Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mon Chalet Amour


A vintage A-frame chalet-style dolls house has entered my life...and collection! I purchased it on Etsy and it needs a bit of rehab. I was tempted to both buy it and *not* buy it because it needed work!! The seller told me that it was constructed from a kit and is 1:12 scale, but she did not have the time to refinish it. I did some searching and could not turn up any information on the kit; the bottom has only a fragment of a sticker:



Doesn't tell me much!

While I am eager to dig in to right the wrongs, I am also unsure about the direction. My first impression of the house, after packing it out --











...was that the wallpaper and curtains needed to go. They were easy to remove, but the adhesive papers left a sticky residue. I decided to leave the sisal-type wall covering on the bottom level.

Then, I assessed the condition, and overall it is decent, but has nicks here and there, including in the front.


I am also not sold on the current paint job and color. I picked up some dark brown spray paint and experimented with the color on the curved stairwell and small divider on top.




What do you think? Do I re-paint the darker color or preserve the current hue? Or go completely radical and paint this puppy white???

How about wallpaper or coverings? On the one hand, I think it could look cool, but on the other, I like the wood exposed. The sisal works -- perhaps that approach?


I do like the layout, which diverges from most of my other houses. I did a quick setup in the house to test out scales. There's mostly 1:10 and 1:12, and both work pretty well (apologies in advance for the grubby backdrop of our garage).










As I was researching A-frame kits, I came across this image of a very cool custom A-frame by Buchmann's, a toy shop in upstate New York. Neat, right?


I have emailed them seeking more information on the house and furnishings and will hopefully post on it soon. Speaking of custom, I managed to win some Contemporary Doll House Plans by Doll Domiciles recently on eBay (Mini Dork posted on another set a few weeks back), so I will share some pics of that as soon as I can get to opening them!

In the meantime, I welcome your ideas and feedback on my A-frame!

UPDATE, 9/12/10: Reader Payton tipped me off to an eBay listing that provides a very big clue on this house. It is indeed a kit, made by Whitman and it dates from 1978. I was not able to copy the photo of the box from the eBay listing, but it looks like the front has a porch, which makes sense given the marks there on my house. Another reader, Div, also has the kit and offered to scan the directions for me, so I can share those when I get them! THANKS!

Credits: Kitchen/dining: sink and stove is vintage Bodo Hennig; refrigerator came with my Citadel house; table is vintage German; lucite chairs are from eBay. Living room: couch is vintage VERO; chair is vintage German; boomerang table is by Paris Renfroe; Eames lounger is Reac. Bedroom: Bed is vintage German; console is by Paris Renfroe; Panton chair is vintage Bodo Hennig; rug is by Peppercorn Minis. Bath: Bathtub, sink, and toilet are vintage Bodo Hennig; plant is vintage TOMY. Outside: plant is vintage TOMY; pillow is handmade by Tarkus; and wing chair is an eBay find. Accessories are Re-ment, Manor House Miniatures, doll store finds, and eBay.

26 comments:

  1. Cool house! I like your idea of painting the inside white. It would give it a really mod feel. You could add a punch of color by coloring the spiral stairs or add some cool shag rugs! Great find!

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  2. Paint the puppy white then all your additions and colours will stand out and look fab.

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  3. Me encanta la forma de A que has decidido.
    Pocas sugerencias puedo darte porque me gusta todo.
    Me encanta el color de los saneamientos,dan un toque muy alegre
    Besitos, May

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  4. Believe it or not:
    I saved a lot of fotos of this house, because I plan to make a 1:12-version of it. I guess it's easy, for example with this wooden sticks you can find in macdonalds. but once again you are the first to show this nice house - I think we are sisters in soul!
    I admire the lot of work you'll have with it. I think my plan is much easier to realize ;-)
    Have a nice sunday.

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  5. Thanks Mini Me! I think it is interesting that people are going for the white! I like your idea for color!!

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  6. Hi Studio SWS! Another vote for white! Hmmm...I might have to consider it!

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  7. Gracias, de mayo! Le agradezco sus amables palabras! Otros como el blanco también - tal vez tenga que ir a por ello!

    May likes white too - she thinks it will add a calm feel.

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  8. May -- Puedo utilizar Google traducir y lo tradujo su nombre, lo siento!

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  9. Wow, MAGF! Another vote for white! I could not have predicted this!

