again---right down to the metallic details.

L: Metallic & Patent T-strap Cork Sandal by Jimmy Choo
R: Cork wallpaper in Metallic Gold by Thibault, Natural
Resource Collection
With all this cork-love going on, I couldn't resist doing a round-up of how miniaturists are using cork in their own interiors.  Well, we've created (or repurposed) coffee tables, side tables, message boards, flooring and oversized vases, all in 1:12 scale.

Mini-bloggers counterclockwise from top left: ModernMC
ModernMCTinyFixation, callsmall and callsmall
And sometimes, life imitates art.  So, an oversized cork stopper makes a life-sized table like the table TinyFixation of the blog, Large and in Charge repurposed from a champagne cork in her own dollhouse.

L: 1:12 scale and R: 1:1 scale

I would love to know how others of you use cork in miniature. Here are some of my own favorite cork applications.  I discovered purchased this great product, cork contact paper. It really ups the creativity quotient for the ways cork can be used in our mini-interiors.  If you've used this awesome product, please let me know by leaving a comment. In the room I set up below, you find it everywhere: on the floor, the stools, and the brick wall! Cork...it really is the other white meat wood.

12 March 2012 2 comments

Rustic in Blue

I remixed this Modern Rustic room with even more pieces from my swap with margaret_loves. 
I like the lift all the blue accessories sprinkled around brings to the room.  The Foo Dog statues atop the cabinet just may be my favorites.  The zebra print rug lies under a bowl full of all sorts of blue treasures (semi-precious stones and mirrored tiles).  They add to the bling of the disco ball. And, a blue etched-glass plate (a la Rement) brings even more bling.
The dandelion photograph (a postcard) brings real interest to the left side of the room.  A cb2 igloo chair receives an upgrade with the velvet cushion from Margaret's retro hanging chair.  Very comfy, I bet.  Mirror on the cube side table brings more bling while the pouf (a hacky sac) makes cushy alternative seating.
In the corner, a work area features a small, blue framed mirror, a British-themed mood board and an oversize hand (it's really an eraser in 1:1 scale).  Now the sculptures on the table send the message: one love.