While visiting the B. Harley Bradley House, I saw this quote.
I believe that in the search for the answer lies the answer.Frank Lloyd Wright
My recent experience with my dollhouse renovation – particularly what to do about the bathroom – brought this quote home to me. Because it was exactly in my search for what to do about the bathroom where I found the answer.
In my last post, I wrote of my bathroom dilemma. Several of you offered suggestions for which I thank you very much. I mulled those suggestions over and over and over in my mind. I thought each idea, what I liked and didn’t like, the pluses and the minuses of each one. Through this process I came upon what I think is the ideal solution.
Everyone agreed that the open floor plan, showcasing the front staircase and the arched window, should stay. I agreed, and thus the bathroom had to be moved.
My solution is to put the bathroom in the attic where it will only be visible when the front roof is lifted up, which is easy to do as it is hinged. This makes perfect sense to tuck the bathroom out of sight as bathrooms should be private.
Now there has to be a way to get to the bathroom. So, where should I put the stairs? There’s only two choices; the bedroom on the right or the bedroom on the left. I chose the right bedroom, so that is the right choice. Ha ha! Am I losing it?
Which leads me to my next thought. It wouldn’t make sense that one would have to go through a bedroom to get to the stairs that lead to the only bathroom in the house. So, that bedroom won’t be a bedroom anymore. It will become either a library or a home office (still deciding). A library or home office is more of a “public” place in a home; thus, a good location for the staircase.
With this new access to the attic, it seems practical to make good use of the space up there. Why not put in a laundry room as well as an exercise room?
Common folk may think I have gone a bit bonkers at this point, but true miniaturists will be nodding agreement and will understand completely.
Using wide Popsicle sticks and foam board (from the Dollar Tree), I built a mock-up staircase. The spindles were made from skewers, but once I put the spindles and railings on, I could not proceed until an opening was cut in the ceiling. At this point, I was stuck because this dollhouse is made of wood, and I don’t have wood tools or wood skill or wood knowledge. But I do have a nice neighbor.
Bill and Connie are just about the nicest neighbors in New Town. If you’re another neighbor of ours, please note I said “just about.” We know Bill and Connie just from walking by their beautiful home many, many times. And from this, I knew Bill made stuff. Out of wood. Therein lied my hope.
Bill was more than happy to help me out. He came over a few minutes after I had asked him, and he brought with him an assortment of specialty tools. Bill suggested we take off the roof as it would be much easier to cut out the opening in the bedroom ceiling. I agreed but only after he promised he would return and put the roof back on when I was ready. I really didn’t need him to promise; I knew he would help me out. Thank you, Bill!
When the block of wood fell from the ceiling after Bill cut it out, I couldn’t help but hear Ben Nappier (of the HGTV show Home Town) in my head. Ben said, “Let’s use that wood from the ceiling and make something new!” Sounds good, Ben! So, I am saving the rectangular wood cut out from the ceiling and will turn it into a library/office table. Look for this in a future post. Might be a couple years from now.
Bill suggested I leave the roof off while I build the bathroom and other areas in the attic. He thought it would be easier to work in the attic, and I agreed. After Bill left, I also realized that it would be easier to paint the interior with the roof off as I can lay the dollhouse down which makes it easier to reach the back walls. I used leftover interior house paint to paint the interior.
In summary, here’s the list of items accomplished since my last post:
- Main staircase treads repaired
- Mock up Stairs built for access to the attic
- Opening cut for access to the attic (roof temporarily removed)
- Interior painting (all rooms except kitchen/dining room)
My next step is to focus on the staircases. I need to build the permanent version of the staircase in the library/home office. The first one I made, while not planned at the time, was a learning experience. I want to be happy with the final result, so I will try again.
And while I have fixed the broken treads on the main staircase, I need to redo the spindles and railings. This is really hard with the steps already in place. I’ve tried gluing on the spindles, but only hot glue seems to work, and it just looks so sloppy. And some places, like the second set of steps near the top, are just hard to reach. If you have suggestion – or ideas or comments about any of this – please put them in the comments below. I appreciate your thoughts, and I really enjoy our conversations.
With the holidays right around the corner, it will likely be several months before I make enough progress to warrant another post. But that’s okay with me. I’m not racing to the finish line; I’m enjoying the process, the journey. Besides, no one is really gonna move in anyway. 🙂
Here is what the dollhouse looks like now: