Oh man, this was a rough month to get through. On May 2nd, I had my tonsils out. As an adult, I can assure you, it does hurt worse than it would have had I still been a little kid. Something about larger surface areas. Also, fun fact: I’m immune to the effects of Hydrocodone, aka Vicodine, and that was the *only* pain med they allowed me to have for the whole first week. Imagine a week of post-op with no pain meds, fun times. Well, with my mom’s help, I did get through it. While she was babysitting me she also helped me out with my dollhouse!
Last month, I did the bedroom and the bathroom of my Lundby house for the #Dollhouse Therapy Challenge, and had decided to do the kitchen and the entry hall. Due to the fact that my surgery knocked me out for longer than I was expecting, and I had the living room mostly done and hadn’t started on the kitchen, I switched horses midstream. So, to recall, this is what I started with for both rooms:
Yeesh, that is a lot of 70s harvest gold. And seriously, a bright blue floor? What was that even trying to pretend to be? It’s not carpet, because there is actually some fuzzy fabric for carpet. Maybe tile? Or painted concrete? I can’t even.
Ok, so while I was mildly dying on the couch nearby, my mom made tracing paper templates of all the walls and floors of the dollhouse. I had done it already for the bedroom and the bathroom and it was honestly the most frustrating part of the entire process for me, so mom graciously took on the task.
A full 18 days passed before I was able to start back on the house. I chose to tackle something seemingly easy for my first task: get rid of that awful blue floor. I wasn’t really sure about what color I wanted on the wall yet, and not much of a plan for how the room should look either. The only thing I knew for sure at the moment was that I needed to make a wood floor for that room. I had some sticky backed bamboo paper that I was toying with the idea of staining and then cutting into strips, but honestly, just thinking about that whole process was exhausting.
As luck would have it, just days earlier I acquired some dark wood contact paper. I unrolled a length, messed up doing the scale conversion from inch to Lundby, and just said the heck with it and went with it anyways. Being hurty really lowers your level of caring. I wanted 6″ wide boards, so being on auto-pilot, I just cut on the half inch lines. In Lundby scale, that means my boards are 9″ wide. I don’t think Home Depot carries wood flooring in 9″ widths, but 8″ and 10″ are common and really, who cares?
If I tried sticking the contact paper directly to the ugly blue floor, there’d be blue showing through the cracks between the boards. I got out a piece of black scrapbooking paper, cut it to the size of my mom’s template, fitted it to the floor, made a few minor adjustments, and then got to sticking the boards down on the black paper. I picked a nice diagonal offset paper and stayed consistent, even when I had to go downstairs to cut more boards.
Yeah! Look at that nice wood floor! I still wasn’t sure how the room was going to unfold furniture-wise. This arrangement was the one that had lasted the longest so far, but I still didn’t like it. Something about how the bookcase was wedged between the stairs and the bathroom door was just bugging me. Finally I decided to just remove that bookcase all together, and things finally started to make sense.
Next up was the wall color. Since I had some yellow going on already, I was toying with an orange, or a green, but the orange just made the room look radioactive and wasn’t much of an improvement over the current harvest gold striped paper anyways, and the green just seemed to fall flat.
I fanned through my scrapbooking paper book and discovered a rather pretty shade of lavender. I held it up to the room and it was perfect! It calmed down the reddish floor and made the room seem peaceful.
I moved down the round blue coffee table from upstairs. I found the cutest little paper house in a swag bag from Crafty SuperMarket, so, of course it needed to find a home here.
Next up, decorations! The stair wall corner got a mirror that I had painted a faux aged silver finish on (the original thing was an ugly gold), and the charm from my college graduation cap. While telling my mom about the charm, I realized that the colors for the room are the same colors in my tassel, so that worked out well. I had laced a few lavender strands for the time I spent in Architecture into my otherwise brown Design tassel.
While the paper house was cute on its own, the fact that it didn’t have a roof was bugging me, so I gave it one. The tiny tiny train I recently purchased at the Cincinnati Miniatures Show and Sale seemed to fit nicely with it. The little crock jar came from a friend’s mom. My mom has crock jars from her grandma, so the little crock jar is for her. The blankets came with a few of the other furniture sets, and I ironed them flat later.
I picked out a few purplier buttons from my collection, and found a nice spot on the back wall for them. The books came with the living room set, and the A&Z bookends had been purchased from miniatures.com. The adorable hashtag plate is actually an enameled copper pin from a local jewelry shop called the Smithery. One of its founders was my classmate in a business startup class and we’ve been following each other ever since. The bookcase got a bit of a makeover, with blue paper added to the back. The original orange is pretty intense and didn’t work well here. The blue helps tie the two sides of the room together, and with the rest of the house.
