Thursday, December 29, 2011

Inspiration - Part 1 - Buildings

I found some great ideas for Miami art deco style in this book (stock photo):

This little book has folding pop-outs for façades of a dozen real Miami art deco buildings.  They're mainly small hotels, but they are great for getting 3D views and ideas of how an art deco dollhouse might look in various stylings.  They're also in accurate "O" gauge, so they could be used in the background of a model train display, if one were so inclined.  The book can be found at

Friday, December 23, 2011

In the beginning...

Hi and welcome!

I love miniatures.  I'm a novice, but I really want my own beautiful dollhouse to furnish and decorate with great miniatures.  The classic old-fashioned Victorian dollhouse doesn't interest me, though.  I love the idea of a more modern dollhouse, but I'm not quite satisfied with the minimalist, monochromatic modern dollhouses I see on the market.  What I'm longing for is a vibrant art deco creation that is both geometric and warm, elegant and vibrant.  In short, fun!  I love all those revitalized Miami art deco hotels on South Beach.  That's what I want, in miniature!

The dollhouse of my dreams is just not on the market.  So I guess I'll have to build my own dollhouse.  The big drawback?  I have neither tools nor skills for carpentry.  What I DO have are a capacity for obsession and a foolish willingness to leap in and figure things out as I go.  My latest big inspiration is to do a dollhouse kit bash, supplemented with cannibalized elements as needed.  Should be fun, right?  And if there are other lovers of art deco out there, feel free to follow along and learn from my inevitable, innumerable mistakes.


The kit to be bashed:  Greenleaf's "The Harrison" (stock photo)
My Harrison: Unpainted Front View
Cans to be nibalized:  A couple of old tin dollhouses, disassembled for parts.

Obviously I'm not going to assemble the kit as designed.  There's going to lots of trial and error.


I decided first to find little people to inhabit my dollhouse, and then to choose the miniature scale to match them.  I found some lovely little art deco, Erté style resin figures.  They were attached to trinket boxes, but a highly skilled friend with great tools cut them off their boxes for me.  They are beautiful, but stylized and very slender, so they don't quite fit any one scale.  They are 1/16 or 1/18 in height, but only 1/24 in width.  Making a good-looking dollhouse is going to require balancing the two different scales so that everything looks the right size for them.  And then there's the kit I'm using as my starting point, the Harrison.  It's 1/12.  I like the idea of roomy rooms and higher ceilings, but the windows and doors still have to look the right size.  Hmmm....

What's life, or a hobby, without a bit of a challenge?