Saturday, 9 February 2019

Dining room is coming together.

I did a quick set up of the dining room to try and get the chandelier centered over the table and equally centered with the fireplace, whilst still allowing my large table to sit where it needs to in the room. Oy.. what a geometry equation that has turned out to be... I should have paid more attention in maths class. Lol.

I took some pics, it’s a little off.. but I should be able to hide that under the little rose.


If not I’ll just get a bigger rose. Ha! Speaking of the rose, it needs some paint, it’s decidedly whiter than anything else in the room. Aged gold to blend with the chandelier? Or the wall colour? 


I just need to install the baseboard and window trim in this room and it's done-zo! So exciting to be getting to the finishing of this room so I can move outside and upstairs. :D 

In other news, I think that viewing this room through my camera lens has solidified the kitchen backsplash issue for me. I just think continuing the counter top stone up the wall is the correct choice for the understated relaxed elegance that I'm trying to create in this house. So, finally, a decision made! Thank you to you all for weighing in and helping me. :D 

Friday, 8 February 2019

The great Kitchen Backsplash dilemma.

So, I'm indecisive... a known fact..

I shall list my whittled down list of potential backsplash options below in the order that I like them (as of now, subject to change)  and then advise you that I have managed to thoroughly confuse myself and have no idea which one I'll pick.

But look! I've trimmed out this window!.. Small wins.. :D

I'm going for an understated look. I think my mini homeowner's design brief would be. - We want something hip and cool but also a modern transitional design style. With a bit of a vintage edge. We do not go for the latest trend. We want timeless.

First option and current favourite. Continued "bluestone" up the wall.

Why do I like it?.. It's the safest, & the most understated. It's a nice traditional look without being cute. It's a blank canvas backdrop for counter top minis to shine. It's not going to compete with the wood wall opposite. I always liked the look of the room with no backsplash so this gives me the practicality of a backsplash while still maintaining that look.

What I don't like.. It looks like there is no backsplash.. lol.. see confused.


If I choose this option I'll make it thicker and round the edges more.



 Second favourite. "Bluestone" subway tile.

What I like.. You can see it. lol... It's still traditional but with a bit of a modern twist. I think? It's still understated enough to allow counter minis to shine. It's pattern but is it too much pattern?

What I don't like.. The half tile at the bottom, I was thinking of removing it and adding a "bluestone" rounded trim along the top and sides (made from quarter round). I don't want it to go any higher as I want that first shelf to hang level with the window frame and I don't want it half on the tile and half off it.  I'm not sure if it competes with the wood wall. Is it too much for the kitchen/does it change the feel too much.




Third favourite. Something completely different, a tile printie that Carrie sent me from American Miniaturist.

What I like... It's so pretty! It has a bit of a nordic (read gustavian) feel which will probably help tie it to my modern gustavian style dining room next door. The blue in the tile echos the blue in the striped cushions of the banquet. It's got a bit of a cool vintage vibe. It adds some white to the backsplash.

What I don't like.. It adds white to the backsplash.. ha! I don't want it to look like a stripe across the room given the counter and walls are a very similar colour. I think the pattern may be too busy and distract from any minis on the counter. I intend to hang cups from the shelf rail with S hooks and I think that may look weird given they will hang half over the backsplash and half over the wall area. I think this pattern definitely competes with the wooden wall. I think it may be too much for a room that already has a lot of textures going on. I wouldn't call it understated. Is it too trendy?



 Fourth choice. Painted tin.

What I like.. It's so romantic and pretty. It's pattern but not too much pattern because of the paint colour. Tin is vintage. It doesn't compete with the wooden wall.. well maybe a little bit.. ;/

What I don't like... Tin is vintage.. but not rich looking. I think I want it to look a bit more sophisticated. The tin pattern is a bit large for scale. It was hard to cut and finishing it neatly could be a problem.




Fifth option, a scrapbook paper I had that looks a bit like an art deco tile, painted. 

What I like... It's pattern but not too much pattern and uniform. It's more sophisticated than the tin. It doesn't compete with the wooden wall

What I don't like.. I'm not sure art deco is the right thing to be adding to this room. It doesn't seem to have a context or anything tying this choice to the room.... I don't know, it's just a bit... meh.




