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!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Betsy McCall Dollhouse: More Progress


It's not often that I get to share a progress update on one of my houses, but I've made some time to work bit by bit on my Betsy McCall house. For quite some time, the house has been sitting cramped on a work table. It's tricky to get to, and the lighting stinks. These factors don't help, nor did the clutter in and around the house.

Over the last few months, though, I've been organizing my collection, and even sold two houses, in the spirit of streamlining my possessions. I have now found a home for most of my furnishings and accessories in neat little boxes that are all organized in one space. This also helped me clean out the shelving and re-organize the placement of some of my houses. I got rid of a table and opened up my main dollhouse room, which is in our basement.





An improvement, right?

Since I moved the McCall house into my main dollhouse room from the work space, I was able to pay it some attention. I admit to be inspired by recent posts on Retro Renovation about Kate's valiant efforts to build her McCall house from the plans and decorate. She just got a hold of some lovely retro papers. I am super jealous :)

I've not taken as big a leap as Kate -- more baby steps -- but I have made some changes. First, I painted the trim and other accents in the house, which I had not done previously.


Then, I tackled the the bedroom, which adjoins the main living space. I have already papered the living space in a bold graphic pattern, so I was looking to keep with patterns, but in complementary colors.

I decided on geometric yellow and gray scrapbook paper for the two side walls, and then a new polka dotted pattern from the Paper Source. I think they work quite well together!








This is a fun and great house to have made some small progress on -- I hope to get to more of it in the near future. I think the bathroom might be next!

Credits: Daybed is Paul MacAlister; credenza is by Cyd of Mini Mod Pod; grey rug is a felt coaster; white rug is adhesive felt; geometric wall paper is scrapbook paper and dotted paper is from the Paper Source; lamp is a dollhouse store find. Accessories are Lundby; Re-ment; AG Minis; Paris Renfroe; and The Shopping Sherpa.

The time it took me: 3 hours, including painting of trim, wallpapering, and pattern-cutting!