Creating a stencil for floors

Flipping my mini house

To make your floors fit, create a pattern or stencil using paper, the way clothing designers create patterns before putting scissors to their fancy fabric. This works for wallpaper too. Here are the steps I took to install my living room floor.

First I cleared out my living room. Next I began constructing my stencil, basing it off the shape of the far wall. See (below) how it fits like a puzzle piece against the wall? This required a fair amount of adding and subtracting to get it right. I’d slice a little bit off here, tape in a little extra there, until I had it just right.

Create a stencil to lay on top of your flooring. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Create a stencil to lay on top of your flooring. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Next I added another portion for the section of flooring that is by the railing. Then I put the stencil on top of my flooring and taped it into place.

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Next I carefully cut out my floors. I ended up with this:

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Now came the moment of truth. Would this amorphous shape fit just right into my mini living room?

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Yay! It fits! And since the floor is actually made of individual slats of wood affixed to a paper backing, it’s flexible enough to maneuver into place.

Below, if you look to the left of the stairs going up to the bedrooms, you can see one small piece going the wrong way, where I stuck in an extra piece since the flooring was just a bit smaller than the length of the room. Once I install wallpaper, white baseboard trim, and put furniture in place, this will be practically unnoticeable. Chip clips are handy for holding the flooring in place as adhesive dries.

Use chip clips to force your floor flat. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Use chip clips to force your floor flat. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Finally, I’ll pile some books on top to help ensure it stays flat.

Keeping newly installed floors flat. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Keeping newly installed floors flat. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Living room wallpaper is going in soon! I can’t wait to show you the results!

I’ve been getting lots of work done!

Flipping my mini house

My mini bathroom is really coming along! The tile floor has been grouted, trim has been installed, the sparkly chevron wallpaper has gone up, and the mini blinds I made from a coaster are now on the wall. Here’s a look at all the progress:

Progress in the mini bathroom. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Progress in the mini bathroom. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

As a reminder, here are some before photos:

Bathroom before.

Bathroom before.

Bathroom floor installation, partway through. Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Bathroom floor installation, partway through. Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

For information on making your own mini coaster blinds, take a look back at this post from a few weeks ago.

Choosing a color palette

Flipping my mini house

As I began choosing decor for my mini home, I had the idea that I wanted to go with mainly mid-century oranges, yellows, and greens, but with fresh metallics thrown in, and some teal (the color of the exterior) here and there, to tie the outside of the house and the interior together. In a human scale house, this combination wouldn’t be very overwhelming. I quickly discovered, however, that in such a small space it wasn’t working to combine so many colors.

I created this mid-century inspired mural several months ago, for one of the walls in the office.

Mid-century mural for the office. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mid-century mural for the office. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Until yesterday, I never wavered on my devotion to it. However, once I put it in place and began evaluating how it was going to fit in with other wall coverings and materials, I saw that it clashed. The room on its own looked cute, but a dollhouse is literally a house with one whole side of it torn off, and every room needs to work together cohesively.

Editing can be difficult. To better convince myself, I laid out several likely wallpaper choices together to see if I was happy with the overall effect.

Wallpaper choices. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Wallpaper choices. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

To me, these work well together.

I added in some of the furniture and accessories that will be going into my mini house.

Wallpaper, furniture, accessories. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Wallpaper, furniture, accessories. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I’m still feeling good about it.

Now here’s the part where I add in some of the teal accents, throwing in a few extras not really intended for this space, like the stool, just to see how the colors work together.

There's starting to be a lot going on here. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

There’s starting to be a lot going on here. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

At this point, it starts to look a little off to me. Between the gold accents, wallpaper throughout, strong black and white elements, and other details (Macrame owl, anyone?), I can safely say the teal has to go. I think I’ll paint a new mural for the office, similar to this one, but in shades of taupe, brown, and black.

Thank you Darice!

Flipping my mini house

A couple of weeks ago a friend let me borrow her heat tool. She thought it might loosen up the remaining part of the kitchen floor that wouldn’t budge.

Stubborn floor. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Stubborn floor. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Stubborn floor. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Stubborn floor. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I’d been trying to tear out the floor for weeks months, and was at the point where I was actually damaging my house, since the remaining bit of flooring was stuck so firmly in place.

