Baxter Pointe Villa - living room

by brae  

On the first floor of Baxter Pointe Villa, the living room connects to the kitchen in an open floor plan, with the saltwater aquarium as a room divider.

The fireplace and firebox were among the first things I built for this room.  The fireplace is one cohesive unit built from Greenleaf vinyl tiles, two Houseworks half scale bookcases, foam core board and scrap wood.  The firebox is lined with egg carton bricks.  The hearth is made from the same Greenleaf vinyl tiles but with the paper backing intact.  I used 1/8" by 1/8" strip wood to finish off the edges.

Since this is a year-round vacation villa, it made sense to have a fireplace.  However, it's currently warm and sunny.  What to do with the fireplace?  I decided to make a wooden stand to hold a set of pillar candles.  Since candle flames are hard to mimic in miniature, I opted to make my candles the flameless type.  :D  These are made from translucent polymer clay.  I baked them as solid candles, then drilled holes through them for lighting (used GOW bulbs I bought at the local railroad hobby store).  Drilling and sanding the openings left some white discoloration, so I painted on some Delta Ceramcoat Satin Varnish just inside the rims; it looks like molten wax when you see it in person.

The stand is made from balsa and has a hollow bottom to hide wires.  I adjusted the height of the bulbs inside the clay candles then glued and taped the wires underneath to keep the bulbs from moving out of place.

I twisted the like wires together and fed through the bottom of the firebox and wired them together to act as a unit.

They have a very soft light and this photo is a good approximation of what they look like in person.

But, when I try to photograph the room as a whole, my camera reads them as thermonuclear fuel rods.  :[  I'll have to figure out a good setting to capture the right lighting or modify the bulbs somehow, perhaps with a painted coating.

The artwork is Racing with the Moon by Jacqueline Penney.  I printed the image on regular paper in a few sizes to determine which size would work best in the space.  I then sharpened the image in PhotoShop before printing on Art Canvas by The Crafty PC.  It has a canvas texture that really brings it to life.  The frame is made from framing strip wood painted Bittersweet Chocolate by Americana.

I installed a NovaLyte can light over the fireplace to illuminate the artwork.  These require a 3/8" thick board to hold them in place, but I was able to use this light without building up the entire ceiling since I put in an extra piece of 1/4" thick wood as a stabilizer just above it in the bedroom.  The bed covers this spot.  I painted it dark brown for now, though I will work out a more polished solution for covering it in the future.

I made a lot of the books myself but supplemented the collection with some from The Miniature Bookshelf and other miscellaneous suppliers.

The starfish planter is a replica of one I saw on The Lettered Cottage made from a vintage cricket cage.

The sea sculpture is a cross section of a shell attached to a gar scale from Timber Ridge Studio.

Other accessories include a whale lamp and a half scale non-working clock that I bought some time ago.  The sailboat bookends came from Manor House Minis, and I painted them silver (they were brass).  The basket is from Glenda of Peppercorn Minis, and the large plant I made some time ago.  There's also a seal statue on the side table that came from Manor House Minis.

Another early project included the Millie August sofa and chair.  I found these at a hobby store liquidation sale and had them stored in a box since then.  When I first started figuring out the beach decor, I remembered these and thought they would be the perfect addition.

The white wire coffee table is from Manor House Minis.  It was a closeout and the last one!  The pitcher, glasses and lemon slices were sold as a set that I bought at the Bishop Show.  That's real water in the pitcher, and yes, I spilled it three times taking photos.  :\  I made the tray previously.

My side table is a replica inspired by the Oly Studio Ichibad Side Table.

I scratch built the table lamp from a ceramic bead, a wood bead, a metal bead and a NovaLyte LED.  The base is made from polymer clay (shown here in the original brown before I painted it black to coordinate).  Two jewelry findings hold the shade in place.  The shade is a strip of drawing paper 7/8" wide by 3" long glued with a overlapping seam.  I made the sunflower lamps and bedside lamps for the Newport in a similar manner.

I made a mock outlet out of 1/64in wood veneer to disguise where the wire enters the wall. There's a plastic bead to serve as the plug and the open side of the outlet has a drawn on receptacle. The wire then runs through the wall and into a channel as part of the hard wired system.

