Saturday, January 31, 2009

Furniture Shopping - Big and Small

Husband and I finally bought a sofa today.  In the almost nine years that we've known each other (married for near five of those), we've never purchased a sofa together.  Even after we moved into our new place, we've been using the leather sofa that was in his bachelor pad studio.  It's been kinda tricky coming to a compromise between comfort (Husband) and super sweet looks (me).  We got the above sofa in a light gray - maybe it's my work on the Top Design room, but I was semi-obsessed with getting a hot pink sofa.  Husband is letting me purchase some hot pink throw pillows.  The arms of each side of the sofa fold down flat (as a side table? as a sleeping surface?) and miracles of miracles - it's slipcovered.

I went home and indulged my little design heart with another sofa purchase - from ebay.  

Credits:  Sofa and noguchi coffee table are ebay finds.  Ceiling lamp, cushions and plants are from DHE.  Side table from Petit Princess.  Accessories are lundby, AG minis.   The wall art is a brooch.  The handturned wood bowl is from Bertie's Dollhouse Miniatures.  Bertie does incredible work and I've a number of vases and bowls from Bertie's ebay store that I've incorporated into my mini scenes. 

Thursday, January 29, 2009

De Stilj House

Gerrit Rietveld designed the De Stilj dollhouse below. Reportedly, the Brooklyn Museum of Art purchased it for a lovely sum of $30,000.

I wonder if this house is on display at the museum - I would love to get a closer look. If so, I may have to beg a field trip off of Husband. He despises driving to Brooklyn (the last trip ended up with us in a sketchy mafia-front furniture store where no English was spoken). I may need to bribe him . . . with baked goods.
Photo from artnet.

More Houses!

I still haven't gotten my document back - so I'm still procrastinating (and wondering if it I can make it home in time for dinner with Husband).

I nearly forgot about this house, which I ran across on etsy a few weeks back:

Available at etsy from seller Petit Flaneur.  The profile of the dining chairs in particular reminds me a bit of those Kartell Ghost Chairs for some reason. Maybe it's the late-dinner-with-Husband-deprived hour, but I'm thinking this would look pretty darned good in my office as well.

Bauhaus Model House

It's late and I'm stuck at work, waiting for my partner to return a document to me.   I found this:

I love it! Alas, a second take reveals that it's (1) of itty bitty dimensions (17 x 16 x 10 cm) and (2) a model made out of cardstock. Maybe I'll pick one up anyway just for giggles to display in my office.

You can pick up the Bauhaus Modern Cottage here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Christmas in Stockholm

So my older brother thinks I'm nuts with the dollhouse fascination.   He has pointed out that his 4-year old daughter has a dollhouse (Fisher Price).  In fact, my niece has been over a number of times and set up dinner for the Pinky girls.  For my sister-in-law, don't worry!  It really doesn't give me heartburn when I watch the little one rampaging through the dollhouse.  (Now, my 2 year old nephew pulling my kitty's tail . . . ha!)

Anyway, despite his insinuations that I'm a tad "immature" at thirty-something, my brother actually bought me the Lundby Stockholm house for Christmas.  And that's why he's the best brother ever. 

This was my first quick attempt at decorating the house.  I actually already had the Lundby kitchen and bathroom sets.  (Funny mini-story: I was sent, against my will, to London for a three day training session for work.  Reluctantly, I went.  But I took the opportunity to score some hard to find Mighty World sets, as well as some less expensive Lundby furniture - from vendors that wouldn't, alas, ship to the United States.  So - after some wrangling and careful timing and instructions, I had them deliver the packages to the hotel where I was staying.   I had FIVE packages awaiting me on my check-in.  Lousy leadership training session in the UK for work, complete with people-yelling-at-you role playing:  tiring and painful.  Hotel accommodations: free (paid by work).  Coming home with a small rolling suitcase half-filled with dollhouse miniatures: PRICELESS!)