 What to do, what to do... I think I'll go and cut trim and install a light for the basement apartment's outside area and put this decision off for another day. At least I have mounted these all on thin balsa so worst case I can just change them out as my mood changes.. or use the rejects for other projects. :D




















Thursday, 7 February 2019

Kitchen Cabinet hardware installed and a hutch.



 I finally got around to adding my kitchen cabinet hardware. I was waiting on the package of drawer pulls in the mail. Turns out I needed 20 of them! That's a lot of working drawers! lol For those interested I got them from "dollhousesuppliers" on ebay. They have them in five colours! I bought the black and painted them to match the lights... A waste of time it seems because you can't tell in the photos.. lol

 Oops looks like a window has fallen out back there.


See my cheap Fridge from China back there. It's a placeholder until I can afford a Delph one (the only realistic mini fridge that will fit in my tiny space.) I  turned it upside down on advice from Jodi and it looks so much better this way.. lol.. Added bonus. The doors now open in the right direction.

If you recall I originally had a white hutch in this room. I decided it felt just a bit twee... so


 I went through my stash of kits and happened upon a BH Miniatures Welsh Dresser that I picked up on ebay a while ago and then promptly forgot I had. :)

Can't remember what I paid for it, but it was more than 18 bucks! *hi, sucker for minis here*




I stained up all my pieces before assembling because, you know.. glue.


And hey presto a view through the doorway again. Simple as that. :P


 Well, not really... somewhere along the line I either misplaced or didn't count the pieces correctly because there was some trim missing for the shelf edging. Luckily it wasn't structural so I just omitted it. I also omitted the cornice trim around the top. This was because you had to mitre cut it yourself and it was so tiny, I cut it incorrectly. I could have replaced it with some picture framing trim or half scale cornice but I like the simplicity of the top without it so it stayed as is. And as always, I still have to add hardware. The kit came with beautiful hardware, but it is perhaps a bit delicate for the look I want so I shall save it for another project.


 I haven't sealed this piece yet because I'm contemplating some light aging. Maybe a bit of whitewash in the cracks and around the edge of the tabletop. I also think I may wear the tops of the drawers both in colour and sand them down a bit as if people have been opening them for a hundred years.

Placing it in the room has made me realise it is quite a bit longer than the other hutch. I held up the pieces to the other hutch before I built it to check for size and knew it was bigger, but it has actually turned out larger than I expected and actually a bit to large for the space... however... I don't care! I love this piece and hey, there is always the other side for getting into the banquet. My mini people will just have to learn how to sidle. lol


I've chucked a few minis in for fun. All subject to change, I'd like some bowls and tureens all in white. Maybe a teapot. Also perhaps some brass or wooden pieces and a wire basket or two.




 A view through the window.





As you can see, I've added hardware to this side of the kitchen as well. 


 Just need to trim out those windows and add a backsplash. :) And then the fun part of purchasing and selecting minis for all the shelving. :D









Wednesday, 6 February 2019

The San Franciscan's Kitchen Continued... A banquet for the kitchen breakfast nook & stairs



 What's through the doorway?


 Hi! I'm here to pick up my worlds worst blogger award. I have been working on the San Franciscan, I just haven't been blogging about it. Mainly because I always think I'll blog about it at night after work and then I'm so exhausted I fall asleep on the couch and the blog post never gets written. So I'm devoting a morning on my day off to rectify the situation. :D

First up... I built the banquet for the breakfast nook... formerly known as the bay window. I thought this area was screaming out for some built in seating, it's a generous bay and a perfect little spot to have your morning coffee, while listening to birdsong (the birdsong of the city, wailing sirens.. lol)  or watching skittle the squirrel running up and down the front yard tree....

I kept all the punch outs from the San Franciscan's numerous windows as I thought the wood would come in handy and it's been very useful in the kitchen area.


I used it to build the stove hood and now I've used it to build my little banquet. I don't like measuring so I used a zjakazumi doll in a sitting position to determine the height of the seat in conjunction with the table I intend to use. As well as the seat depth required

I started out with the two pieces in the middle and glued them perpendicular to each other and cut them to the right height and depth. Then I pushed them into the bay area to determine the cuts for the side seats and glued them in too.



