Saturday, February 5, 2011

Repurpose


When I first got into modern minis in late 2008, I was in awe of the cutting edge style of the Kaleidoscope House and its furnishings, the sleek minimalism of the Villa Sibi, iconic Reac chairs, and vintage pieces from Lundby, TOMY, Brio, and others, which looked so incredibly fresh at 30 or 40 years old. As I continued to collect, I realized that actually there was a serious lack of modern furnishings, and I quickly sought out the work of artisans such as Elizabeth Le Pla (ELF Miniatures), Paris Renfroe (PRD Miniatures), and Doris Nathanson (minimodernistas)--all of whom were brought to the fore by Mini Modern in particular--and accumulated Re-ment in the hopes of a good fit for 1:12.

While I was (and am!) grateful to collect the aforementioned work, I gradually felt inspired to create modern interiors by repurposing commonly found items. So, you may have noticed that I often use place mats, coasters, dishes and bowls, ornaments, charms, scrap book paper, and many other odds and ends. My latest repurpose activity is a room box of sorts, constructed from four white lacquer tissue cover boxes ($7.99 each on clearance at my beloved Crate and Barrel outlet). I had the four pieces on my mantel for quite some time, trying to figure out how I could configure them. My hope was that I could fashion a minimalist haven like Pubdoll's Lego and Lundby masterpiece, here. No such luck. Then I thought I could do something that fanned open, but then they just looked like tissue box covers at awkward angles.

Then I came up with a square shape out of the rectangles, and I challenged myself to furnish each room, as if a house. Since I had the boxes sitting in a room that I pass through many times, I always thought of new things to place or add, so, I'd throw things in here or there and hope that I'd sort them out later.

Well, here are the results...a "house" with a kitchen, living room, bath, nursery, and bedroom!


I considered adding a Lundby patio set on top, and still might. I did the finishing touches today, including coverage for the open "window" panes. I used Chilewich place mats for the living room and bedroom, and a West Elm place mat for the kitchen shade. The nursery has something a bit more unconventional --  a tree! Flooring in the house is embossed felt and scrap book paper.





In the kitchen, did you notice that I mixed vintage Lundby with the new Lundby Stockholm accessories? The cup for the espresso machine is impossibly tiny, even looks small for 1:16!



The sculpture up in the bedroom is a memo clip (with the clip taken off) strung with beads. Other beads and jewelry were used on the walls there. The bathroom light fixture consists of two beads glued together.



This was challenging and fun. I am toying with entering this into an exhibit at an arts center nearby that has a call for any type of sculptural work...but then I would have some serious tacky waxing to do!!!

UPDATE, 2/8/11: I always upload my pictures to Flickr after I post on my blog, but this time, I noticed that one of the pictures of the whole tissue box structure kept getting views and comments. It was "Explored" by Flickr, meaning that it really resonated with viewers on the site! My photo was one of the top ten most "interesting" on February 6 -- you can see it listed with others here: http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/2011/02/06/. Go minis!

Credits: Kitchen: Stove and sink are vintage Lundby; light is minimodernistas; shade is a West Elm placemat; dog is from a kid's game called Lucky Puppy Math; flooring is scrap book paper from JoAnn Fabrics. Living Room: couch and lamp are vintage Lundby; side table is Re-ment; cork table and scrap book paper flooring is from JoAnn Fabrics; carpet squares are by Paris Renfroe; window treatment is a Chilewich place mat; wall planter is from Manor House Miniatures. Nursery: crib and rocking horse are by brinca dada; lamp is a vintage eBay find; shelving is Re-ment; flooring is scrap book paper from Michaels; tree and sandcastle are Jolees. Bath: sink and toilet are vintage Lundby; carpet square is Paris Renfroe; light is made of two beads from JoAnn Fabrics. Bedroom: bed is vintage German; coverlet and pillow are Bozart; file boxes are ELF Miniatures; sculpture is a memo clip from Crate and Barrel with beads from JoAnn Fabrics; flooring is embossed felt from Michaels; window treatment is a Chilewich place mat. Roof: the planter is a napkin holder from Bed, Bath, and Beyond with an aquarium plant from Petco. Accessories are Lundby, Re-ment, ELF Miniatures, Manor House Miniatures, Japanese erasers, and random toy store and hobby store finds.

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in this scene with one exception: the loaf of bread in the bag in the kitchen is from Natalie's French Goods #4, and is good for 1:12.

