The Big House Updates

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I have updated all the photos in The Big House section of this blog (see top or right-hand menu). It’s just about done! Here is a taste of each room:

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Front porch

First Floor:

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Entrance Hall

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Music Room

Second Floor:

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Second floor hall

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Kitchen (right side)

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Kitchen: Left side

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Utilities room

Third Floor:

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Third floor hall

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Bedroom

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Bathroom

Fourth Floor (not as finished):

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Library

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Artist studio

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Game room

Almost done! Each room (esp top floor), needs a few finishing touches, and that’s it! It’s been a fun overhaul. I wonder if the next house I make will be “normal.” (Nah.)

Big House–Jewelry Findings–a dangerous obsession!

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I found a new obsession–making minis from jewelry findings. I bought the book put out by JAR-JAF miniatures, and had to try my hand.

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I had way too much fun choosing a project and picking out the findings for it. This Regency sconce didn’t have too many parts, so I began with it. I made two, which will go in the Big House game room on the top floor. Fun!

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This lights, it really does. Now I want to make more! And try something more complicated. See? Dangerous.

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Another project was a compact and lipstick. I had the tray in my extras boxes–made the two lipsticks out of the findings from JAR-JAF, with tiny red stones left over from another project. The compact opens and displays a mirror and powder puff. The little jar with a blue stone was an accident. I’d broken the finding trying to make it into the lipstick. I stuck a tiny blue stone on the top, and decided it could be a rogue pot.

The hexagonal box is from a kit by Lisa Engler (the rest of this neat little kit is shown in closeup in this post).

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Panning back, this is the dressing table I’ve put together for the bedroom of the Big House. I wish I could claim to have made this wonderful perfume and lotions tray, but I bought it from Mountain Miniatures. The gloves are a kit I put together, bought from Dragonfly International. The fan and comb-brush-mirror set I’ve had for so long I have no clue where I got them.

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Backing up to show the whole dressing table.

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The dressing table in place in the bedroom, which is still a work in progress.

I had to go out and buy two storage boxes for the findings, because of course I bought more for more projects. I’ve already made a desk set and candlesticks, which I’ll share when I have the desk vignette I’m working on done. I have my eye on building a big, multi-armed, many dangly bits chandelier…. Stop me!

Big House, Fourth Floor mostly done

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I have the interior details of the Fourth Floor finally finished. Above is the “after” shot. Below is “before”. Click all the photos for larger versions!

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“Before”

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Three finished rooms looking from the house’s right side side.

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This tower room was dark, so I added a skylight (a fake one–papered ceiling with a photo of the sky taken by me at Canyon de Chelley, installed a bright white NovaLyte, and built a window over it).

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The room through the window. I plan to make this a game room.

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The middle room is now an artist studio, with another big window. I might swap the art studio and the game room depending on how everything works out. The furniture in these rooms are placeholders.

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The library on the house’s left side. Again furniture is placed where I think I might want it, but I’ll play with it.

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The alcove in the library.

I will have to do much more to these rooms, but I’m happy I have all the walls, doors, windows, trims, floors, lighting done!

Big House–Fourth Floor

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I’m determined to get the fourth floor of the Big House under control. Here’s what I’ve done to the largest attic room, which will become a library. (For the middle attic room, see: https://jennsminis.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/big-house-attic/)

Before:
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The furniture out and some of the trim pulled off.

After:
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The walls re-papered and re-trimmed, new sconces by J. Getzen installed. The table holds a Jim Pounder sculpture lamp. The wallpaper (click the pictures to see close-ups) I’ve had sitting in my scrap cabinet forever, waiting for something to use it on. It’s called Sheraton I believe by Minigraphics, and I’ve always liked its elegance.

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A closer look at the lamps. Ain’t they pretty? I’m amazed at how affordable artisan lamps can be. I paid only a few dollars more for these hand-made sconces than I would have for similar-looking mass-produced lights.