Anyway, I've been slaving away at work this past week and haven't had much of an opportunity to take pictures and blog.  I'm hoping we get some good sunlight tomorrow in the morning.   The husband has promised to cook breakfast, so I may take the opportunity to get some quality time in with the dollhouses. 

Erm.  Credits (if I can remember):  Kitchen, Bathroom and shelving unit are Lundby.  The chairs and coffee table in the living room are from trolling on ebay.  I believe the chairs are from the Debbie's Dream House.  Bedroom:  bed is a soapdish from Muji (another hat tip to Mini Modern), mirrored bedside tables from DHE, chair is petit princess.  All accessories are AG minis, Re-ment, or random ebay finds.  I especially love the hand-turned vases.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Prefab (Doll) House?

I live in an apartment in a building with probably about 500 of my dearest and closest neighbors, but from time to time, we think about moving to the burbs. In my ideal world (the one where we win megamillions), I'd love to build my own home from the ground up.

I'm also enamoured with the concept of prefab houses for some reason. There are a number of architects exploring (more) affordable design. In my wandering on the net, I came across the Jeriko House. Although the real life house will have to wait, I'd love to see something in this aesthetic in a dollhouse scale.

At the very least, though, I can be inspired by the computer-mockups of the interiors . . .

I love this kitchen.

All photos courtesy of Jeriko House.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Top Design - Work in Progress

The above is a work in progress, inspired by one of the rooms in the final challenge on Bravo's Top Design. The first picture is of Ondine's living room. I love the pink sofas juxtaposed with the zebra pattern.

I'm having trouble finding nice modern sofas, much less in hot pink. The Plan Toys' one works okay, I think. The room needs much more work though. Aside from sewing up some zebra pillows and much accessorizing and finishing, I ordered some mirrored cube side tables from DHE that I'm hoping to put in here.

Eh . . . Anyway, the sofas are still vexing me. I'm hoping to find something I can gut and refurbish on ebay. Or maybe I'll just have to try making some sofas on my own from scratch.

Funny story: one of my first pictures of this room had my entire face reflecting back in the full size wall mirror - it looked like my head was plastered on the whole wall in the room - or some giant sized me was trapped in a three floor dollhouse. It scared the snot out of my husband.

Credits: Sofa is Plan Toys from the modern furniture set. Chair is petite princess by Ideal. Zebra rug and coffee table (which breaks apart into three separate tables) are ebay wins. "Life size" terracotta warrior part of a souvenir set from the Great Wall. The vendors were pretty amused when I whipped a Pinky girl out of my camera bag for size comparison.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Before and After

A few months ago, Sacchin and Maki bought a new dining room set. "The table is nice," mused Sacchin, "but something about the chairs is . . . well, the pink is just so . . . so . . . barbie!" Maki ignored her friend's outburst and scooted forward a little more in her efforts to surreptitiously reach the floor with her dangling feet.

(Note from author: when I sit in chairs, my feet don't reach the floor either. As my husband would put it: "How hoomiliatin'...")

After a few weeks of mouse clicks and patience (and one super lucky blind box pull), the gals have new dining chairs, courtesy of Reac Japan, and are ready to host some dinner parties.

Credits: Dining table is Ryan's Room and tulip chairs are from Reac Japan. The Avery Coonley House design wall decoration is another Frank Lloyd Wright bookmark. Accessories from Re-ment, Dolls House Emporium and ebay.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Rusty Sewing Skills

The dollhouse has inspired me to bust out the sewing machine again. Last time I used it was probably over four years ago, to make six purses out of red shantung silk (with antique kimono fabric lining) for my bridesmaids. It sounds alot more complicated than it really was and makes my sewing abilities sound far more advanced than they are.

A few weekends ago, I decided to stitch up some bedding for a new mini bed set. Yeah, that's leftover red shantung silk (the leopard print pillows I didn't make). In fact, one of my bridesmaids came over to visit, noticed the bedding and exclaimed: "Hey! Isn't that the same fabric . . . " Why yes, yes it is . . .

