Wednesday, 7 March 2018

There's a new house in the house!

So this happened on the weekend.... I acquired a new project. It's huge but I couldn't resist. :) I found this house on Gumtree for a song. (For my overseas readers, Gumtree is Australia's version of Craigslist). I recognised it immediately (well with a little help from my Greenleaf friends) as a house that was scratch built from Dollhouse plan R14-3060. It's called the San Francisco.. Not to be confused with the San Franciscan by Duracraft or the San Francisco Victorian by Model Homes.. all of which I have either in progress or still in the box... Hmmm.. I seem to have a theme of San Franciscan houses going on.... lol 


There are a lot of these houses out in Pinterest land.. but I can't seem to figure out who made the plans originally. Incidentally they are still for sale at the Woodworkers Workshop. While I was researching and scheming what I'm going to do with the house I noticed that my house is missing a couple of key elements beside the obvious windows, doors & trims. 


The most obvious omission is the staircase to the second floor which is supposed to run up the back wall from the first floor stair landing to a hall on the third floor (also missing) 


It should look like this.

Miniature doll house: looks like the San Franciscan I have plans for
Picture from lapetitesofie.blogspot.com

And on the other side. Note the closed in stairs on the second floor and the hall on the third.

La petite Sofie dollhouse opens on both sides
Picture from lapetitesofie.blogspot.com
I also noted that individual builders have modified door widths and window heights to suit themselves. Some have made doors onto the various verandas like this.

Marijke's thuis-in-het-klein!: Long time no see, maar we gaan verder aan het Marmod huis...
Picture from Marijike's home in the small

And this.

paulas minis: Paula's villa
Picture from Paulas Minis

Or this,


My house has windows only on the exterior other than the front door so I need to decide if I want to turn some of these into doors. My initial thoughts are only to change the top floor veranda window into a door.



The porch can be accessed from the front door and the roof top on the 2nd floor is more of a place to put plants with a low rail.. not a true veranda so if my mini people want to access it, they can climb through a window. :D 

I've found lots of inspiration on pinterest but my favourite version of this house so far has to be this one. 

Picture from Pinterest. You can see more pictures of this house here

I love the colour and modern aesthetic. I much prefer what they have done with the windows on this house to the triangle pediment windows you see on most versions of this house. I particularly like that the windows are mullioned and the way they contrast with the house colour. I also like the added detail of "wrought iron" rails on the windows. Not sure I would use them as veranda rails though. Need to think on that.  I also noted on this house that they have made an access panel on the front of the roof so you can get into the rest of the Attic and they have added windows to the roof space. My house currently has no access to this section of roof. I would love to be able to create access like this but the house is so well built I'm not sure if I will be able to deconstruct it. It's made of thick plywood and I don't really have the necessary tools to cut it. I may resort to the old drill-holes-until-it-comes-apart technique. I'd like to add the second staircase and hall as well, the extra wall on the third floor will be a piece of cake but the stairs... not so much. We shall see if my skills can match my enthusiasm. I may have to hit the hardware store and buy a dremel with a wood cutting wheel. :D

I need to decide before I buy, because this house currently has 20 exterior openings and 7 internal ones!! That's a lot of windows and doors... lol.. I suspect the cost of these fittings will far exceed the cost of the house. :/

I have a few in my stash so I decided to try out the openings for size and most of them are slightly too small for standard windows and doors and the front door is way too high I'll have to find a grand door with a pediment or transom to fit that hole.


I had to cut this window down slightly to fit this hole.. I won't be doing that for 18 windows so a dremel is definitely in my future! Also the windows holes on the ground floor just look too small and low.. I think I need to add larger windows here. I had one in my stash so I held it up to see.


I think this looks better.. I suppose some Victorian houses had grander windows on the first floor. Do you think I should change these to larger ones or even to doors? My concern with doors is they will take away from the front door and reduce my veranda decorating space. Large windows might be a good compromise?

I tried out some porch posts and they will fit snugly after decking has been added thankfully.


And on the upstairs balcony. I tried the window also but definitely still want to do a door.


Just testing out mullions.. Definitely want to add those as well.