I had doubts about whether the heat tool would work because I’d tried so many tools and cleaners to loosen it up, and I’d had so little luck.

To my amazement, it worked like a charm. It turned the adhesive back into a somewhat liquid state, and the remaining bits of the floor came up in a few easy sections.

Like Pangaea breaking apart. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Like Pangaea breaking apart. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

The final result was this:

Ready for new floors to be installed! Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Ready for new floors to be installed! Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Thought still a little uneven, it’s now smooth enough in my house for my new wood floors to go over the top. I am SO happy to finally be able to move on to the next step! Thanks to my old friend Beth and my new friend Darice, my house is ready for its dream kitchen to go in any day!

My husband thinks Darice looks like she needs to be hidden in a sock drawer. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

My husband thinks Darice looks like she needs to be hidden in a sock drawer. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Construction secrets

Flipping my mini house

If you’ve ever worked on an old house, you’ll uncover some secrets. Mini houses are no different. Yesterday I removed the baseboard trim in the living room…

Baseboard trim. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Baseboard trim. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Baseboard trim. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Baseboard trim. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

and discovered this:

Trim with notes. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Trim with notes. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

As you can see, it’s the hand-written notes about which wall to install the trim on. I thought it was pretty cool to see the notes that someone, a little girl’s dad, I imagine, made to himself as he constructed the house. I had to save that little piece. It’s too special to toss in the garbage.

I’ve also discovered as flooring and wallpaper come out, that my house is definitely made from a kit. You can see how parts are labeled (for instance, “Part F”). That might lessen its appeal to some collectors, but it doesn’t make much of a difference to me.

Once the trim came out, I began fitting some of the new wallpaper. Unlike the wallpaper in the bedroom, I’m crazy about the one for the living room. It has gold in it, feels very Jonathan Adler-ish, and will help tie together all the metallic accents that will be going into the living room. Here’s a sneak peek at it:

Living room wallpaper sneak peek. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Living room wallpaper sneak peek. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Progress on my mini house, as of today

Flipping my mini house

I thought I’d share a few pictures of how the house looks right now. As a reminder, this is how it looked when I received it this summer:

Day 1 of my mini house. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Day 1 of my mini house. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Most of the carpeting, wallpaper, and trim have since been removed. Wood floors have now been installed in the upstairs bedroom, as well as some funky retro wallpaper in the master bedroom. All rooms will be receiving white baseboard trim, but a flatter version than what was originally in the house.

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A small part of the original kitchen floor remains, thoroughly glued in place. A friend lent me her heatgun yesterday. She thought it might help loosen up the floor. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Slowly but surely…

Flipping my mini house
A look at my mini kitchen and dining area. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

A look at my mini kitchen and dining area. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I finally got my breakfast bar removed. It turns out it was screwed into place. Once I figured that out I was able to remove it without breaking it, which I was really excited about since I thought it was such a cute feature. I’ll drill new holes for it and it will get moved a little closer to the bench in the dining area, so my kitchen will be a little bigger than it used to be.

The little bit of flooring that remains is coming out one little chip at a time. I almost cut my thumb off the other day when I was trying to watch an old episode of Survivor and work on my house at the same time. All I can say is, I’m glad this is dollhouse flooring and not something I’m dealing with on a larger scale.

I’m not sure what, if anything, I can do about the fact that the floor swoops down a little towards the carport. I didn’t notice it so much at first, but when you’re sitting on the floor, staring at it for an hour, it starts to become really obvious.

Speaking of the carport, I was able to get the wall propped back up to be straight. So that’s great news.

Here’s a reminder of how my house looked when I first got it:

Day 1 of my mini house. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Day 1 of my mini house. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

The exterior is now dark teal. Also, I’ve decided the exterior trim will be a yellowish color to match my West Elm measuring cup planters. Photos of that coming soon!

Choosing wallpaper for my mini master bedroom

Flipping my mini house

There’s going to be a lot of wallpaper in my mini house. A LOT. Like every room. Since it’s a mini house, I’m going to pile on all the crazy things I wouldn’t want to live with in my real house. (Or in some cases, the things I would want in my real house, but don’t have the energy or money to make happen.)

