Thursday, January 31, 2008

Teak in the Bedroom

I know. I decorate my bedrooms very similar. A good friend recently pointed out that my own bedroom looks like the ones I design in miniature. I honestly never noticed. It tells me two things: 1). I like my sleep space to be minimal and serene and 2). I have extremely limited design skills, which is not a news flash.

The picture below is typical of what often happens to the miniature scenes when I am not around.

I guess I’m supposed to believe that those figures just couldn’t help themselves—the room being so “serene” and all. Apparently, everyone I associate with is a comedian.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

House In A Box

I’m intrigued by the House In A Box set created by Superspace of Copenhagen. It features a set of rooms that can be stacked and connected in a variety of ways. I’d like to get several sets to put in my office and set out for guests when we entertain. It would be interesting to see what structures might be conceived. The House In A Box appears to be about 1:18 scale or slightly smaller. I’ve put in a request to the company for more information about the product—size, cost, retailers. I will update this post when/if they respond.


Odissey Paper Models

The dollhouse furniture that you see above is made entirely out of paper. It’s kinda cool. The pieces are from a group of graphic design artists based in Italy. The Pretty House collection currently only has a few bedroom pieces and floor patterns but information on their site indicates that there are plans to expand their offerings. Some of the designs would work in a modern dwelling—particularly the bed with the right linens. The photorealistic 3D models are free to download, but the team does ask that you consider visiting their sponsor or giving them a donation to support their design endeavors. See the Pretty House collection here.


Swans in The Loft Office

I cannot quite photograph this room the way that I would like. It’s difficult to take images with the mirrored storage units in the background. The shots with the best angles have my ugly face in them and the others keep catching light reflection. Frustrating? Yeah.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Daybeds in The Living Room

The daybeds from Voila Toys are one of my favorite miniature pieces intended for children’s dollhouses. Each one actually opens up to a sleeper sofa. I love the wood grain and the profile.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bunker Hill Dollhouse by Daniel Franzén

Have you seen this dollhouse?

How exciting that someone designed a 1:18 modern dollhouse in lacquered steel material. However, I’m disappointed with its design. It looks very…boring. And it is from Sweden so I’m confused about how boring the design is. There are only 100 of these signed limited edition dollhouses. The cost is roughly $250 via


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Redecorated Rooms for Malibu Beach

I redid the Living Room, Loft and Master Bedroom in the Malibu Beach dollhouse. I'm also working on another room for the second bedroom but not quite finished. I will post images later this week.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

California Contemporary by Fantasy Craft is on eBay...

The discontinued and elusive California Contemporary by Fantasy Craft is currently being auctioned on eBay. It's the completely decorated 39"x36"x26" prototype for the kits that were produced. According to the auction description, it has an estimated value of $12,000 so the starting bid is pricey = $2,500. Shipping is $1,200. Ebay Auction ends February 4.

Update 2/4/08:
Someone bought it!

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Passive Solar Contemporary Dollhouse By Joseph Laquatra

Joseph Laquatra was apparently building green dollhouses years before the Green Dollhouse Project. This dollhouse, a contemporary two-story hybrid solar design with an attached sunspace, was built for his niece back in the mid-1980s (she still has the house pictured above). It features six rooms (plus a closet): kitchen, living room, bathroom, two bedrooms and the aforementioned sunspace that can also be used as a greenhouse. The unconventional and cool feature of this dollhouse is the thermosyphoning, liquid cooled solar panels that are fitted in some of the window openings.

Although Laquatra is not a dollhouse designer/builder by trade, the passive solar dollhouse wasn’t his only endeavor. Below you can see the first dollhouse he built in 1983.

You can obtain the plans to build the passive solar contemporary dollhouse in a copy of the 1986 November-December Workbench Magazine.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

You Could Make An Even Smaller Footprint, Mr. Denari

I see several home designs that I think would make cool modern dollhouses. The Useful + Agreeable House designed by architect Neil M. Denari is another great example.

I think it would look stunning in miniature—sitting on a table as an unassuming aluminum capsule that push/clicked open to reveal three levels of rooms with designer built-in furniture. Just as the real structure takes into consideration sustainability and space, a miniature version would be welcomed in homes that have limited square footage. And let’s not pretend that other Neil Denari designs wouldn’t make great miniature structures because they would.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Well, Hello Stranger! The Return of The Brookwood

The Brookwood Dollhouse kit produced by Greenleaf has returned to the market after being discontinued for many many years. This is a favorite contemporary dollhouse kit among collectors. It is a 32” W x 18” D x 24” H dollhouse that features a loft bedroom, solarium, 10 skylights, two decks, and three fireplaces. The dollhouse also comes with furniture kits that produce kitchen cabinets, platform beds, bunk beds, planters, a picnic set and a hot tub.

