Curb Appeal

Flipping my mini house

Here is a sneak peek at my front door!

Sneak peek of my mini house. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Sneak peek of my mini house. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

The light above the door is made from a tiny bottle of Curve cologne, two candlestick wax catchers, a small brass ring, and a chain. The planters are West Elm measuring cups. The mid century doorknob and backplate are made from a button and star I cut from aluminum foil. The welcome mat is cut from a place mat.

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New to FlipThis(Mini)House? Here’s a recap for you!

Flipping my mini house

I’ve always loved dollhouses. Last summer (July, I think) my friend and her husband spotted a mid century dollhouse at a flea market and sent me a text, asking if they should buy it for me. It was just $35, appeared to be pretty solid looking, and had an awesome, unique split level layout.

“Sure!” I said.

A few hours later they were delivering it to me. Here’s how it looked on the day I 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.

Since then I’ve been hard at work creating furniture and accessories from scratch, tweaking store-bought furniture and accessories, and making over everything inside. Here are a few of the accessories and pieces of furniture I created from things like coasters, handles, and yarn that I wove on a potholder loom:

Mini blinds made from a coaster. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mini blinds made from a coaster.

Tiny love seat and a newspaper to read. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Tiny love seat made from two wooden handles, a mid century cloth napkin, and some small wooden balls. The tiny newspaper rests in a metal doodad from Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

A small rug/blanket woven on a potholder loom. Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

It took me months just to get all the wallpaper and flooring removed!

Here’s a look at some of the rooms in progress:

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, in progress.

Living room in progress. Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Living room in progress.

And now here’s a look at some of the rooms today:

Trying out furniture and decor in the living room. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Trying out furniture and decor in the living room.

Kitchen "after"

This kitchen is coming along! All photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

For all the details, and to see the final unveiling which will hopefully happen in the later spring/summer, follow me here on WordPress or on the Flip This Mini House Facebook page.

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!)

IMG_0656

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.

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!

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.

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!

Inspiration and tiny decor items lurk everywhere

Everyday objects repurposed

When I’m in the creative zone it’s kind of hard to shut it off. At any given time, I have ten (or twenty, or thirty) different projects swimming in my head. From books I’m writing to houses online I’m dreaming of buying to my imaginings of going on Project Runway (even though my sewing talent level is more on par with Threads), I’m always dreaming about my next creative endeavor. Lately my mini dollhouse is on my mind quite a bit and I find inspiration everywhere. Example: What do you see here?

Bodywash. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

A.) Some bodywash on a bookshelf

B.) Something out of place. Is that still wet? It might leave a mark. Maybe you should have set it on a coaster or something.

C.) A disposable bottle and a cap that looks like a tiny, modern bowl.

If you said A, you are a normal person. If you said B, you might be a little bit neurotic. If you said C, let’s take a closer look!

Bodywash cap. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Ooh! Look at the lovely curving lines of this bottle cap. And the rich, gold color. If I flipped it over and ripped off the top I’m sure it would look something like this…

Mini modern cap/bowl. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reservede.

This is going to make a great little holder of mini fruit, mini balls of yarn, mini magazines, mini plants, and other items. What did I tell you? Tiny decor truly can be found anywhere if you simply look a little closer.

Hits and misses on the road to design

Everyday objects repurposed

I’ve created a little staging area on the dining room table (My husband really appreciates stuff like that) since my mini house is thoroughly under construction. It’s filling up with the little maybes and probably-nots I’ve been creating.

Whenever a person embarks on any creative project there are hits and misses. My dollhouse project is no exception. This (non-functional) lamp made from a Keurig individual coffee serving and some wooden doodads, for instance, looks a little bit more like its components than a lamp. A little chain hanging down might help, but maybe not enough. I’m still debating its ultimate destination, be it in my mini house, or in the trashcan.
Lamp made from a Keurig coffee serving. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.I’m up in the air about whether I am going to keep the modern plastic chair I made from a Klarbrunn bottle. I’m not sure if it reads more as a modern chair, or more as the bottom of a bottle.
Hit or miss? Klarbrunn bottle turned modern chair. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Since people seem to like to decorate with bowls of balls orbs, I decided this would be a realistic addition to my mini house. Inspired by this design element in my own home as seen below…

… I used the shiny lid of an Anthropologie candle as a tray, and filled it with wooden beads, and these shiny brass buttons I recently picked up at a garage sale.

A card of shiny, old buttons. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

The result is a little tray of decorative orbs, much like you’d see in a real living room:

Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I think this works pretty well and will probably end up in the finished product.

The coffee table I showed you here now has a matte black top, like much of my other furniture. I might repaint it all glossy. I thought the flatness would be a nice juxtaposition to the shininess of the brass that will be in the room, but I’m not sure I’m loving the look.
The bookshelf and rug you see here are Ikea Huset miniatures, as seen here. The shelf is definitely going to be in my finished dollhouse. I’m still debating about the rug.

I had the highest of hopes for my end table with a geode slice top. At $5 for the geode slice, it was a big splurge, and I thought would make a really amazing table. However, I am not loving its look or tippiness. I think I need to remove the wooden ball base and glue four little legs on. More about that later. I still know it’s going to be great.

Big splurge! Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

The little staging area helps me see if the varying, imperfect scales are working together. I knew early on that I was not going to be a stickler about precise scale, in part because my dollhouse itself has scale issues, with some doors being one scale, others being another, but also because I think embracing this quirkiness makes it look more fun in the end, and more fun to work on during the creative process.

When you see the finished house, however long from now that is, I think several of these elements will have been altered or edited out completely. Taking a step back to evaluate, and not getting too committed to bad ideas makes for a better finished product. This is true or writing, design, and unfortunately, I’m afraid, that lamp.