I painted the brown plastic beads of the lamp to make it look like wrought iron and took the gold trim off the bottom of the shade. I took the yellow fabric off too, but decided it looked better yellow than white, so I put it back on. The chair had its wood freshly repainted white, and the back leg was repaired. I credit Cassie for inspiring me to keep the chair, she called it a ‘frenchy sexy’ thing. The purple picture frame is a pin from Pantone that I got at an IDSA conference. The welcome mat received a bit of a trim to make it line up better with its printing, and I decided my front door would not be centered on the room, and I scooted the rug over accordingly. After taking this picture, I also added one of my own corkboards.
Now, because I never seem to do things in the right order, I decided that my stairs were just too plain and I needed to add the purple and grey striped washi tape to the stair risers. I had already done this for the living room’s two steps and loved it. No easy way to get at the stairs, so the entire house had to be emptied and turned on its side. I still could barely reach and only managed with the help of a few new tools I had recently picked up. There are 9 stair risers. The second to the top was IMPOSSIBLE to reach.
Since I had the house emptied, I thought it was a good time to put in baseboards and crown molding. This will help hide any mis-measurements with the wallpaper. There is a crazy amount of baseboards and crown moldings required for this house! I actually ran out of long enough uncut pieces, and crown molding in the kitchen will have to be spliced. Since I haven’t done the kitchen walls or floor yet, I just set those pieces aside.
The next thing I wanted to tackle was this ridiculous green arm chair that came with the patio set. The cushion was over stuffed, and the arm rests were weird and it was all just wrong. I also wanted to add some color to the low cubby unit. Somehow I got it in my head that I wanted to modify *every* piece of purchased furniture so I needed to do something to it too. I haven’t done anything to the furniture in the living room proper, so I don’t know about that goal.
I picked apart the stitching on the over-stuffed seat cushion. Seriously, do you see how much fluff was shoved in that thing? I only reused about a quarter of it. I also sanded down the raised arm rests into a round shape, and I peeled back the fabric on the back rest so more fabric could hang down, making the back look longer than it is. I took the bit of cardboard from inside the cushion and glued it to the bottom of the chair. Then I glued the cushion onto the bottom rungs of the chair.
For the cubby, I found hot pink paper that would complement the hot pink chairs on the other side of the room, helping to tie the two sides together. I only put it on the bottoms and on the left sides so that anything in the cubbies won’t have a pinkish cast bouncing back from the right (front) side. I stuck them down with my handy scrapbooking tabs, so if I ever change my mind, it’s easy to swap out.
I used these tabs for just about everything in my house, especially the wallpaper. The only ‘sticking point’ with redoing the house the next time will be the baseboards and crown molding. Those I actually glued in place, and since they are on top of the wallpaper, it will be a bit tricky. I’m not planning on redoing this house, but you never know who the next owner might be and what their preferences are. That’s also why I tried not to paint over the original wallpaper or floors.
The last step was to put it all together. Last month I had purchased a living room set, knowing I’d need some couches eventually. I didn’t end up using the yellow fur rug. It’s very large and I can’t figure out what sort of animal would have fur that color. The books and the blanket went downstairs.
When I discovered the TOMY entertainment units on Etsy, I knew I had to have them. I didn’t have time to get a TV done for the entertainment unit, so for now it’s just a bookcase holding knicknacks and a fishbowl. The console table is holding a bunch of papers and art supplies instead of records. I imagine this is where my doll resident does her drawing. The tiny octopus on the couch is also from the Cinci Mini Show.
I created another window above the staircase out of balsa wood and a large square mirror. I’d been trying for days to figure out how to use that mirror. It was just so large that nothing made sense. I tried framing it and put a shelf below it and suddenly it looked like a window, so I repainted it white instead, and went with that. Now that I suddenly had an extra window to dress, I decided it was probably time to fix the ugly curtains I did last month.
I found a lovely yellow and orange dotted fabric in my stash of tiny patterned fabrics and decided on plain drapes. A bit of cutting, folding, ironing, and sewing, and I had eight passable curtain panels. Instead of putting a hem on the hanging edges, I opted for sealing them with white glue. This kept the panels from getting too clunky or heavy with extra fabric and since the glue was on a vertical edge, it didn’t hamper the draping effect that I ironed into them. The last step was to stitch a permanent gather into them, which was easily managed with a simple running stitch. I threaded them onto the curtain rods I had made from a thick gauge but bendable wire and they were perfect!
A few more buttons on the walls, and some knicknacks into the cubbies and I was done! Back to front, tiny pewter dragon, some leather bound books, a silver monopoly hotel, a pewter Christmas tree, and a yellow wooden doll. On top is a resin cast cactus plant.