 (Sorry I didn't take many photos during the process but you get the idea.)

 Then I added the side seat verticals and the front facing pieces.


Now that I had the basic shape glued together I just had to fill in those little triangles.


Oops, forgot to check it with the floor in. Phew, it still fits!

And with the table.


I added paneling detail, which is just made out of skinny sticks. It's not perfect but it's so far back in the room, it's not noticeable. Then I trimmed the angled areas with baseboard. The rest of the baseboard will be done when the room gets it's floor trim. Everything was painted white.

All those joins got an extra coat of spackle after this picture was taken.


I mocked up three rough cushions to determine what fabric to use for the seat cushions.


I finally settled on the stripe.


 Jodi had the wonderful idea to make several sets in different fabrics for different moods/seasons/holidays and that is definitely on my mini agenda.

I trimmed the cushion with the stripe going in the opposite direction for added detail. I tried to line up the stripes on the sides of the cushions as best I could.  :)


 They fit! I didn't take a picture but I lined the top of the banquet with cardstock to hide all the seems. It's unlikely the cushions would be off other than to change them but I just wanted a neater finish underneath.


And here's what it looks like with the windows in and table placed. .. I'm actually really loving it!


  P.S. I've spackled the cornicing.. those gaps were driving me crazy!  lol

In other news... These walls and ceiling are now glued down! I really would have preferred to do the window trim and the baseboard before glueing the ceiling in but the construction of this house wouldn't allow that, so I'll be using my full repertoire of colourful language to complete those jobs. :D

Next, as hinted in the first picture.. I moved onto the stairs... I had already painted and stained the risers and treads and added the trim detail to the sides earlier.. but I had been putting off installing the balusters and rails.. 1. Because I knew they wouldn't be installed for a while and I didn't want to break them whilst they were stored. 2. Because this job scared the heck out of me. It seemed to me it would be akin to herding cats to get all those balusters to line up to the railing and get it all on the right angle and straight.. and I was right! lol

I started out with my painted balusters and newels and my trusty glue... I should have added a stiff drink to the tool box.


 I had previously drilled holes in the bottom of the balusters and added some wire so that I could prop them in foam to paint. I decided to leave these in and use them to attach the balusters to the stairs. This would go some way to alleviating my fear of finally getting my stairs perfect and then bumping them and they all fall down like a house of cards. It would also allow me to have some ability to manipulate them for the eventual railing addition.


 I measured (ugh) the treads and determined the spot for the corresponding hole and drilled. (broke my drill on the last hole.. lol)


Then inserted the baluster.


One down, 11 to go!


This picture is not necessary other than to show you my helpers tail, which he kept wagging across the stairs at the most inopportune moments.. haha!


I didn't take any pictures of the rail installation.. because if I'd had to do that as well, I might have thrown the entire thing across the room. But here is the finished product in place.


I notched out the stair tread to fit around the door trim and also so the newel post could sit flush with the first riser. There is not alot of space in the entry and I wanted the newel to take up as little room as possible. I first tried to notch out the newel so it would be half on the step and half on the ground but the rail wouldn't meet up and the notching ended in disaster with a ruined newel. I'll have to rummage through my stash for one for the top of the stairs. Given I've got another staircase to install on the next level I better check if I have enough left to finish the job. Otherwise another quirky aspect of this house will be mismatched newels. Ha!

 I've got a couple of wonky balusters but I don't think they will be too hard to wrangle under control.


Note the Newel post doesn't touch the ground. This is because I couldn't get the bannister to line up with it at normal height. (this wasn't the newel post that came with the stairs - must check heights in the future.) I think this is an easy fix though. I'll be adding a rounded block to the bottom of the newel which will have the added bonus of adding a little extra custom detail. :)

And finally a quick update on the basement apartment's lighting. A few suggested that the tenant might benefit from a reading light in his loft bed area. So I made one up from some random hardware I had in my stash and a wired bulb.


 Now he'll be able to see where he is going when he climbs the ladder and read all night if he wishes. :)

I have more progress to show but I'll finish here for now.