My Miniature House, Part II

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I hope you liked the first dollhouse post! Moving upstairs, I really wanted to do a chinoiserie bedroom, inspired by Chinoiserie Chic's glam dollhouse. I ordered a bunch of dollhouse specific papers and the resolution on them was all pretty low. I finally went to my friend's boutique, Nakashio's, to buy some decorative washi papers. My daughter picked out this pink cherry blossom paper (it is VERY pink) but I think it works! It is a little hard to photograph because it has gold and metallic elements.

I added a molded ceiling using trim from the same Etsy seller, Orsa Styliandes. The bedroom furniture is from Miniatures Marketplace.

This picture probably gives the best look at that paper. And again, those stairs... that was a little painful! I was glad to find tutorials from miniaturist Otterine. She's a pro, her tutorials were so helpful for first timers like us.

Adjacent to the bedroom is the nursery. I tried to make it inspired by the nursery my daughter slept in as a newborn. The starry night paper is from Paper Source. That's definitely a "wish we had" for the real thing! Sorry this first photo is a little wonky!

Here's a better look at that paper.

My daughter loves to play with this toy box filled with Japanese erasers from Daiso.  The rug is also part of a placemat from Daiso. It reminded me of a fun and fresh Dash and Albert style rug.

My dollhouse in a dollhouse. It was from repainted with Martha Stewart craft paints.

Daybed is from JBM Miniatures, I refinished it for a more Gustavian look.

Okay, one last post to come. Hope you are liking this little (I mean that literally!) tour. 

My Miniature House, Part I

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A long time ago I mentioned I was building a dollhouse. It seems like it has been forever (because it has) but several weeks ago I finally finished it. And as soon as I finished it, the movers came and packed it up. So fingers crossed that it crosses the Pacific safe and sound. But before it left, I took a few photos. So here's a photo tour of my (mini) house, starting with the exterior. (You can also see how messy my bookcases were from pre-move sorting!)

The kit was the Painted Lady by Real Good Toys, but I actually ordered it from Hobby Lobby. Understandably it took a bit to get here but was well worth the wait!

Did you spot the mini versions of our dogs? This is a dollhouse for my daughter after all! I think we got a bit carried away so she will not really play with it until she's older. But she still loves looking at it. We might do another, more play-friendly, house when we get back to the States. It turned into a really fun project!

Let's check out the living room, inspired by the Green Drawing Room of Warwick Castle in Warwickshire, England. Painting over the fireplace is from Etsy seller, My Dollhouse Miniatures.

Decorative paper used for the ceiling was from Paper Source. The molding was a combination of and Etsy seller Orsa Styliandes. I bought the fireplace from Orsa as well and added the faux brick backing and accessories from The bust is from Miniature Cottage in Nashville. The sofa is a reproduction of the one from President Lincoln's house but reupholstered in ivory silk.

Those. Stairs. Ugh, that was tough, especially with the molding surround. But I think it was worth it!

The little green snuff bottle was from my favorite antiques dealer here in Japan, Mr. Toshi's of Hachinohe. The flowers and plants in the house are from Etsy seller My Craft Garden. Gold Table was from partner website, Miniature Marketplace.

The other room on the bottom floor is the dining/kitchen. It has a little eat-in nook. The board and batten was painstakingly completed by my husband. He gets credit for putting all the papers into the house! The kitchen paper is another from Paper Source. The sink was a mod using newel posts as legs. The rug was cut from a placemat but clearly needs to be ironed!

I painted the little Aga cooker from I wish these photos were a little better; I was in such a rush before things got packed-up. I have to say had phenomenal service. I went through a couple broken items and they were so great about sending replacements - this was one of those that took a couple tries. I painted it to look like the Robins Egg Blue Aga finish. The trim made to look like a custom hearth was and overmantle from Etsy seller Orsa Styliandes. Tile sheet was added to the back.

I refinished and upholstered the table and chairs. I'm not great at miniature upholstery (so there's a bit of a gap) but hey, good first try!

Okay, I'll share more in another post! But if you decide to take on a project like this, you can see my sources from my link. If you're looking for more miniatures inspiration, I pinned a ton during the construction of this house so feel free to check that out here. Hope you enjoyed it!

Sunny San Diego House Tour

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Over the past year I've been working on and off via email with an old friend to make their house reflect them. This is a young, busy family that recently relocated back to California from Boston.

This is the beautiful entry sitting area. My friend is quite talented with flowers!

The house was a blend of dark beige, brick and maple wood. My dear friend is anything but beige and now I think their house reflects her sunny disposition so much more. We lightened everything up! I really wanted to keep the existing beams and brighten the walls and brick to draw attention to them.

I love those built-ins we added - it was her idea and it looks great. That was a pinterest-inspired DIY, believe it or not! Her husband and dad are very handy!

The kitchen felt very heavy and dark. In addition to painting the existing cabinets we added a classic subway tile back splash to brighten the space. And those beautiful built-in banquettes? Her dad built them! She picked the eating nook lighting and I love the natural capiz with a bit of glimmer.

I really enjoy working with other people's tastes. Mine tend to be more neutral and I tend to gravitate towards a soft palette but my friend is all about bold. These silk drapes are so her and I love how they define the spaces in the open floor plan. That dining set belonged to her husband's grandmother and they were very attached to it. It looks great freshened with new dining chairs.

We didn't do much here, she already had most of the beautiful furnishings. Just a little paint and this master looks so gorgeous.

This was one of my favorite projects for their house. We're still tweaking big brother's room for the next house but little sister has such an adorable little nest. We started with a blank canvas. She picked this beautiful iron crib and I love that custom linen daybed.

Thanks K for sharing these adorable photos of your house! Can't wait to see the next one!!

A Colorful Swan - Marella Agnelli, Part II

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

One of the most exciting and opulent spaces I found, by far, was "Villar Perosa" which was conveniently featured in Architectural Digest a few months ago. Situated 40 miles to the west of Turin, it is an 18th-century former hunting lodge from architect Filippo Juvarra in the Piedmontese Baroque style.

Even this light-filled hall is a feast for the eyes.

This house has some wonderful private spaces as well.

Marella's own room in a profusion of feminine floral and pink.

I love this perfect shade of green in the Bishop's Room.

Evident from the Children's Wing of the 1920's - you can see this was truly a family home.

This is the facade as well a photo of the family in front of the house. image

Even the family chapel and grounds look like an idyllic place to rest.

Sourced from Architectural Digest, thanks for reading!

A Colorful Swan - Marella Agnelli, Part I

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Have you ever read 1st Dibs' Introspective Magazine? It is an online publication that has some great articles and I especially appreciate their book reviews. I was browsing the archives and came across a review for a Rizzoli book on Marella Agnelli. She is described as one of Truman Capote's society swans, born to a whiskey heiress and an Italian Noble. She eventually married Gianni Agnelli of the Fiat empire. (Bart Boehlert did an excellent post on her here)

As you can imagine, their interiors are as grand as their stories. This room from "Il Convento" in Corsica, a 16th-century former convent, really caught my eye with this vibrant green sitting room. Gorgeous!

The other room featured was this solarium from Villa Frescot. Just look at that beautiful light. In reading about Marella's lavish interiors, I found some more treasures which I'll share as soon as I've uploaded them in a day or so!

A few more of her personal spaces which feel very contemporary with their bold accents, shapes and colors. These were featured in the FT.

For more on the book, check out 1st Dibs.