The next area to work on was the kitchen/dining room. This room was a challenge. For some reason, I had trouble deciding exactly what to do. I knew the floor and wallpaper had to go. But what about the wainscotting. Do I keep all of it? Some of it? None of it?
As you can see, I decided to start completely anew. I kept the wood floor to match the hallway and the living room. All the wallpaper, wainscotting, and heavy window trim went out the window. Ha ha. Which one? Why that big window right in front.
I also removed the double doors and heavy trim in the back of the room. I was in my Flip or Flop mode and decided to leave the doorway open to the other areas. It’s better flow, as Christina would say.
The original dollhouse had kitchen pieces in it, such as a dry sink. But it didn’t have the standard kitchen features such as sink, stove, cabinets and refrigerator. Since I was modernizing the dollhouse, I decided these things were necessary.
Next, I had to figure out how to go about giving the kitchen these features. Even though I could, I didn’t want to just buy something. This was another struggle. I watched many Youtube videos. Here’s the progression of my efforts:
This was my first attempt. I used foam board and an old peel and stick vinyl tile. I posted it on Facebook asking for suggestions. People suggested I watch some Youtube videos. Lol.
Here’s my next rendition. I used foam board again with contact paper for the counter.
Even though my second effort was an improvement, I was far from happy with it. For one thing, I had figured so carefully to center the window under the sink, but it was always off. I guess I didn’t take into account, or take into account enough, the thickness of the walls. I also didn’t figure the depth of the vertical walls correctly to allow for the cabinet doors.
The other issue I had was with the foam board. Yes, it’s cheap and fairly easy to work with, but I decided it didn’t fit in with the rest of the dollhouse. Everything else (except the base of the new steps in the library) is wood. It’s all wood – from plywood – to basswood – to Popsicle crafts sticks – to toothpicks.
If I had built the whole house out of foam board, it would be fine. It would be congruent. But the house isn’t built of foam board. I decided the kitchen counter and applicances needed to be made of wood. Back to Youtube.
There I learned of a miniaturist who has a number of Youtube videos as well as published books. Feeling empowered, I ordered the book as well as a package of basswood.
Once I got the book, I dove in. But I got stuck on the very first step. I didn’t know what the exact measurements were and more importantly, I didn’t understand how to put the trim and the other pieces together. I also realized I had ordered just one type of wood, but there are various thicknesses used in various ways.
I gave up on the book and decided I would just use the wood I had bought. I wasn’t willing to make more purchases. I would follow what I did when I made the second foam rendition except I would use the basswood I had bought.
So, here’s how it turned out before adding the finishing touches.
The only issue is the cabinet doors do not open. I tried and tried. I took apart a ring box and used its hinge. I tried making my own hinges. I tried things I am too embarrassed to tell you I tried.
As a miniaturist, it kind of drives me bonkers if the doors do not open. Late one night, I even broke down and tried ordering a whole wooden kitchen set from Wish for $44. For some reason, it wouldn’t take my credit card even though I tried multiple times. My credit card is just fine, so maybe the website was having issues.
In any case, I didn’t order the kitchen set. The universe stopped me. I knew hinges would never work because the basswood I used wasn’t thick enough. So, I had to just accept it and glue the doors on. Some people, like Dan, don’t understand why this is an issue. However, I felt a little better about it all when a blogger I follow (who is an accomplished miniaturist) had a post showing a kitchen she had made. First, it was from a kit, and second, the doors didn’t open.
Next, I knew I wanted a really nice back splash for the kitchen. I was inspired by Suzassippi’s newly remodeled kitchen. I used leftover vinyl peel and stick tile which I had used in our home and in our travel trailer. I used my paper cutter to cut it crosswise into narrow strips which I then staggered and laid horizontally. I glued these strips to a piece of poster board cut to size. Then I attached this poster board to the back of the kitchen sink/stove unit. I was pleased with how it turned out.
Once I put the assembled piece in the kitchen, I felt there was not enough contrast. So, again inspired by Suzassippi, I painted an accent wall. I used leftover paint and tinted the color a bit. It’s possible I would change the color in the future.
I also decided to change the orientation of the kitchen build. I had planned to center the sink under the back window, and my unit did work out that I could do that. However, when it was all done, it just looked better on the back wall. Plus, the pie in the oven can be seen this way.
Before I do any more work on the dollhouse, I want to reorganize my work area in the basement. Have you ever gotten to that point? I need to clean up my work area, organize everything, before I can go forward and not have to look all over for every little thing I need.
Here is what the dollhouse looks like now:
Once I’ve reorganized my work area, I’ll continue work on the dollhouse. The list of what’s left to do is getting shorter: some trim work, lighting, furnishings and the bathroom in the attic. I’ll make a refrigerator for the kitchen. And I’ll make a faucet for the kitchen sink. The bathroom in the attic will not happen until next Fall.
I’ll work on the other tasks as time allows when we are home between travel trailer trips.