Saturday, September 19, 2015

Blue Box Dollhouse

I've had my Blue Box dollhouse for quite some time now, but it has been forgotten amongst the other houses in my collection. In fact, I neglected to add it to the My Collection resource page, so I put it there with other small scale houses.

These plastic houses, manufactured in Hong Kong, date from the 1980s. They are quite petite and are closest to 1:24 scale. My house came with its own furniture and people and the people are actually more interesting than the furniture, which is quite boxy and lacks detail. You can see more about this style of house on Rebecca's blog; here is a photo of one of her Blue Box houses that is identical to mine:

Courtesy of Rebecca's Collections
I decided to decorate my house with new floor coverings and I also added washi tape to the living room wall. I had to really search through my collection for pieces that were of the right size. It was challenging!! And you can see that some of the pieces are a tad too large, but I still used them. The pieces that actually worked particularly well are the ones by Paul MacAlister -- in addition to some beautiful 1:12 furnishings, I have a set of his 1:24 scale pieces and I put some to use here.

My people were feeling a bit dwarfed by their surroundings!

It was actually a lot of fun to decorate this house. I am embarrassed to say that this took place over some weeks...! I never had more than 15 minutes at a time, so progress was slow. And I know there is so much more that could be done, like wallpaper, but if I didn't capture it now, I'm not sure when I might have done it!

Credits: Livingroom shows a LISA couch, a Paul MacAlister table, and a Dol Toi ottoman. Kitchen has a table and chairs by Fisher Price and a Paul MacAlister shelf. Bathroom has a Fisher Price vanity and a TOMY plant. Mudroom has a Plyamobil stroller and baby and a Lil' Bratz stool. Entryway has a Paul MacAlister credenza. Accessories in all rooms by: Re-ment, Paper Source, AG Minis,, Gigi N Studio, Minimodernistas, Playmobil, Michaels, and Lundby.

The time it took me: See above; weeks!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Arne Jacobsen Seven Series Dollhouse Chair

Ahhhh....a "wish list" item acquired!

The iconic "Seven" series chair, designed in 1955 by Arne Jacobsen and reproduced in miniature by Brio in the 1960s and 70s, has at last landed in my collection. It's only one, but it is a start. I purchased it on eBay for $30.

As I was taking photos of my new acquisition, I recalled a similar post by The Shopping Sherpa of her *many* Seven chairs. Drool.

Such a great chair, and now my Brio stool and desk has a friend!

In the category of recent acquisitions, I picked up a white Barcelona chair, which looks pretty styling.

Also, the crafts store Michaels has expanded its dollhouse offerings with Sparrow Miniatures. I picked up a few items such as a table, some decorative accents, plants, and a clipboard!

Credits: Desk, chair, and stool by Brio; chair by Reac; side table by Re-ment; flooring is from the Paper Source. Accessories are Lundby, Re-ment, and Michaels.

The time it took me: 15 minutes

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Djeco Cubic Dollhouse Furniture: A First Look

Do you Djeco? 

I was excited to see a new Cubic dollhouse and furniture from Djeco, a veteran Paris-based toy company founded in 1954. I just got my package all the way from Milk Tooth in Australia and had some fun unpacking.

Nice touch!

All arrived intact and in delectable boxes just waiting to be opened. I could tell right away that the quality was going to be high.

The pieces are between 1:16 and 1:18 in scale and are made of wood and plastic. The colors are great and the furniture is stylishly modern. I only bought the dining and bedroom sets -- there are other rooms, but I had to shut my wallet at some point. ;)

All in all, the pieces are very well made and sturdy. The one exception was the bedding, which was not as perfect as it could have been (the pictures show the messy underside). Also, I would have preferred to lose the candles in the dining set. I love the blue bowl, but it would have been good to see plates, glasses, or even a plant.

I'm very excited to set up the Cubic house, but that will have to wait until I can steal some time away to put it all together and play.

If you have some Djeco too, do share!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Inspired: Mad Men

While the majority of my styling takes place on a small scale, I have made efforts over the past year or so to slowly transform rooms around our actual house, or even corners of rooms. I'm strongly adverse to paying retail, so I often hunt for good deals, tempered by an eye toward quality.