I'm also starting to notice that my window openings are much smaller than the house I love above.. I'm wondering if I should enlarge them or leave well enough alone. Maybe adding shutters will help to create visual interest to what looks like it will be a LOT of siding. Maybe I do need windows with a pediment. Not a fan of the triangle ones though.... hmmmm.. 


Maybe a bonnet pediment?

Dollhouse Miniature Window, Bonnet Pediment, Working #HW5...

Window boxes on the top floor may assist to visually lower the window also.... Maybe I'm just overthinking everything! lol

I tried out an attic window I had in my stash.. It also had to be cut down...


I'm not sure Yorktown windows go with this style of house? Thoughts? I haven't seen any versions with them and am wondering if they would work.

At least the interior door openings are the right size for standard interior doors! Small win - I'll take it!  :)


And yes the stairs are weird... I'm going to try creating new risers and treads out of thin basswood and going straight over the top of these. Hopefully it works. Wish me luck!

41 comments:

  1. Congratulations! It looks so interesting! You'll have a good time with it I think.

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    1. Yes, I'm excited about it Sheila.. and I'll be having heaps of fun once I figure out how to do the modifications I want. :)

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  2. Hi Sam,
    A very nice acquisition and a BIG commitment. I do like the scale of the windows in the finished house that you found. Have you an ideas on the direction you will take for the interiors? I like the way the stairs disappear into the building.
    We had a very nice trip to Seattle. I found a bed, dining room table and chairs as well as a coffee type table. No lighting, which was a big disappointment.
    Lots of projects on the go for the Swedish House.... I cannot imagine your project list for your houses.

    All the best, Janine

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    1. Thanks Janine! Yes it is a big commitment and it's huge! I'm thinking on the windows at the moment and working on modifying the existing stairs and creating a new staircase. I'm definitely changing the first floor windows.. after that I will wait and see about the rest. I have kind of overwhelmed myself with projects.. hopefully I can keep on track!
      I'm so glad you had a nice trip to Seattle.. I'm hoping you will do a blog post on your finds! I would love to see them. :) I understand the disappointment on the lighting front. I was hoping to find trims and windows at my local show, but couldn't find any I liked for a reasonable price.

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  3. Hi Sam What a find!! ... and so many decisions to make. Looking at your pics and the I too lover that fabulous favourite house so I think you need to head out and get a dremel to make the window holes taller. Perhaps the second floor ones could stay as is, I think upper stories on real houses often had less significant window openings. Besides it makes sense that bedrooms/bath rooms have smaller windows.
    Ups - here I am, still pondering getting my first little house under way, sharing my thoughts on your big magnificent projects :) I am sure will work it out and make it absolutely wonderful and look forward to following along.
    Anna

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    1. Dremel purchased. Bunnings to the rescue.. lol. You should just bite the bullet Anna.. sometimes you just have to jump in. :) Make sure you blog about it. There is lots of help out there in the mini world. :)

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    2. Thanks for the encouragement Sam, I am plodding away making contents for now. Just need to vintage over and done with.. besides, blogging about making mini might make my other blog suffer even more than it already is LOL. We'll see. I am certainly enjoying the help and feedback coming from so many talented mini bloggers - SO different (in a good way) to the blogging world I am used to.

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    3. Contents are good. :) Mini people are the nicest people (IMHO). So helpful and friendly. Come on over and join our blogland.. But you are right, you may never go back to your other blog once you do. :D

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  4. Wow, lovely acquisition. It looks nice, clean and sturdy. Definitely bigger windows and more doors. I think, since you are starting with a blank, you can choose any style of windows. I suppose one should not mix up too many styles, that's all. This is going to be so much fun!
    Where are you going to put it? It must have a rather large footprint.