I’ve been thinking about wallpaper for the master bedroom. Here are several choices:

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Originally, the second picture (green flowered) was what I had in mind. However, now I like the sparkly chevrons and the fireflies (# 9) best. Sparkly chevrons was intended to go the bathroom, in part because it’s got some texture to it and the walls in there a mess from having had tiles glued to them at one time. I love number ten, but at some point my house is going to stop reading mid-century modern if I’m not careful. I think that could be detail that takes it from mid-century with quirky touches to just plain wrong.

I’ll have to think about this.

Which do you prefer?

Construction Update & Something Old, Something New – Part Two

Flipping my mini house

My house isn’t looking too hot.

Mini house has hit a rough patch. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

As you can see, removing the kitchen and dining area floors has been disastrous. I would say I’ve walked away from the project for a little bit, but since it’s in the middle of my living room, it never really goes away.

Painting the upstairs floors yellow was a mistake. I recently decided to buy mini wood floors for the whole house and be done with it. Construction is on hold while I wait for the floors to arrive, and until I get the kitchen and dining room floors properly removed.

I plan to relocate the small bar separating the kitchen and dining area so it’s more centrally located between the two rooms, making the kitchen a little larger and the dining area a little smaller. It will depend on whether I can move it without breaking it. Right now, just like the floors, it’s glued in kind of like it was welded. Maybe once the floors are finally all out I can wiggle it loose.

Here is a grisly in-progress look of things:

It's always darkest before the dawn. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

It’s always darkest before the dawn. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

To keep myself interested, I haven’t stopped shopping for furniture and decor. Miniature items have been popping up at estate sales and thrift stores lately. Let’s take a look at my recent treasures!

Tiny, fabulous finds. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Tiny, fabulous finds. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Though I already have the Jonathan Adler-inspired coffee table that I made, this one might bump that one out of the running. Let’s take a closer look at it, with accessories and some hand soap to show you scale:

Cute coffee table. Just $.69 from St. Vinny's! Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Cute coffee table. Just $.69 from St. Vinny’s! Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.


Cards and a cup o'grog. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Cards and a cup o’grog. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.


The set of miniature silver pieces was just $5 at an estate sale.
The incense burner is going to make an adorable free standing stove for the dining area.
I will be posting the downloadable, printable playing cards shortly so you can make your own mini deck!

Exterior painting in progress!

Flipping my mini house

A decision has been made. After much hemming and hawing, I’ve chosen this shade of deep teal and given my house its first coat of paint. To get the perfect shade, I mixed it myself using a variety of tubes and bottles of art and craft paint. Here is a little peek at the secret formula:

The magic ingredients. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

The magic ingredients. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.


Final product. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Final product. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I tried to make a lot since matching that color is going to be really tricky. Still, I didn’t end up with nearly enough. I’ll mix another batch soon on a bright, sunny day so I can have the best chance of getting a close enough match.

Here is a look at my house now. It’s splotchy and definitely needs another good coat, but you can see how cute it’s going to be. I’m still debating on trim colors. I’m considering leaving the front door alone and just adding a cute doorknob, and maybe some mid century miniature doodad like this backplate.

New exterior color. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

New exterior color. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

To remind you, here is the ‘before’ version of my house:

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Here is a view of just the front panel of the house now:

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

When I’d gotten to the point where I barely had enough paint left to continue, and I was losing my enthusiasm (especially on the side with the carport), I got reinspired by this artwork on HGTV:

Frozen HGTV art inspiration. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Frozen HGTV art inspiration. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I realized that the wall inside what will be the office needs a little art, so I made this mural using a Sharpie marker and some of my leftover paint:

Mini mural, step one. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mini mural, step one. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.


Future office. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Future office. Needs some art. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.


Mini mural, painted. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mini mural, painted. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Having accent colors inside the house that match the exterior will make the finished project look much more cohesive.

While I still had my paint and paint brush out, I painted the seats of these clearance chairs to match. I’m not even sure if I’m going to use them in the house since they aren’t much of a style match, but they might work someplace.

Mini chairs before. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mini chairs before. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mini chairs and mini mural. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mini chairs and mini mural. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

The mural will get cut down to fit on the wall of the office. The chairs will get sanded a little and… who knows.

Coming up soon: Another coat of paint, trim to be painted, shingles to be applied, and chimney to possibly get a facelift. It’s exciting times in Flip This Mini House land!