While it is sometimes easy to envision how you'd approach styling a real room, inspiration definitely helps. I love design magazines, blogs, and websites, and Instagram feeds with an artistic point of view. I wouldn't necessary single out TV as inspiration, but there is an exception. The show Mad Men, now in its final season, has drool-worthy midcentury interiors, and I admit to being distracted by the authentic composition of the rooms while watching.

Courtesy of the New York Times

Courtesy of Interior Design
I was contacted by the site Chairish to do a Mad Men-inspired style board in honor of the show's last season using actual pieces from their available collection of gorgeous Mid-Century furnishings. If you've never cruised around Chairish, do so! It's a site of well-curated furnishings and accessories, vintage and otherwise, and you can sort the listings by type, prince range, and even location of the seller.

So, here's what I came up with: a more "glam" riff on what you might see in the show. I even included some jewelry!

It was a fun diversion -- try it!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Oprah Magazine: Styling the Bennett House

I had a great opportunity back in December to style an entire Bennett House by brinca dada for the March 2015 issue of Oprah Magazine. The job came at a great time, since I had off from work over Christmas break, and I completed it in a little over a week (for comparison, my Ladies' Home Journal styling job took place over a few months). It was intensive but very fun.

The article is about how to "spiff up" your home for spring, so I had a framework from the editorial team to get me started. The photo editor knew that they wanted a modern, clean interior with specific things such as a large mirror in the entryway, plants on the upper level, a fireplace with birch logs, etc. So even before I had the house in hand, I started to consider what would work best from my collection.

About that house...I had to completely assemble it as part of the job. So, it was shipped to me flat and I immediately got to work. I'll be honest--it took me many hours to identify and organize the pieces and also get the adhesive off the windows. There was a lot of mental and physical elbow grease up front, but the results were great. It's a fantastic house that is a joy to style. 

Here is the completed house:

Once it was assembled, I had a much better sense of what furnishings would work. The house is closest to 1:16 scale, although 1:12 will also work. I realized the one thing I was lacking was a complete modern kitchen in 1:16 scale, so I ended up purchasing a Lundby Smaland one from a dollhouse store about an hour away.

Once I had the Lundby set, the rest of the kitchen came together quickly. The ceiling light is from IKEA and came in handy, and the clock is a favorite of mine from Bandai. I paired some colorful Reac Eames chairs with a custom dining table by Patie of Minisx2 on Etsy. The doggie was not planned by the magazine, but I added him in, and he made the cut! I love the way this room turned out.

The foyer also came together nicely. I ended up using a great 1:10 scale Bodo Hennig table, which worked well in that double-height space, along with a great graphic rug from minimodernistas. The mirror is a craft item, and I paired it with some funky fur boots by Re-ment. The light is a pull chain for a 1:1 scale ceiling fan from Lowe's, and the plant is AG Minis.

Yup, that's me
The biggest challenge was coming up with a modern fireplace and realistic birch logs. I ended up creating a fireplace with some wooden and plastic pieces and then actually found some real miniature birch logs at Michael's. I sent the magazine two different options and they ended up choosing the white one, which looks great with the picture frames by Paris Renfroe.

I was thrilled to be able to use a great "Long and Low" couch, pillow, and print ottoman by minimodernistas. They all worked really well in the space. 

The bedroom features a vintage German bed and a dresser, which I was not convinced would work in the space, but they did. 

The magazine was careful not to have the rooms be overtly midcentury modern; this was, of course, my original direction :)

No Eames for you!

No Risom, either!
They went for a Bodo Hennig chair instead, along with the globe fixture from minimodernistas.
The rooms went through some iterations, but not many. It was nice to see the house come together.

And yes, they kept the Mini Cooper, too!

Since the magazine hired a studio to take the photos, I had to pack up each of the furnishings and label everything according to its location. I also took pictures of the placements just in case. I then boxed up the house and drove it into New York City, directly to Hearst Corporation, which publishes the magazine.

My two older ones helped get everything safely into the Oprah offices :)

Here is the final spread, along with views of the individual pages. Very exciting!

The magazine added a red door, as well as a closet in the foyer

And my credit!!!

"Dollhouse Stylist." I LIKE IT. Hope you enjoyed the results!