Prices are $149.95 for the basic kit and $199.95 for the Select Edition (a very limited production of 20 birch plywood grade kits)

You can see how versatile this kit is via


Monday, January 21, 2008

The ELF Miniatures Site Is Updated! Yay!

Elizabeth LePla, the great artist behind ELF Miniatures informed me that she has updated her site. Posted above are just a few of my new favorite images. Visit her site to see more:

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Notes about the Kaleidoscope House

I receive 2-3 emails per day asking about the Kaleidoscope House. Most of the questions are either about me selling the one I own (No, I like it and want to keep it), knowing where one can be obtained (Only eBay that I know of) or if the structure is quality (Yes, for a plastic dollhouse. Note: You are lucky if you get one of the houses that do not have the warped blue roofs. Unfortunately there was a batch distributed with the warped roofs. You see these on eBay all of the time. You know it’s a warped roof when it won’t snap down flesh to the structure. I was a recipient of one of the houses with a warped roof, but replaced it when I received a new one compliments of Larry Mangel back in 2001 or 2002. Since Bozart is no longer in business, I doubt this is a current option).

I recently got an email asking which of the bedroom sets for the Kaleidoscope House were rare. You’ll remember that there are two versions that were sold: the one with the bed frame and plaid headboard and the one issued with the “box spring” mattress. In all honesty, I am not sure which of the two is considered “rare” but my guess is the one with the plaid headboard would have had less units circulating in the market since it was the first version of the bedroom set. Does anyone know for certain? Looking at the pictures above, you can see a reason why they would issue a second version. The bed with the plaid headboard doesn’t fit very well in the room’s dimensions.

The Kaleidoscope House does appear to have had several different bed prototypes. See pictures below. Also note the ladder to the sleeping loft and the opened version of The Big Idea.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Voila! Lundby Isn't Like It Was, Huh?

After much orchestration, I finally got my hands on one of the Voila S553 dollhouses (first pic). It's a 19"x19"x28" dollhouse with 12 rooms. What appeals most to me is its beach house vibe, hint of Asian flair in its design and the fact that it has a fireplace on each floor, removable roof panels and sliding windows and doors. The house can be arranged in a variety of ways and the porches are modular. I intend on ditching the door component, columns and the sliding panels with the shutters--replacing them with some additional Plexi sliders like the four you see on the front of the house. I may also replace the roof with Plexi too. We'll see. It all depends on how much it costs for the roof panels. I've been thinking that I might decorate it as a modern hotel/bed and breakfast. It seems open and airy like a vacation house.

I also added the Lundby Stockholm 2005 dollhouse to my collection (second pic). I don't usually have interest in any 1:16/1:18 scale dollhouses (except for the Tomy Smaller Homes), but this one is a decent little collector's item since it was designed by Ann Morsing and Beban Nord of
Box Design and offers mini paintings by Lisa Rinnevuo. Is it me or does it seem like the Lundby production quality has gone down? I think I drove the sales staff crazy at a local toy store while I dug through and compared every Stockholm accessory on the shelf to make sure that the ones I purchased were painted and assembled well. I was surprised at how poor many had been put together. I didn't purchase any figures but I noticed that many of them had horrible face paint which made figures look like they had tarantula eyes or lopsided faces with joker smiles and lipstick smears. They were figures for a miniature insane asylum, not a "happy family" dollhouse. In a word = Scary.

Since I want to try out some decorating in the Voila house when it arrives, I will begin the process of disassembling the Kaleidoscope House, wrapping it in cellophane, then bubble wrap and then packing it in a box filled with Styrofoam peanuts. Not exciting, but I like to keep my home relatively minimal and "everything in its place". I don't display more than three houses at a time. I've decorated the Kaleidoscope House the most over the past 7 years so it gets the storage unit treatment.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Brocade Home Mini Furniture

I'll never realize the miniature version of the La Terraza del Casino restaurant. Not just because I do not have a mini Showtime Armchair with Cover by Jaime Hayon, but because the Brocade Home mini furniture sets that I wanted to use (the sofa and chairs) are not very good quality. I had hoped that for the $50 price the sets would be of better quality, but the makers were quite sloppy. I do not recommend purchasing any of the sets except for the petite boudoir--and even then I say "wait for the sale."

Pictured above is the use of the Brocade Home petite boudoir in the Kaleidoscope House.