Thursday, February 28, 2013

My First Project...Well Maybe

Hello everyone. I decided that I am going to build my first project from scratch. I know. It's perhaps a little ambitious to think that I can design, build, and decorate an entire dollhouse house on my first try, but ah well. Throw caution to the wind and see what happens, right?

Well, I sat down to start drawing. Hmm, let's see, I said. It has to be something simple, something I can manage in a relatively short amount of time and not be too complicated or expensive. Alright. I can do this.  How about a five-story, nineteen-plus room Victorian New York townhouse complete with over eleven fireplaces, a not one, not a two, but a three-story grand staircase, two art galleries, servant quarters, full wine cellar, scullery, and a completely operational dumbwaiter to boot? Sure. No problem. That sounds easy. Ha! What was I thinking? Does anyone else ever suffer from illusions of grandeur when planning their projects? Isn't it so tempting to do so.

In my mind, this house was going to magnificent. If only you could see the vision I have in my head. Here are a few photos that inspired me. I first blame the Thorne Miniature Rooms. This beautiful parlor below was one of the first images that sparked my idea for the townhouse. Isn't it dreamy? I love the little peek you get of the front door off to the left. Look at those pocket doors too. Sweet.

One of the Throne Miniature Rooms A New York Parlor (1850-70) on display at the Art Institute in Chicago

And here below are some more images of inspiration...or more little culprits fueling my imagination. Here's a great kitchen picture, an exterior shot, another gorgeous parlor, and staircase photo. The exterior shot reminds me of another huge inspiration for my townhouse--the movie The Heiress staring Oliva de Havilland and Montogmery Clift. The movie is set in Washington Square Park in the 1880s and is wonderful. I love the house that is featured in the film. If you haven't seen it, go get it. It's FABULOUS!

A serious Victorian kitchen. Check out that chandelier.

Can we say Washington Square Park or what? I'm not crazy about the green on the doors, but LOVE the windows that run all the way to the floor and the massive ionic columns. What a terrific entrance.

I'm not sure if the color choices are exactly period for this parlor. However, I love it anyway. The ceiling mouldings add a bit of interest and then there's that great chandelier.

I enjoy the details and "weight" of the woodwork in this stairway.

Below are a few photos of my preliminary plans for the townhouse. Please forgive the crude drawing. These were only my first sketches, so they are pretty rough. Plus I was in a Victorian dollhouse induced dream state at the time.

A rough and quick drawing of the side elevation.
The second and third level floor plans.
The lower and first level floor plans.

Just as I began to draft the attic floor plan, I started thinking. Hmm, this project is really taking on quite a life of it's own--and a rather big life at that. I finally came to my senses, or back to reality, and realized that maybe, just maybe, a smaller project would be a bit more appropriate for a beginner like me. I think I've been watching too much Downton Abbey. As if anyone could get enough of DA. So...back to the drawing board, as they say. I'll file this grand townhouse idea away for another time down the road. Maybe with a little more experience and time, I'll be ready for it.

Now, I do have another project in mind. And actually I have already began building a mock-up of it with cardboard. As soon as I can, I'll post some pictures of my drawings and the cardboard model. It's a wee bit smaller than my New York townhouse idea. But, it will be just as terrific in quality...well hopefully...fingers crossed. Stay tuned for more.

Before I go I would like to say that I have been greatly inspired by the outstanding quality and craftsmanship of so many wonderful artisans in the miniature blog world. Two of which stand out in particular. Ray from Modern Miniatures Whitledge-Burgess and Giac from Late Victorian English Manor Dollhouse are two phenomenal artists that everyone should see. I have them listed in my blog list. The work they do is absolutely stunning--exquisite and unique design, flawless technique, and impeccable taste. Plus their postings are very informative and helpful--and user friendly. Check out their blogs right away. You'll be amazed. They have made quite a professional and creative contribution to this art form.

Alright, I need to wrap this post up. I've been blabbing away and you're probably asleep at your computer. Wake up!

Take care and see you soon!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Brad, so many plans, I am curious what you can create of scratch, but you'll have many possibilities, I guess ;) I love to work with scratch :D! I'll follow the progress.
    Greetings, Ilona