I wish my bathroom in real life looked like this. Don't get me wrong, my bathroom is nice, it's the original design that came with the apartment. But it's marble and gold and um . . . very "hotel room", and not modern boutique hotel. This is the first room I've done with the ELF miniatures bathroom sink unit and I think it's great looking. The tub I picked up on a trip to Muji, ostensibly to buy storage containers, but I left with only the tub. The husband had his doubts ("It's a bowl!"), but it looks like a tub I'd gladly take a soak in. Any would be a vast improvement over the tub/shower I had in my old apartment, which was so shallow that if you laid down completely flat in the bottom, you'd still only be half submerged with various bits sticking out. Ooof.

For comparison purposes, I've included a photo of the Pinky girls (Sacchin and Reina) with some kids room furniture from when I was just starting out . . . they like their new stylish digs much more . . .

Credits: The bed is a soapdish (thanks to Mini Modern for the tip on scouring Bed Bath & Beyond). The wall decor is a Frank Lloyd Wright bookmark from the Museum of Modern Art. Armchair is petite princess. The bathroom sink unit is from ELF miniatures, and tub is a small dish from Muji. Accessories are an assortment, mostly Re-ment and DHE. Oh, and the orange and green kids room furniture is part of Plan Toys' modern furniture set.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Pinky in the PRC

So I really didn't talk much about Pinky St: in my first post, other than a brief oblique mention. I really should give more detail, seeing as how they were the starting point for this new hobby of mine. They are Japanese figures, with interchangeable heads, hair, clothing, complete with adorable anime eyes. Roughly 4 inches tall, Pinky girls are really closer to 1:16 - 1:18 scale, but I've put them into 1:12 scale houses because (1) dollhouse miniatures, much less modern dollhouse miniatures, are generally easier to come by in 1:12 scale, (2) before my awesome brother got me the Lundby Stockholm for Christmas (more on THAT later), I only had a 1:12 scale house and (3) as a vertically challenged person, I always feel like a Pinky girl in
my own home anyway. Um. My husband gets a huge laugh whenever he sees me lunging at the top shelf in the kitchen with a pair of tongs in my outstretched hand. Yes, it's pretty humiliating.

Since pictures are worth a thousand words and really, most people don't want to read my random musings, at least not on toy dolls, I'll share a few pictures of the trip two Pinky girls took with me to China - Shanghai and Beijing - to visit my inlaws.

My Mini Obsession

My mini obsession started back in August. My husband blames the Wire (Lester Freamon makes and sells dollhouse miniatures during his spare (and work) hours). But in reality, the seeds of my obsession were planted back in 2000 when my husband (then boyfriend) purchased an "action figure" while in Taiwan on vacation. In reality, the action figure was a knockoff Sean Lo figure and his fascination with urban vinyl and simultaneous disdain for bootlegs was born. He dragged me around the city from Toy Tokyo to the then nascent Kid Robot. Eventually, on one of these trips, I spotted this adorable figure called Pinky St: . . . and the rest is history. From time to time, I'd add to my Pinky collection, even grabbing a few in Kyoto while the husband and I were doing our around the world trip. I also started buying miniature japanese figures, like Re-ment and Megahouse, simply because . . . well, who doesn't need a miniature sushi diorama?

Fast forward to August 2008: I had just purchased a new batch of Pinky St: girls and started thinking about buying a house for them. I came quite close to buying the Calico Critters manor aka Grand Hotel, but something about the aesthetic didn't quite sit right with me. My apartment and furniture in real life skew towards the modern, inasmuch as budget and cat's claws will allow. Somehow, I couldn't quite pull the trigger on that plastic quasi-victorian model. Then I stumbled upon one of the few modern dollhouse blogs out there (the tremendous Mini Modern) and soon couldn't get enough.

My collection is expanding, by leaps and bounds. Here's my meager contribution to the online community of modern dollhouse fans (and to my friends who think I've gone off the deep end).