Baxter Pointe Villa - upper deck and stairs

by brae  

The biggest change I made to the base kit of Baxter Pointe Villa was to replace the upper portion with a taller front wall to create a wraparound deck.

My inspiration for the deck came from a wonderful porch by designer Amanda Nisbet.  In fact, her design inspired the cedar shake exterior as well.

To get this porch in front of the second floor bedroom, it took a lot of kit bashing.  :]   Here's what the kit and addition originally looked like:

I used the front wall of a second addition kit I bought to make a new front wall in the bedroom, and that change created enough room for a small deck.  Here you can see how I sheared off part of the outer wall all the way to the floor, making it flush with the new bedroom wall.

I had to piece the wall around the door since this originally had three window openings.  I ended up leaving the mullions out of the French door since I wanted an unobstructed view of the beach!  :D

On the end of the deck next to the addition, I cut off the top portion flush with the new bedroom wall and created a short wall just outside the added door.  I had to leave some wall there since cutting it off to the floor would have caused problems with the roofline of the addition.  I glued a triangle of wood near the front edge of the angled piece to create a square.  I padded this low wall with two pieces of 1/8" thick scrap wood to make it look more realistic in size.

My stairs connected to the deck didn't quite end up looking like the kit photo, either.  :D

Where to start?  I didn't end up using the posts that came with the kit.  Kathi at Beautiful Mini Blessings noted that it was a waste to use all of that perfectly straight laser cut wood just to make posts, and I thought she was on to something!  I bought a bunch of 5/16" x 5/16" strip wood from Hobby Lobby and saved the laser cut wood from the kit for other projects.

I had ordered the base kit plus two side additions, one left and one right, though I planned to use only one or the other -- with the second one used for spare parts.  I quickly opted for the addition on the left, but that presented an issue with what I wanted to do with the stairs.  I needed them exactly the opposite of how they were designed, so I flipped the base and the upper deck upside down.  Problem solved!  Sorta...

The reason I couldn't have the stairs next to the main house is that I wanted a chimney.  But, even with flipping the stairs, the deck was too long.  I cut off a portion of it in the back to clear the chimney and moved the whole assembly flush with the front of the new deck.  This meant I couldn't use the laser cut lines of the stair kit, but I wouldn't have been able to match those with the new deck anyway.

Here you can see my first chimney mockup and the short wall of the deck before I modified it.  I used the original kit posts for planning purposes.

The porch boards were made from Woodsies skinny sticks stained with IKEA antique pine (shown here pre-stain).  I followed a front to back direction until I reached the stairs, where I turned the boards the same direction as the stairs.


With all of these changes in place, this is how I managed the roof pieces.  I used the original roof piece for the bedroom ceiling, cutting it off flush with the side walls from the peak to the top of the new front wall.  I also cut it flush with the side walls. I then used 1/8" thick plywood to make a new top roof and a flat soffit board for the porch that I later covered with strip wood and painted.  The white pieces are foam core board cut to fill in between the original house and the new front porch roofline.

I then cut trim to follow the new roofline.

The porch soffit was made using strip wood.  I didn't use skinny sticks here since I wanted a cleaner look than I did for the porch boards.  The floor gets more wear than the ceiling.  ;]  I painted the ceiling Lilac Love by Folk Art.

The light I had originally planned to use for this space was a Clare Bell Brass Coach Lamp, but its wiring was different from what I had experienced.  It had two wires in a single coating of insulation instead of two insulated wires fused together.  I could get it to light by directly touching the wires to the power strip but not by attaching additional wire lengths...which made no sense.  I sent messages to the manufacturer to find out what I was doing wrong, but I was on such a time crunch that I really didn't have time to wait for a reply.  As it turns out, there's an extra plastic coating on these that needs to be burned or scraped off.

In the meantime, I looked through my stash of lights for the Newport and found the brass fixture I had previously painted silver using Valspar Odds 'n' Ends Fast Dry Enamel in Chrome, the same paint I ended up using on the bench.  It must have been meant to be.  :]

The posts are 5/16" strip wood stained IKEA antique pine.  Sometimes when I work late and get a little punchy, I have to leave myself notes to keep from doing things in the wrong order.

The stair stringer didn't allow me to use an even number of skinny sticks for the stair treads, but I wanted them to match the deck in color and general appearance.  I left off the kit stairs (yay...more uniform laser cut wood for future projects!) and replaced the treads with bass wood pieces cut using the original laser cut ones as patterns.  I stained these with IKEA antique pine as well.

Since the stair stringer was laser cut plywood and the rest was light colored wood, I painted the stringers white.  They would not have coordinated with the other stained pieces otherwise.

To keep with the white and natural wood color scheme, I used the existing kit laser cut railings and painted them white.  I had to cut a few down to size and add some pieces that were meant to make the posts since my deck was a different configuration from the original.  I didn't bother adding the supports under the deck, either.  I don't know if it would pass a structural inspection, but I like the clean lines of my deck and porch.  :D

To hide the laser scored lines on the now underside of the deck portion, I used skinny sticks in the same fashion as I had on the top, continuing along the front entryway soffit. 

The settee started out as white wire that I primed with grey Valspar Premium Enamel and then painted Valspar Odds 'n' Ends Fast Dry Enamel in Chrome.

Here you can see I also flipped the opening direction of the French door to open in to the left instead of in to the right.

One of the best aspects of the inspiration design is the fabric.  Since it was a pretty basic design, I drew it out in Illustrator and uploaded the sample to Spoonflower, a place that prints fabric.  I could have printed it myself at home, but computer printed fabric can be damaged by water contact and I wanted something more durable.  I cut and sewed 1.5" squares and stuffed the pillows with seed beads.

As an aside, you used to be able to resize prints on Spoonflower even if the design wasn't yours, so you could have any of the fabrics available for sale in mini scale if you wanted.  They changed this and personally I think it was a bad idea to remove this option.  There were a lot of fabrics I wanted for 1:12 scale and unless I contact the designer and they are willing to resize for me (which is a messier process than it sounds like), I won't be buying the fabrics.  Cuts down on sales, if you ask me.  I think they should have this as an option the seller can choose to allow or not.  I contacted Spoonflower to voice this opinion, and they said they are working on the option.  But, who knows when it will happen.  :\

The purple cotton fabric is from Hancock Fabrics.  I used a double layer to upholster the bench seat since the cushion was originally white and showed through the single layer.  The journal is by Glenda of Peppercorn Minis

The sunflowers were made from a Bonnie Lavish kit, and the vase is from Manor House Miniatures.  I borrowed the stool from Baslow Ranch and used it as a side table.  I like it so much here that I'll likely just reproduce one for this space.  The glass of tea was purchased in a lot from craigslist and the metal coaster is a finding from Bindels Ornaments.

I really love how this deck turned out and wish I could sit there myself watching the waves hit the shore.  :D


Comment from: Lyssa [Visitor]
Stupendous! I really enjoyed that post, friend. So, so helpful! Inspiration is flooding in!!!!
07/12/11 @ 11:01
Comment from: Kathi [Visitor]
LOVE what you did with the stairs and the deck! I haven't started mine yet but now I am REALLY inspired to work on it again. :D
07/13/11 @ 06:24
Comment from: Maru [Visitor]
I'm really in love with your house, fantastic house and fantastic ideas. :-)
07/14/11 @ 03:35
Comment from: dale [Visitor]  
I love what you have done with this. What a drastic difference from the original. Love your inspiration pic, you have nailed it! Love! :)
07/14/11 @ 08:42
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you!!! :D
07/15/11 @ 08:59

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