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    1. Megan it's huge! I didn't think that far ahead when I bought it. No idea where it will live when I finish. Probably the "good" living room.. our house isn't that big so that is perhaps the only space big enough for it.. lol
      It is definitely very sturdy, which is proving to be a negative to my bashing efforts. Larger, more powerful power tools required. :D

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  5. Hello Sam,
    What a gorgeous house. I am happy you found it. I also think your favorite version of the house is the one I prefer. You have a lot of ideas and I cannot wait to see what you decide on, but I will say that I think you should install the larger windows on the ground floor. I love the idea of doors there, but I'm not sure it is right for the look of the house.
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. Thank you Giac! Larger windows for sure on the ground floor. I like the idea of door too... but just think it will be too much. I have many ideas, probably too many.. lol.. We shall see where they lead me. :D

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  6. It really is a fantastic house with so much potential!
    I love the tall windows on the first floor! With that many windows and doors to purchase, you might think about getting a re-seller license and ordering them directly from Houseworks! :O)
    As far as cutting openings into plywood, you might look into an oscillating tool. Russ lets me use his. It's made by DeWalt and will cut through plywook and MDF like butter. The Dremel may just give you fits in material that thick and be harder to control. It is great for drilling/sanding, though. Here;s the best price in the US on the oscillating tool:
    https://www.cpooutlets.com/factory-reconditioned-dewalt-dcs355d1r-20v-max-xr-cordless-lithium-ion-brushless-oscillating-multi-tool-kit/dewrdcs355d1r,default,pd.html?ref=pla&zmam=31282435&zmas=47&zmac=722&zmap=dewrdcs355d1r&gclid=Cj0KCQiAuP7UBRDiARIsAFpxiRKpBjVrJxZcRbNGDqnGhvovxTwHzk3Cm9A2Sb9wCRvU6UYM1-IdFJgaAo_AEALw_wcB
    Find some videos to watch on it. It's awesome!
    I do like the bonnet type windows better, but Queen Anne is more my thing than Georgian, so that's why.
    Remember that you can do the stair enclosure in illustration art board instead of wood, so that will make it a million times easier.
    Now, all you need to do is quit your job and make minis full time! A girl can dream, can't she?

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    1. Well, I wish you had posted before I bought a dremel.. LOL! Because you are correct.. it's very hard to control in this wood and is freaking me out a bit. I wonder if I could sneak up to the hardware and get one of these tools without the hubs realising. ;) I like the bonnet windows too.. but I'm not sure they suit my vision for the house... So many decisions to make so little time.. or all the time in the world.. :) I'll definitely be building the stair enclosure out of mat board or something similar. I'm not sure what illustration board is.. I'll have to look it up. Thanks for the tip! Now if only I could quit my day job!

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    2. I have a dremel too and it's a lifesaver for sanding plus it has a router head and that's awesome for wire channels.

      If you can't quite afford the Oscillating tool look into the pricing for jigsaws. They're usually cheaper though they can be hard to get used to.

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    3. Good idea Sheila, I'll have to remember that attachment when I get to wiring. :) I caved and bought an oscillating tool and it is doing a much better job than the dremel for cutting this thick ply but boy it's still scary. I have much respect for these tools.

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  7. This house is beautiful! I like your favorite version of it too. I wouldn't mind living in it hahaha!
    Have lots of fun with the exterior, and I look forward to see how you will decorate it as well!

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    1. I know right? Me too... That house is lovely. :) I think all those stairs would annoy me in real life though.. lol

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  8. Congratulations on purchasing this most interesting dollhouse, Sam! Have a good time for converting it into an lovely dollhouse of your own, have fun!
    Kind regards, Ilona

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    1. Thanks Ilona! I'm definitely going to have fun with it. The rooms are all such great sizes that it will be a pleasure to decorate.

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  9. It is quite an odd little house Sam, but it does finish nicely. I agree that the windows are a bit on the small side. My suggestion is follow your gut. If it bugs you now that the windows are too small, then it is likely to get worse. I like how the stairs to the third floor are tucked into the back and enclosed. Re the Dremel, they are a useful little tool, so you won’t regret getting one. And there are cheap versions around too if you were hesitant about how much you might use it. Anyway, have fun with it! I love the puzzle of making things fit!

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    1. It is a bit odd isn't it.. lol.. It's definitely unusual, but little is not a word I would use to describe it! It's huge.. it has been made on castors which was a stroke of genius... It's very easy to move around. I also like that it's completely enclosed with side openings. It wasn't love at first sight, but I kept going back and looking at it and then researching finished versions and before you knew it, I had to have it. lol Such an addict.. :D

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  10. What a fun layout! I really like the second floor porch and the way the house gives you so much room to create and style it. I have an old Duracraft farmhouse dollhouse and the window openings for it are odd too. I actually bought a lot of 20 or so generic dollhouse windows from eBay one time for a cheap price but I never used them. I would look there for reasonably priced options, especially since you can always add a bit of trim to make them work. I'd send them all over for you to use but I bet the shipping would be crazy costly!
    Can't wait to see how this build goes!

