The only fireplace on the market that I liked was a bit out of my budget, and I couldn't justify spending $60 on a fireplace even if it did come with lighting. After creating the egg carton stone foundation, I knew I would be able to simulate brick for the fire box and front of the fireplace. So, I took some wood pieces and created my own design for the mantel. I bought a strip of window casing trim specifically for the mantel, but the rest of the miscellaneous pieces were either extras or "waste" wood from the build.
I like the result for looks and the fact that it was much more economical than a purchased fireplace.
I followed the same egg carton brick technique I used for the stonework on the foundation. Here is the layout of the unpainted bricks. The unfinished wood in the center will be cut out to create the fire box.
The walls for the conservatory will be cut from 3/8" plywood, but here I am further studying my foam core mockup for window placement. I am waiting for the single French door to arrive in the mail, so only one of the two walls has the windows installed. I bought additional Foxhall parts from Real Good Toys so I could match the trim used on the garage.
I cut down the size of the walls from my first rough mockup to leave just under 3" all around the structure, allowing for a walkway and an area for outdoor plants or seating while still having a large enough enclosure for furniture.
Since I lowered the garage foundation, I needed steps leading into the conservatory from the master bedroom. I will likely use the ones originally meant for the front porch of the main house. I will leave the exposed brick on the one wall, and you can see the small amount of clapboard siding I used to finish the exterior wall between the kitchen and the garage on the lower level (I turned the brick side of that wall toward the kitchen). I like the way these elements make the conservatory look like a later addition to an existing house.
Craigslist is a great place to find dollhouse stuff, but I also happened upon a local craftsman selling his real life size, handmade potting benches and worktables. He mentioned doing custom work, so I sent him an e-mail to find out if he would be interested in making a dollhouse display table similar to a workbench. All of the existing tables on the market were not wide enough to accommodate the two side additions on the Newport. Besides, I think it is rather fitting to have a handmade display table for a handmade dollhouse.
The house will sit on a separate base board that I will ultimately end up landscaping, but I needed a sturdy table to hold the entire structure once completed. I asked him to go ahead with the table build even though I was nowhere near ready for display since I figured it would be easier to build on the height with the house already in place. Plus, I'd like to reclaim my dining room table. :D
It's a beautiful table made of knotty pine with casters on the bottom so I can move it around. I was originally going to stain the wood, but when I saw the finished product I decided it was too lovely to cover and instead applied a spray satin sealer.
For those of you with keen eyes...no, that's not a scantily clad woman at the end of the hallway. It's a dressmaker's model. :D
After my initial paper mockup, I decided I liked the look of the chimney breast. Still wanting a small depth overall, I made a foam core board mockup only 1/2" deep. The mantelpiece has a depth of 9/16" with the top having a slight overhang. I like the scale of it overall, so I will likely build my final pieces based on this model.
I taped the lights in place and cut a sample painting from a catalog. The miniature elephants are wood pieces I've had for over twenty years.
There are some fabulous miniatures on the market, and some carry "fabulous" prices. The miniaturist hobby itself can be pricey as a lot of (pardon the pun) little things add up. I've budgeted in some areas to be able to afford the more expensive items I want. In order to save money, I will be building a lot of the basic furniture myself, and I have found some good deals on craigslist and eBay for other things. I am getting ready to start building and decorating the kitchen, so I bought these miniature Miele appliances.
Both are battery operated and make sounds. The oven also lights up, and the dishwasher came with the yellow dishes.