Saturday, November 14, 2009

When One Door Closes...

another one opens!

My VERO doll house from Germany has finally arrived at my door, just as I mailed out my vintage Brumberger Tudor, which sold on eBay -- the guilt of the VERO was somewhat alleviated and justified by the selling of the Brumberger :)

Acquiring this VERO house entailed a nail-biting bidding process, then a more hellish payment process (wiring funds, trying to locate seller's bank in Germany, etc.), and then what seemed like a endless shipping process. And, perhaps the most expensive package to ship that I have ever received.

Alas, it is here, and quite dirty! After I made myself a nice cappuccino...

I proceeded to carefully unpack it down in my work room in the basement. Here are some pictures of how I "birthed" it from its box, little by little:

Now some shots of what I found:

It looks like the blue and yellow flooring is original to the house. I don't mind them, but they are not in the best shape. One of the downstairs rooms looks like it is filled with ancient frescoes, I swear -- layers of paper and then a cobalt paint. I have started stripping some of the paper and have cleaned the ceilings, which were filthy. The windows on the top corner of the house is actually very thick plastic and it is ripped in places. Not quite sure how to replace it altogether or fix those tears. Any ideas? It's such a nice part of the house.

I set up a quick scene, too. As cool as the wall storage panel in my work room is, it is visible in the background. So, I put up an "awning" of some Marimekko fabric to create more of an outdoor space and hide it a bit. There is likely a large window missing from this part of the house.

Lots more work to do here...!

Credits: Couch is vintage VERO; boomerang table, chairs, and two small consoles are vintage German; coffee table is Ryan's Room; Barcelona chair is Reac; wall painting is original to the house (or at least to this house); ball clock handmade by Pubdoll; lamp and wastebasket are AG Minis; plant near Barcelona chair is vintage TOMY; plant on patio, small frog sculpture, bowl and fruit, and potted plant on coffee table are Re-ment; tea service is vintage MAR Toys; rug is by The House That Jacq Built; fabric "awning" is Marimekko fabric. Accessories are MAR Toys and from France.

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in this scene with two exceptions. The frog scuplture and potted plant on patio are from the Room series, #3 and are a bit small for 1:12, but work.


  1. This is so much fun to watch. Can't wait to see what more you do with this house. The windows can probably be custom made at a plastics manufacturer. Something like a TAP plastics. I don't think it would be too expensive.

  2. oooooooooooooooooooo! To die for. So utterly Bauhaus! And the furniture swoon, swoon C

  3. wow, what a good taste! this scene even in this unready surrounding is terrific. I like your furnishing.
    and the house - puh - I do not envy the work you will have with it. but it is wonderful for sure.
    I like the first foto very much - moody with the pillars.
    I wish you a lot of fun with this finally good ending project. Oh, no, beginning project.

  4. how exciting! it looks like your house is in a similar state as mine was when i first got it. i think you could replace the torn window with acetate and add the black lines with sticky back vinyl...? although i can't get myself to alter any of the original features so i've decided to leave it a bit shabby and broken.

  5. Oh wonderful, it's arrived safely! I'm glad you managed to work out the payment business - much easier when the seller takes Paypal, but I know now what details I need to ask the seller for, in order to do an online international payment. Never know whether their bank will charge a fee or not though! If I add extra for a fee, it often doesn't, and if I don't, it does!!!
    I must admit that finding the original papers and paint under the added layers is part of getting a new (old) dolls house that I love - oh, the excitement of finding even a scrap of original papers! That room with blue and brown certainly does look rather like the frescoes of Pompeii - what's original there, can you see?
    It's a pity the windows are split. It would be great to keep the original ones - those that are there, as you'll be wanting to replace the others, I guess. I don't know the best way of mending clear plastic, but hopefully someone will have some suggestions!
    Love your scene too, and the "awning"!

  6. It's lovely, nothing you can't fix up. The cool lines are definitely worth making it work. Would some woodgrain contact paper work for some of the walls?

  7. Hi, MC! I would think getting the windows made would not be expensive. It's essentially two long panels. I will look into it, or decide to leave it shabby...not sure!

    Thanks, My Realitty! Yes, I am indulging my inner Bauhaus with this one...!

    Hey, Oese! I consider this an ongoing project, and hope I can continue to set up scenes while I work. I like that camera angle too with the door -- the house has lots of possibilities like this!

    Hi, *annina*! My impulse is to repair it, but I like the authentic shabbiness as well. I am not sure how far I will go. I think I will keep two of the rooms with original flooring, but some of the wallpapers are very, very worn. I love what you have done with your VERO. Are you done, or still working on it?

