23 July 2012

Shelves as a Doll House

I really love this thrifty idea.  If you don't have a dolls house, use a set of shelves.  After all, shelves are an empty square area, just waiting to be decorated. 

I love the way these ones use the wall space to create a house shape, and have such clean modern lines.

This is a very simple one, nicely decorated with some Orla Kiely prints and little wooden dolls.

You can read how this dolls house was created here.

And finally, the size of the photo below probably doesn't do this example justice.  Using Ikea Expedit shelves,  each room has its own little occupant and distinctive style.  Check our the shoe room !!  (Via weheartit.com)


29 May 2012

Japanese Dolls House Project

Major apologies for my slack posting. I have so many images and ideas for posts, but real life has got in the way. I will do much much better I promise.

When I was little my very favourite book was Miss Happiness and Miss Flower, by Rumer Godden.  It tells the story of a little girl who moves from India to live with her cousins in cold and rainy England.  Life is horrible until she meets a kindly local bookseller and begins to build her own traditional Japanese Dolls House.   This is a magical book about being a lonely little girl and the wonder of dolls houses and the imaginary world one can create. The book even has (very old fashioned) instructions for building your own Japanese dolls house.  Inspired by this I have decided to build one for my daughter.

Here are two images I found which mine will be based on:

The brilliant thing about this is that it uses an Adams Dollshouse, a kit set, which I have now ordered and is on its way to me here.

As you can see the above tiny house looks amazingly like a real Japanese teahouse:

Here are some others (it is surprisingly hard to find any, as much as I have searched).  This is a 1930s Japanese dolls house. 

I found this on Pinterest.  It looks old and authentic.

To make it a challenge, I have set a budget of $150.  Excluding shipping. Because unfortunately most of these items have to come from US or UK. 

Costs so far:
  • Adams Dollshouse kit - $27.
  • Wooden Japanese teaset from Ebay - $24
  • Tiny Mount Fuji print from Ebay - $1.50
  • Two miniature bonsai, fishbowl, and bamboo plates from My Tiny World (you must check it out) - $45
  • Porcelain japanese vase from store up the road - $10.
  • Wooden shingles from Canada - $12.
  • wooden floorboards (fake oak) - $7.

And I desparately want these two little porcelain mid century Japansese dolls which are on Ebay but am too scared to bid on them because they are listed at $8 which seems so cheap.

And try as I might I cannot find miniature tatami matting.

Wish me luck !!


09 December 2011

Dinosaur Designs Doll House

Thanks to a tip off from MMMC, I have tracked down this house made by Dinosaur Designs.  It is a completely resin house.

It was auctioned for charity to raise proceeds for leukaemia research in 2001 and is now at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

For those not familiar with Dinosaur Designs they are three very talented artists who make amazing jewellery and home wares, mostly from resin. 

I still have these DD earrings which I wore to a wedding in 1991.  I know, I am just a sentimental person at heart.    They look very weird when I wear them now - just so huge and early 90's. 

And I also have these salad servers.  Beautiful.  They look like hardened lava. 

Dinosaur Designs, you should do a line in doll house furniture.  You would do really well. 

14 November 2011


The range of miniature food which is out there is quite amazing.   

Of course there are lots of tiny cakes and sweet things.   But I love this woman's work.  She is called Adriana Carugo, and she does Italian food.  And given she is from Milan that makes sense to me.

I have only spent a limited amount of time in Italian kitchens but this one rings true to me.

This is a bruschetta table.  The attention to detail is incredible.  My favourite part is the opened tin of tomatoes. 

This is melon and proscuitto.  The lira coin gives you an idea of the tiny scale. 

and finally, something  a bit unusual, for the chain smokers who reside in your dolls house:

Her whole range is on Etsy, here.  

07 November 2011


This Vermont style dolls house has been built from scratch by an interior designer.  All the furniture and fittings are handmade. 

(Complete with Arondirack chairs on the front porch)

It is being sold on Etsy.  She has photographed the house really well.  So well that it looks like a real house.  

(custom covered hemp linen lampshade in fabric by Kathryn Ireland)

(French provincial style master bedroom)

(great colour for the cabinets, and mosaic tiles too plus two ladder back chairs)

(Tiffany elephant lamp to the right and toile de jouy wallpaper)

If you want to buy it it is here.   It is worth visiting just to see the cost. I won't spoil things by mentioning it here, but if I had money to throw around, this is the kind of dolls house I would love to have. 

PS this post is for Jeanne , who told me she once tried (and failed) to make a wooden shingle roof on a dolls house for her daughter.   This house shows how hard it must be to get it exactly right!

03 November 2011

Scandinavian Mini House

(hand made miniature wooden storage boxes in the foreground)

Brinja, who lives in Copenhagen and makes jewelry, decided to make a mini home of her real apartment, which is divine and has featured in magazines. 

What could have come across as an act of decorative egomania is instead rather wonderful.

It is not an overly ambitious house, as it only has two rooms (for example she has not included a kitchen), but there is still a lot of detail, particularly in the wall of shelves you can see to the left of the photo below. 

It works because she has such special little pieces around her home.  Like this yellow cot, which has been faithfully reproduced (it was made for her by a reader in Poland, how sweet is that?)

Here is her dining area, in actual size and miniature.

And here is one of her chairs, sitting behind the miniature replica she made. 

Brinja began her blog in 2008, when she had already started her mini home, so it is a bit hard to work out why she began the project.   But now of course every time she buys a new item for her home she has to make a new mini one to match.. 

To see the whole project, visit her here. 

01 November 2011

Frida Kahlo

This labour of love created by artist Elsa Mora for her daughter is a miniature of Frida Kahlo's studio.  

She used a kit doll house, available from here.  She doesn't say much about how she created this amazing little house, except that it took 'months' to complete it.   

You can see in the background to the right a copy of the painting which hung in Frida's studio.  It has some lovely details like the rickety wooden ladder and the little Mexican baskets hanging at the side. 

What a beautiful place. And no horrible Diego Rivera lurking in the background either.  

Elsa's blog is here

And here's a reality check - this is an image of Frida Kahlo's actual studio.

And here is a painting by Damian Elwes of her studio.  This artist paints the imagined studios of a number of artists like Dali and Mattisse.  

I love the studied messiness of a studio.  A really big challenge for a doll house.