Progress in the blizzard

Handmade decor for my mini house

I’ve made some progress on my house (and the creation of accessories for it) in the last couple of days, thanks in large part to the blizzard that has kept me stranded at home. Here are some updates for you.

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Every mid century house needs one of these. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Here’s a look at this little blanket, in progress, with some scissors in the photo so you can get a better idea of scale:

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I also installed some tile floors in my bathroom:

Grout coming soon! Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Grout coming soon! Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I was going to go with tealish blue stone, but as I shared in a recent post, I changed my mind and decided to cut blue from my house’s interior color palette. These yellow tiles were purchased at the start of the project, and once again seemed like the best choice, so I went for it and installed them.

Here’s are some photos of the “before”:

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

and “during”:

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I’ll grout them soon, and install some wall paper. This horrible little room will be bright and cheery before you know it!

I also made a little rug/throw, using the pot holder loom I’ve mentioned in previous posts (every kid had one of these at some point, and they’re great for making mini weavings!)

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Here’s a peek at the finished result:

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Also, some of you may recall me making a thread-wrapped lampshade for my (real, human-scale) home, in my blog Holly Recommends. Well, I decided to make a little thread-wrapped lampshade for my mini house as well. Here it is:

A mini, thread-wrapped lampshade, set on top of a tiny vase makes a cute lamp. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

A mini, thread-wrapped lampshade, set on top of a tiny vase makes a cute lamp.
Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

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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.

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.

A modern bed with built-in side tables

Everyday objects repurposed

There’s been a huge, unexpected benefit to installing wallpaper that I’m feeling lukewarm about. Before installing the wallpaper, I felt like I was pretty much done with the bedroom decor. I had a little bed I’d made from some Styrofoam, handmade bedding, some nightstands I’d painted, and a little dresser. They were all so-so. I was happy enough with them. Once the wallpaper was installed (And let me tell you, working in a tiny space like that, cutting out the perfect window-shaped rectangle that is positioned just so is the definition of tedium), I realized I would do whatever it took to not have to redo it. That has meant taking a serious look at everything else going in the room, and only allowing in decor that will elevate the overall look of the room. I’ve admitted to myself that some of my original plan wasn’t particularly mid-century or modern. Like the nightstands. I decided I either need better nightstands or better wallpaper, but I can’t leave both as they are, or my room will not be cute enough.

In this instance, inspired mainly by The Century House, I decided I wanted my mini bedroom to have a platform bed with built-in side tables like this, this and this, and ohmygoodness this, so I decided to create one for my mini house.

Several months ago I purchased a bottle of men’s cologne from St. Vinny’s, specifically for the awesome wood cap that came with it. The cologne was nestled in a faux wood box. Here’s a look at the box:

Faux wood box. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Faux wood box. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I decided I was going to turn this into a headboard with side tables!

The box had three parts, as you can see, that all fit together. I decided the two smallest ones would work best for my mini house.

The box is not in perfect condition since it’s from decades ago and has who knows what history. I’m not letting little issues like that stop me. No house is perfect, so a couple of scuffs here and there are no big deal.

Here are the steps I took:

1. Cut the lid in half. These will be my side tables.

You say lid, I say side tables. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

You say lid, I say side tables. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

2. Next I made marks on what will be the headboard of the bed, outlining where the side tables will be inserted.

Attach side table here. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Attach side table here. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

3. Both sides got matching marks, and then were sliced through with an Exacto knife. Then the side tables’ rough cut sides were inserted into the slots that had been made. Here’s the result:

Mini headboard. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mini headboard. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

And a view from the back:

Back of the mini headboard. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Back of the mini headboard. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I realized it needed legs. With their light coloring and clean lines, these wooden caning pegs are perfect for mini mid-century furniture legs!

Caning pegs. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Caning pegs. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

4. I punched holes in the bases of the sides tables, and each got a leg added:

Adding some legs to my mini headboard. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Adding some legs to my mini headboard. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Here’s a view from the front:

Mini headboard, now with legs. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mini headboard, now with legs. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Once the mattress, pillows, and comforter come into play, the imperfections will be hidden or toned down. I think it looks pretty cute! What do you think?

A mid-century brass drawer knob becomes a tiny bowl

Everyday objects repurposed

When we bought our mid-century home, the built-in dresser in one of our closets came with original, giant brass knobs. They were too cool to hide out of sight, so I swapped them with the knobs on an old cabinet from Target that we use as an entertainment center, to dress it up a little. Here’s the look:

Brass mid-century knobs make a cabinet from Target unique. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Brass mid-century knobs make a cabinet from Target unique. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

It’s still just an old cabinet from Target, but a little more fun than it was with the original, boring knobs.

We ended up with one extra oversized mid-century knob, and since I’ve pointed out in previous posts that I like the look of metallic bowls around the house, like this one:

Thread wrapped balls in a West Elm bowl. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Thread wrapped balls in a West Elm bowl. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I thought that my mid century knob would make a perfect brass bowl for fruit or other miniature goodies. Take a look:

A mid-century knob becomes a mini bowl of fruit. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

A mid-century knob becomes a mini bowl of fruit. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Here it is in relation to a human-scale bowl of fruit:

Fruit for humans and mini fruit. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Fruit for humans and mini fruit. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Bottle caps, particularly from perfume and cologne, and other common items like drawer pulls and knobs, often make great materials for your mini home! You’ve seen me turn them into everything from tiny sofas, to vases, to bowls, and more in previous posts. Best of all, secondhand shops have an abundance of items like these for next to nothing. If you’re creative you can do a lot with very little!

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?

Tiny table accessories

Furniture and decor I've purchased

In yesterday’s post I was showing off my newest purchases, including a cute coffee table and some mini playing cards.

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.

Here are details about the playing cards. They are downloadable and printable, for free online, here at jfitz.com. According to this website (which is not affiliated with Flip This Mini House or myself in any way): “Feel free to use for personal or professional purposes…” (followed by additional information. Visit the page to see more information.)

To make a mini set for myself, I saved the image of the cards and then pasted it into a word doc so I could easily locate the image of all the cards within the margins of the page and print it at the scale I wanted.

Start with some good quality scrap booking paper that has a repeating pattern on the back. The smaller the image, the better. One side of the page needs to be white.

Scrapbooking paper. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Scrapbooking paper. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Now print your cards on the white side and carefully cut them out.

Tiny playing cards. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Tiny playing cards. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Since they’re grouped in a tight bunch, you can cut them into four strips, lay the strips on top of one another, and slice off four cards at a time. Then trim them and round the corners. It actually all goes very quickly.

The result is an adorable set of cards, for the cost of a sheet of paper. Here they are again:

Cards on a cute coffee table. Just $.69 from St. Vinny's for the coffee table and just $.69 for the paper the cards are printed on. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Cards on a cute coffee table. Just $.69 from St. Vinny’s for the coffee table and just $.69 for the paper the cards are printed on. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

The little coasters are adhesive cork dots from the craft store. I stuck them on some cotton fabric and peeled them off several times, to lessen the stickiness of the bottoms. They make perfect coasters or little cork pads to go beneath potted plants.

Tiny cork dots. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Tiny cork dots. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

The dots that remain will go into the mini office eventually, as a bulletin board.

The tiny grog cups shown are going to get cleaned up later today with some silver jewelry cleaner. If it doesn’t eat right through them I’ll post results soon.

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!