    Hi, Rebecca! I was SO relieved when this got here. I kept checking the online shipping status and it kept saying that it had not left Germany. The bank added a fee of $40 for the wire transfer, but after all the troubles, I just decided not to get upset! It is very hard to see what is original in the Pompeii room. The blue paint might even be pretty recent, and it looks like two papers underneath. Some of the wood grain wallpapers look pretty recent as well. It's a struggle to decide how far to go! You likely did not need to make these decisions with your VERO, right? Yours looked pretty pristine.

    Thanks, petitenouveau! Woodgrain paper has already made it to some of the walls courtesy of the previous owner(s). It looks nice, so I might indeed put some new papers down.

  8. Oh it's always exciting to get a new little house! I think I enjoyed the pics of the big box and unwrapping as much as those of the house itself. But what a wonderful house...I think we will all look forward to your posts on this. Love the one room you have already decorated!
    I am currently replacing missing or brittle vinyl windows on some of my old Rich Toys and Keystone houses from the 40's-50'. I found a heavy weight clear vinyl, 25" wide and sold by length and easy to cut with heavy scissors, at my local art supply store. I am using map tape to make the lines; it comes in all widths and colors and I bought yards and yards of 4 different sizes for $10 online. Thought about silk-screening the lines but as I have given all my supplies to my son, the map tape is working great.
    Post lots of pictures!

  9. Hi Callsmall, Yeah, my bank adds a fee - but only $20! But combined with a German bank fee of €15 or so, that is about $50. Worth it for some things - and this is definitely one of them!
    From what I can see (without the benefit of 3D!), I think possibly that small square of woven design in the middle of the blue wall facing the camera could be the original - they often had wallpapers that looked like fabric. The other room (without the added woodgrain stuff) has its original wallpaper, but it's in a sad condition, isn't it! And has obviously got wet at some point.
    The more original paper you can leave, the more valuable the house when (if) you resell - but when it's in this condition, papering over it and leaving it for a future owner to rediscover the under layer is definitely a good idea!
    Yes, my VERO is in good shape, including the papers - which probably means it wasn't much played with! Yours has obviously been much loved :-)

  10. Hi Florine! Thanks for the tip on the vinyl! I think my local art supply store will definitely come in handy. *Annina* was suggesting this as well, but with acetate. Sounds like a little experimenting is in order :)

    Thanks for taking a closer look, Rebecca. I agree on the papers. I plan to take off the woodgrain paper (which peels right off, it looks so recent) to see what is underneath and leave the water-damaged papers. As you say, I can always cover them up. Have you seen any resources for VERO-like wallpaper, such as the blue and yellow?

  11. i haven't really done any more work on my VERO - i got really frustrated when i realised that the seller had not sent one of the windows... it was there in the ebay-photo! i think i'm not going to change a lot, luckily all of the wallpaper was in really good condition. hopefully i will be able to post an update soon!

  12. Wow!
    You must have been so excited unwrapping the house! congratulations again :-)
    I really can't wait to see how you furnish and decorate it, its such a great house!

  13. Hi *annina*, I was looking at your house again last night and am very envious of the condition of your wallpapers! I hope you post soon!

    Thanks, Natalie! It was fun unwrapping the house, although I was a bit worried I might accidentally cut into it!:)

  14. Hi Callsmall, there's a few possibilities for wallpaper that I'm aware of: has some funky 50s wallpapers (more so than floor papers) for printing reproductions, and there are some genuine wallpapers with quite small designs on German ebay (dare I say it!) - not many at the moment, but for instance this one: (she takes paypal!!) - and also on US ebay: tends to have rolls of quite large amounts, so they're a bit pricey, but there are some woven-style designs at the moment (and wood grain!). I look at this store and dream sometimes (!) - but for me, apart from the price of the wallpaper, the shipping is high too.
    You may well know of all these - hope you find some nice paper!

  15. Oh, thanks, Rebecca! I was aware of the German eBay paper, and have been keeping my eye on it. The US store is a great find, and I might indulge if inspired. I've seen the printables site before, and I think may go that route. I really appreciate your ideas. I hope you post some more of your VERO soon!

  16. It's been a very hectic week both at work and private, so a very late comment from me, but wow!!! Even in it's bad state, this house is so cool! And I'm honoured that my clock was allowed to be part of your first scene in it :-) I love the scene, the furniture suits the house so well! And love the "grass" and the pavement outside the house! I really look forward to see what you will do with the windows and wallpapers. Seems like a major task though, so the best of luck!

  17. Yo, Pubdoll! Of course your clock had to be featured! It was the first thing that went in. I, too, like the grass and pavement -- it's a little grungy, but I don't want to do anything to it other than clean off the dirt. I actually took down the recent wood grain paper and found what looks to be original paper underneath, but it's quite water stained. The Pompeii room is the worst, what a shame someone used that thick paint! I need the luck, thanks!