29 comments:

  1. Hi Chris
    Your new house is briliant! I like the "window"shades and the minimalists feel. your planters are great especially in on the living room wall. Hurray.
    I'm of to work.....
    Neomi

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  2. Well done! It is such a beautiful concept I love the idea of repurposes items too and I love the way you stacked the boxes... very modernist :-) and your choice of furnishing is great! I really like the kitchen and living room and bedroom and ... its all brill!
    The way you fitted the bathroom in the cove created by the placing of the boxes is so well thought-out :-)
    great job!

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  3. Love this! It's simple but efficient.
    And the four boxes look great as a house.
    I do love the high ceiling in the kitchen.

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  4. Thank, Neomi! I wish I could say that I repurposed or made the planter, but alas, no! I am glad you like the window shades -- the Chilewich place mats are really beautiful and the vinyl ones are a snap to cut!

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  5. Hi, TSS! Thanks! My creativity this past month has extended a bit to our swap...hope you like what I am putting together for you! ;)

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  6. Thanks, Natalie! I'm glad you think it looks like a modern house (or townhouse?). I was worried about where the bathroom would go, actually, because I had used up all the rooms! Luckily, it fit right in there! :)

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  7. Hi PetitPlat! I appreciate your nice comments! I do like the simplicity of this construction. Very compact and durable. The kitchen is one of my favorite rooms, and I am glad I figured out a way to wedge the pieces in there!

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  8. Wow, that is fantastic! What a great idea to use tissue boxes, they really worked out well. Congrats! :)

    - Grace

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  9. Thanks, Grace! I'm glad they worked out too...and $30 or so for a new dollshouse isn't too bad either! :)

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  10. This just makes me squeal with mini delight! Your work is simply amazing! I think the bathroom gives the perfect modern retro look! Every detail is inspiring!

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  11. Hey Jenny! Thanks! I do like how the bathroom fit there, even though I didn't plan it that way. :)

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  12. Love this! Great use of materials! You are so creative!

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  13. Hi there. Great Job! Really Great! You are incredibly creative. I love to slowly assemble items and then hope they all work together. I have a couple things I am working on and they just aren't coming together. Maybe I can get hubby to take me to Crate and Barrel outlet instead. Wonderful post. I enjoyed it so much.

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  14. Your miniatures are so great I have become one of your followers. I also make miniatures. Please visit my blog. http://weelittlewest.blogspot.com/

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  15. OMG. You have been busy. I love the structure, what creativity. The rooms are just fabulous. I'm loving all of the window coverings. Great repurposing!!

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  16. Hi Amy! This was indeed a slow one, very relaxed. It was nice to walk by and stick something in, and try different things out. Once I figured out the configuration then the rooms just came together. There are many, many finds @ Crate and Barrel. Go. You will find something!!! :)

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  17. Hello, WeeLittleWest! Thanks so much for following! I will definitely check out your blog! :)

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  18. Hey Mini Dork! Thanks! The window coverings took a little bit of time, but were very easy to cut and size. The tacky wax was tricky, since I did not want it to show!

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  19. This is absolutely ingenius and DARLING! I love the way you used the tissue openings for windows. Everything is perfect! Makes me wish I did 1:12 instead of 1:6! So inspirational!
    Maryann :)

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  20. Hiya, Maryann! Thanks! I loved using them for windows, although it was a bit of a challenge to figure out ways to cover them up with some realism! By the way, I kinda wish you did 1:12 too! ;)

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  21. What a wonderful idea. I love how it turned out!

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  22. Hey, Ann! Thanks! I'm grooving on it too!

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  23. The boxes really give you some great windows to work with! Ahh---repurposing is the life of a modern miniaturist, ey? We should keep a record of everything ever successfully repurposed in the modern miniature world. The list would be amazing.

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  24. Thanks, MC! Yup, lots of repurposing going on, and you've provided lots of inspiration!

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  25. Wait, the side table is Reac? I thought all they made were chairs? Where did you get that, it is awesome!

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  26. Sharp eyes, Elizabeth! I am glad someone reads all my credits ;) The side table is actually Re-ment, not Reac -- I corrected my post. You are correct that Reac makes the modernist chairs. This table is part of a discontinued Re-ment Room set, the Scandinavian style one. There's one up on eBay now, but you can find it cheaper with some diligent surfing http://cgi.ebay.com/Re-ment-dollhouse-miniature-Scandinavian-style-room-/110642573133?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19c2cfaf4d#ht_695wt_905.

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    Replies
    1. Well spoken. I don't like those crazy prices, either. I hand make all of the miniatures I have, because not only do I have a weensy budget, but why? I CAN make those things, might take forever but I CAN. For side tables, run to the store and grab some wooden dowels, normal size craft sticks, and large craft sticks. Oh, and a hot glue gun. You'll be amazed at what you can do!

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