A tiny dresser gets a luxe makeover

Tweaking store-bought dollhouse furniture

My mini house has many metallic touches, gold in particular. I liked the scale of this dresser for my mini master bedroom, but didn’t feel the style worked at all with the mid-century-chic feel of my home, so I decided to give it a little makeover.

Mini dresser "before"

Mini dresser “before”

Goo-gone took care of this sticker without hurting the wood finish.

Goo-gone took care of this sticker without hurting the wood finish.

The deconstruction process couldn't have gone better!

The deconstruction process couldn’t have gone better!

Here’s the end result:

I glued wood balls to the base and spray painted it gold leaving the drawers unpainted.

I glued wood balls to the base and spray painted it gold leaving the drawers unpainted.

Rust-Oleum Specialty Metallic: LOVE.

Rust-Oleum Specialty Metallic: LOVE. All photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Not exactly mid century modern, but appropriately luxe and adorable in my mini master bedroom, and such an improvement over the old look!

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Flipping the roof

Flipping my mini house

It’s time for shingles to get glued into place and the world’s ugliest mini chimney to get a facelift. Stay tuned!

Chimney before. Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Chimney before. Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Debating between small teal shells to match the exterior paint color, or tumbled river rocks…

Chimney before. Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Which did I choose? I’ll tell you soon!

Trying out paint colors on shingles

Flipping my mini house
Painting dollhouse shingles. Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Painting dollhouse shingles. Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I’m trying out paint colors on shingles. I’ve decided to go with a mix of yellows and browns. You may be tempted to shingle your house and paint it later, since this is much faster than painting shingles individually. I think it’s worth the extra time to paint them individually, varying the color a bit from shingle to shingle, so your finished product looks more realistic.

I will show you where to start applying your shingles soon!

More shingles. The fishscale style are fine for my house -- I'll just keep the round part hidden beneath other layers.

More shingles. The fishscale style are fine for my house — I’ll just keep the round part hidden beneath other layers.

It takes a long time, but this is what television is for. So you can watch it, guilt-free, while accomplishing mindless projects like painting 8 zillion mini shingles.

Have I mentioned how excited I am that the Real Housewives of New York are back? I love them all!!!!! Even Ramona has carved a small place in my heart.

Some small changes to some (small) appliances

Tweaking store-bought dollhouse furniture

The refrigerator and stove I plan to use in my house were a little too small and an icky shade of yellowish beige. After several unsuccessful looks at eBay and other online miniature shopping sites, I decided to do what I could to improve the appearance of them.

I didn’t mind so much that they were a little small — to me, it gave the refrigerator a bit of a Smeg feel to it, and the stove reminded me of a cute little 1960’s gas stove I had in an apartment long ago (my favorite apartment ever). But the stove in particular was just too small to work with the cute little set of cupboards my mom picked up for me, which I am firmly committed to using, so I decided to do what I could to make the stove a little bigger.

Stove before. Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Stove before. Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Adding coats of paint to the stove and refrigerator.

After putting a couple of coats of paint on each, I added some feet to the stove (tiles, actually).

Stove with feet added.

Stove with feet added.

The tiles/feet overhang the back of the stove, because I’m going to build up the back of it with some cork coasters. These little feet bring it up to the same height as my countertops.

Two cork coasters, painted white, trimmed to size, and glued to the back of my little stove.

Two cork coasters, painted white, trimmed to size, and glued to the back of my little stove.

These coasters not only give the stove a top portion for knobs, but they also make it so the stove is the same approximate depth of my counter tops.

I added some tape to round off the border of the stove, some more coats of paint, and some black brads as tiny control knobs.

Almost done!

Almost done!

My stove is almost done! It needs another coat of paint and some of the details worked out, but I’m much happier with the color, size, and general appearance. Photos of it in the kitchen coming soon!

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.

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?

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!