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    1. (And by generic I mean like no brand name... they weren't Houseworks, they were from somewhere in Hong Kong or something)

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    2. I know Kristine! I'm spoilt for room! I'm really looking forward to decorating this one. :) I think I've found a vendor here in Australia that has windows that will fit my slightly strange sized openings.. and the best bit is free shipping on orders over $100.. I guess there is a silver lining to needing so many.. lol... My first thought was a lot on Ebay too.. and I found one that would have been perfect but... no international shipping! I always run into this on things I want.. typical. My seller says the windows will be in stock next Thursday so lets hope she gets them in the post asap so I can get started on the marathon painting session they will be.

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  11. What a wonderful project, congratulations! Looking forward to see you progress with it!

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    1. Thanks Ingi.. I can't wait to have enough progress for an update. :)

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  12. I love the house, so full of possibilities. I am sure whatever you decide will be just right :)

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    1. Yes, Alexandra.. lots of possibilities. I can't wait!

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  13. I would definitely put in doors and bigger windows! It's a pain, but it's worth it. I love the idea of french doors onto the porch-- I think it adds great interest to the interior. Good luck with this huge project! The example you found is gorgeous.

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    1. You are right it is a massive pain! I've been the hardware store's best friend this week buying cheap power tools trying to find the right one for the job. The ply this house is build out of is 9mm and hard as a rock. Add to that the builder was quite a craftsman and has used nails as well as copious amounts of glue to put it together and it's proving quite difficult to undo his workmanship! Hoping to give an update soon.

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  14. Hi Sam!
    This is a Solid and Well-built shell which makes this house A Mini Dream Come True! Changing the windows and doors will customize it right away no matter what you choose, and The Dewalt oscillating tool which Jodi's mentioned, will make your work a whole lot easier, as will having The Dremel.
    I'm really looking forward to seeing this doll house gradually become a doll's HOME- how Exciting! :D

    elizabeth

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    1. Solid and well built is an apt description Elizabeth.. I find myself longing for slapdash and wonky in my attempts to bash this house.. lol. I caved in and bought an oscillating tool.. but boy these powerful tools scare me a little bit and the house is fighting me every step of the way. :)

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  15. Hello, Sam - Your new "San Francisco" has so much potential; it's such an interesting, rambling sort of house. I'm sure you'll be having fun with it for a LONG time to come! And what a tall house it is; I completely understand your dilemma of "where to put it." I have the same problem with my HUGE Tuscan villa! I like the idea of having larger windows on the ground floor - I agree that doors will limit your space to decorate that wonderful verandah. This is going to be a great project to follow - I'm already looking forward to your next post.
    Marjorie

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    1. Thanks Marjorie! I did opt for larger windows for the ground floor in the end.. I happened to have two in my stash which was a nice surprise and has got me started on the bashing. I've also cut a hole in the second floor wall for a staircase. Now if I could just get the floor hole cut for the staircase and remove a panel from the roof for more attic access, I'd be cooking with gas. :) I understand the dilemma of your villa all too well. Grand plans and not a grand enough RL house! lol

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  16. Wow! What a house! It's gorgeous and so spacious. I cannot wait to see how you make it your own. :D

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    1. Thanks Brae.. I'm really looking forward to this one. :)

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  17. I love that house! And all that Pinterest inspiration! It's going to be amazing. I can't wait to follow your progress!

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    1. Thanks Penelope.. It is going to be a heap of fun.. I can't wait... I may even get started so I have two projects going at once.. more mini madness is a good thing. lol

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  18. What an honor that you have chosen my house how it should be. Wish you good luck with deciding and placing windows and doors. And especially a lot of fun with decorating. I have done it in 10 years ;-)

    Roelie

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    1. I love your house Roelie.. it has such a beautiful interior. :) I'm so lucky to have those who have worked on this house before me to look to for inspiration. Thanks for inspiring me. :D

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