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  10. Hi Oese! Of course we have the same taste -- great taste! Please do it in mini -- it will be fabulous! And yes, yours will be a lot easier to tackle, unless I leave the house as is ;)

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  11. This A-frame house reminds me so much of the A-frame summer cottage my grandparents had by the sea when I was a child! Happy memories! (Even though they sold it when I was three!)
    I remember they had a big carpet on the middle of the A-shaped wall.
    I like the colours of the interior, I think the orange and brown elements suits the style of the house well.
    If it's possible I would prefer to keep the wood, possibly stained. I like the dark stain treatment you gave the stairs, but if you do paint it, I think I would prefer a soft grey to white on the interior walls.

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  12. Hey Pubdoll! We, too, had a cabin when we were younger (not quite an A-frame as yours), and it reminds me of summer ;) Cool -- a groovy carpet on the wall, I like that. I love your idea of a soft grey!! A good, neutral solution!

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  13. Hi callsmall, I've got very behind in my comments on your blog since being away, I'm afraid! So I'll start catching up with your most recent post.
    What a great find! I love the design, with the wide and narrow window panes in the sides. I wouldn't go for all white - I think I'd go for some stained wood, some white - and maybe some wallpaper, or the sisal which looks really good. The contrast between white dark stained wood in the wall and beams is what I particularly love in my Bodo Hennig Bodensee - and remember from my own childhood house. I remember seeing A frames near a beach we went to in the early 70s, but only from the outside, never the inside! The furniture you've put in it looks great!
    I wonder if this kit could have been sold through magazines like Popular Mechanics and so on? As well as plans, they did have ads for kits to make up - I don't think I've seen an A frame house, but I'm not really sure. Might be worth checking out - or maybe someone will list a vintage ad or plans for this house!

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  14. Hi Rebecca! As much as I love a modern white, I do not think I can take the 100% plunge with this house. Like you, I think a darker stain and sisal might be the way to go. I went back to look again at your Bodensee and it is so lovely...I don't think I can replicate that here. I have continued doing searches, and Popular Mechanics is a great idea. It would be wonderful to see how it was intended to look!

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  15. Hi !
    I usually lurk, so I am not sure if you'd like my opinion or not, but I adore this chalet! I work in 1:6 scale, but miniature just the same.
    I'd love to see this chalet with a clear gloss on the inside, so that there is a sheen, but the natural wood still shows through. Color can certainly be brought in with the fabrics on your furniture, rugs and wall art. This would give the chalet a fabulous 60's vibe!
    Maryann :)

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  16. Hi maryannroy! Lurk away, don't mind a bit, but I do love to hear comments/insights from my readers. I love your idea, and I think I might be leaning in that direction. I just need to get schooled in glosses and stains! By the way, I know and admire your wonderful work -- truly stunning! Makes me wish you worked in 1:12 ;)

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  17. Oh! Call Small! This house was on ebay in kit form back in January, I believe. I had saved the images but had a computer crash earlier this summer. Darn! I know it was the same one.

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  18. I came to your post from Oese's site.. I'm not sure how I even missed this post!

    But congrats on the great find. A-frame homes are my favorite. And I agree with some of the commenters here.. it would look best with the natural wood! Can't wait to see what you do with it...

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  19. Hey, MC! Really??? Maybe I should try an eBay search to see if I can turn up the listing, but I don't think they go back that far...I will keep doing some web searching. Please let me know if you recall any other details. Thanks!!

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  20. Hi Ann! Yup, I am definitely leaning to the wood approach. I also want to try to re-do the missing windows, since I have some sheets of acetate I can use. Unless I can get some neat colorful plexi... :)

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  21. Hi, saw it on Etsy, glad it ended up with you!! I saw you in NJ Design Event and know you will do it justice. Etsy has been a good source for furniture too.

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  22. Hi jiridescence! Cool! You saw it on Etsy too! I like looking there for furniture and other mini finds as well. Thanks again for coming to my event -- I appreciate your kind words.

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  23. We have this "real sized" house. It was a kit from the lumber
    yard in 1964. It sits on waterfront property in Washington
    state and next year we will apply for a historic places designation. It's so iconic and worth saving.

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    1. How wonderful! Sounds beautiful and definitely worthy of saving and preserving.

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  24. Talk about A frame dollhouses I have 7 Fischer Price #990 A Frames frm re 1974 or so. 2 a frame vacation homes frm Playmobile an one Egyptian pyramid Carole MAtthews frm Pompano Beach Fla larcr@msn.com

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