Sunday, March 3, 2013

The First Project...For Real This Time

Hey everyone, I finally have a project of appropriate scope for little ol' beginner me. I decided for my maiden voyage I will build an English cottage house. Now I know you're all so excited and won't be able to contain your enthusiasm, so go ahead and shout it out!  Yay!  There. Don't you feel much better now?

It will be named "Barton Cottage" in honor of the cottage in one of my favorite movies Sense and Sensibility based on the book by Jane Austen. Although Austen sets her story in the mid to late 1790s, I am not quite sure what period my cottage will be. I could see the cottage being build in the late 18th century and then modernized as time went on. The structure could be part of a larger English estate, perhaps originally intended for a worker or service person. Something like that anyway.

Although I think authenticity is one of the most valuable aspects of miniatures, I think this for this project I will focus on developing a few techniques. Here are a few areas on which I would like to practice:

1. Plaster Walls
2. Fireplaces
3. Stairs
4. Wood Flooring
5. Beamed Ceilings
6. Leaded Windows
7. Lighting

I think this should give me enough to work on. Right? Or have I lost my mind?

I discovered a perfect example of a cottage modernized for contemporary life. The little English cottage in the movie The Holiday is really cute and charming. I think I will try and use certain details from this cottage for my project. Here are a couple of pictures. I love the warmth of the beamed ceiling and the cozy feel of the furnishing and fireplace.

Interior cottage shot from The Holiday. I am so going to make that ottoman.

I love the beams on the ceiling and the thick plaster walls. 

Another interior shot.

For the exterior, I was thinking natural stone for the walls and slate for the roof. I lived in Scotland for a little while and fell in love with all the crow stepped gabbles I saw there. I thought I would throw that design element in the mix too. We'll just say that my little cottage house is on the north side of England. Here's some ideas of what the exterior might look like.

A cute little entryway will be perfect.

I like the aged look of this slate roof.

The windows on this cottage are perfect. Look at the stonework.

Here's a good example of crow stepped gables. I like the aged natural stone too.

More crow stepped gables.

So these are a few ideas I have. I've started some drawings and a cardboard mock-up. I'll show you those in my next post. I thought it would be good to do a cardboard model of the cottage so that I can make sure the proportions look correct. Sometimes what I put on paper doesn't always look right when realized in the three dimensional realm. A model helps me figure it all out. I've been making small adjustments to the floor plans and elevations here and there.

Sorry this is all so boring and that I don't have many examples of my own work just yet. I've done a ton of research for this project. I guess I want to make sure I have some good ideas before I pull out the table saw and start cutting. So hold on, there will be examples of the actual cottage coming soon.

Take care, friends! Come back soon for more Barton Cottage adventures!


  1. Oh, those pictures, beautiful!!! Love those houses!
    Greetings, Ilona

    1. Hello Ilona,

      Thank you for your wonderfully kind comments and for following my blog! I looked at your site and you have such beautiful creations. I look forward to following all your projects.

      Wishing you the best,

  2. Preciosas fotografias y un gran proyecto.
    besitos ascension

    1. Hola Ascension,

      Thank you for your message. I wish you the best and look forward to hearing from you soon.

      All best,

  3. Hello Brad,
    Found you! I just read over your posts and I have to say your project is really exciting. I liked the grand plans in your last post very much, but I have to say I really like the inspiration for Barton Cottage and cannot wait to see the cardboard model.
    I look forward to your next post!
    Big hug,

    1. Hi Giac,

      I greatly appreciate your kind words of encouragement. I look forward to reading your next posts too. I hope all is well.

      All best,

  4. Hi Brad, I just discovered your blog and look forward to watching your progress. It sounds like it's going to be quite a project. Troy

  5. Hello Troy,

    Thank you very much for your kind words and interest in my blog. I hope to have some more posts up soon. Take care and check back in soon!

    All best,

  6. Una casa preciosa,y un maravilloso proyecto
    un besin