Since this outlet and wiring needed to be done before a lot of the work was done in the kitchen and living room areas, I wrapped the lamp in bubblewrap (minus the shade).  Looks a bit like a cocoon.  :O

I added ceiling beams using 5/16" by 5/16" strip wood stained IKEA antique pine.  In between the beams, I cut pieces of regular drawing paper to finish off the ceiling board.  I had painted the ceiling white to prime it, but the kit wood was so rough that I covered it with paper for a better finish.  I did these details before putting the structure together since I find it hard to work upside down.  ;]

I added the front beam after gluing the structure together.  Unfortunately, there were some noticeable gaps along the rest of the ceiling.  To fix this problem, I added some 1/8" cove molding, leaving the natural wood finish as is.

The ceiling fan was made from an existing fixture I bought for the Newport but didn't end up using.  Here is the website photo; I didn't think to photograph it before I started breaking it apart.  It's a lovely fixture to use as is, but the ceiling height was too low and I figured it was just sitting in storage besides.

photo from Minimum World

I removed the globe and fan blades from the top, including the light.  I replaced the original light with a NovaLyte LED, first feeding it through a wooden bead to bring back some of the height I had lost by removing the upper portion of the fixture.  I still needed the blades to clear the ceiling beams.  I painted the top rim of the plastic globe with dark brown paint to tone down the brightness of the LED a bit.  I then cut off the top portion of the original lamp and added it back to the fixture.  I ended up with a nice ceiling fan with a lower profile than it had originally.  Better than building one from scratch, if you ask me.  :D

The entry table is borrowed from the Newport and is a Concord Miniatures side table painted black.  I bought the vase at the Bishop Show, and the flowers were made from a Bonnie Lavish kit.  The camera and film box were from my childhood dollhouse, one of the few remaining pieces I have from back then.  The barometer was purchased from a fellow Greenleaf member.  I changed the bottom sticker since the original didn't fit well.  I still need to replace the thermometer sticker on top for the same reason.  The light switchplates throughout the house are actually stickers from  They photograph wonderfully!

The wallpaper is Natural Linen by Recollections.  I love the texture, but the aquarium divider certainly made wallpapering a challenge.  I made several attempts with drawing paper first and finally ended up with a precise template measured down to 32nds in some areas.  This was also a popular paper so I had a limited amount to work with...I probably would have cut one of the final pieces again had I been able to find more of the paper, but I am happy with it for the most part.

my drawing paper templates

The flooring started out as Houseworks Southern Pine with 1/4" wide planks.  This is what it looked like before I painted it with an equal mix of Staining Medium by Americana and Payne's Grey paint by Liquitex.  I then finished with two coats of Delta Ceramcoat satin varnish, sanding once between the two coats.  I needed a dark floor to anchor all of the light finishes.

To be honest, the dark flooring I used was a happy accident.  I cut my room pieces and then used the scraps to try out a few different finishes.  It was blueberry but it was the one I liked best of the bunch!  Somehow it just works.  :]

The rug is called Sand Dollar and found at Shor Home.  I printed the image on Velour Card Stock by The Crafty PC.  I love this paper, though my printer put a nice streak down the middle where it flattened the pile.  :\  At least it's not really noticeable.

Update: The custom made aquarium is now available in my etsy shop.


Comment from: Sara [Visitor]
I love everything! You did a splendid job. At first I wasn't even sure if I was looking at something mini or something my size! I love the candles in the fireplace and the pitcher of water! Thank you for sharing this wonderful post! Sara
07/11/11 @ 22:03
Comment from: Patty [Visitor]
This house is so fantastic! I absolutely LOVE all of your stunning pictures and the information about how you made some of the items. It really is such an incredible labor of love!!!! You are GOOD!!!
07/11/11 @ 23:25
Comment from: Keli [Visitor]
I love these posts on how you put the rooms together. I wish I would have thought to take pictures along the way so that I could have done the same.
07/12/11 @ 05:15
Comment from: Lyssa [Visitor]
I agree with Keli. Wish I woulda thought of that!!! Though, I say that a lot when looking at your work. :) It is nice to see how things come together for you though. :)
07/12/11 @ 07:54
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thanks so much! :D
07/12/11 @ 12:07

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