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This is a rough-in of what I want to do to this room. I thought it would be fun to have the bookcases frame the back, and put in a few secret areas that can be seen only if you look in through the front windows. I might change my mind, depending on how much of a pain it is, but I like glimpsing things beyond the room.

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This desk is called a bonheur du jour, which basically means a lady’s writing desk, which was introduced in the late 1700s. Apparently, it’s meant to be moved around the room (wherever the lady of the house wants to write her letters), though I have it against the wall here.

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Beautiful Wooten desk I found at an auction. The burlwood veneer is amazing. I’ll do another post soon with some of my cool auction finds.

I have one more attic room to refinish, then I can start putting finishing touches on all the rooms.

Big House–Attic

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Finally I’ve begun a face-lift on the top floor of The Big House. I’d never really used this room before–it’s the middle of three, no windows. I’d stuck unwanted things up here, using it like a real attic, but I never truly decorated it.

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It occurred to me that with a skylight, this could be an artist studio. I was going to build my own skylight, but I dug through my box of extra windows (how I collect extra windows, I have no idea; they just seem to breed). I found this twelve-light window from Houseworks and decided to re-purpose it as a skylight.

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I kind of like the “newspaper” wallpaper from the old room, so I didn’t rip it out. Covered matt board with a photo of an ocean view which I’d taken on vacation, and slid the photo in place, not gluing it. This way, if I decide I want the old wallpaper again, it’s there.

A bright white Nova Lyte provides the daylight outside the window. The window itself is in a matt board wall–1/4″ strips sandwiched between two pieces of matt board for sturdiness. I put shingles on the outside so it looks as though you are looking out through a roof wall.

The rest was repainting the walls and door and putting in new trim. Voila, the artist studio waiting to be furnished.

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Updates on The Big House

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The pretty pics first:

I finished the porch, adding spindles around the top trim plus brackets. The two different types of brackets gave it a finished look. I have since added porch stairs–I’ll get around to taking a pic of those sometimes.

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Note on porches: If you can get hold of the older book by Fred Stephenson–The Dollhouse Builders Handbook–he has a great explanation on the elements of porches and how they work (and why).

The music room. I redid the floor in here, using parquet from Brodnax. Polished the floor with paste wax. This pic gives a nice shot of the chandelier by Mr. K. (lights are hard for me to photograph). Click photo for close up!

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Now the mess:

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It is high time for me to conquer the fourth floor of the Big House–the attic! At this point I’ve decided to do a library (far right room), an artist studio (middle), and a game room (left). More on that soon!

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This room will become the library.

Big House Updates

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I finished the windows!!!! All Twenty-Three of ’em. Took me a while–I didn’t have time to just plow through so did them a piece at a time. But they’re done!

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Obviously, I need to do a lot of trimming, but the windows are done.

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I also started making changes and updates to the music room. I bought a beautiful chandelier from Luminations by Mr. K. The music room floor, though, one of the very first floors I ever made, needed a lot of work. I decided to do a parquet floor with medallions (made from two Brodnax medallion kits plus their parquet floor squares, plus their parquet border kit). I put that all together and finished it.

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This is the cherry floor with walnut accents. (They offer a walnut w/ cherry as well). I chose the cherry because I wanted a lighter floor–the furniture is mostly dark, and I wanted it to show well against the floor.

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The chandelier is hung in place.

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The floor is so elegant that I won’t cover it up with rugs. I chose to include the medallions so I could have a rugless floor.

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The next step is the porch. Here it is, stripped bare.

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When it dawned on me that a porch is just another room, I started having ideas about how to finish it, beyond just slapping in a porch railing and floor. I studied “The Dollhouse Builder’s Handbook,” by Fred Stephenson, which explains very well the elements of a porch and how they go together. I’ve also been looking at “The Painted Ladies Revisited” for ideas on finishing porches and colors.

I plan to put in a lattice and brick posts on the foundation, finish the ceiling with cornices and maybe some corbel work, do a top railing as well as a bottom, do stairs and a stair railing, and then decorate with furniture and plants as I decide.

Lots more work to do!

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