October 7th, 2011

We recently spent what felt like the last weekend of the summer at a little mountain a-frame cabin celebrating a pair of birthdays with some friends we don’t often see. There were kids and cake and many drinks and more BBQ than a human should shove into themselves.

Hopefully some real a-frame magic will rub off on my miniature.

I still can’t accept that summer is over. Soak it up folks.


October 6th, 2011

Jens Risom’s prefab weekend house was built for dollhousing.

Pretty positive this was his intent all along…

I want to go here.

Using this handy archived LIFE article, I figured out the basic dimensions and floor plan of the prefab in order to….

You guessed it. Be an insane person.

I designed a 1:12″ scale model in Sketchup in an attempt to discern how to properly build this little prefab sucker for the I’m A Giant Dollhouse Challenge.

Well, in computer land I am a master carpenter and wunderkind of miniature construction. In real life? Struggling desperately to build anything resembling a dollhouse – let alone something as complex as this seemingly simple prefab turned out to be.

I gave up after a botched build attempt that was wrought with many tears and loud obscenities and general fist shaking at the sky. Calmed down and regrouped, I settled on building a funky retro a-frame cabin instead.

Because that triangle crap was supposed to be easier.


Behold the start.

This little a-frame is about 22″wide x 20″tall x 30″deep. With the loft included, that’s a cozy 800 sq inch vacation home, well, if you were about 6″ tall.

In order to build this thang, I picked up a 8’x4′ sheet of 1/4″ luan plywood and a wide assortment of different molding and hobby wood from the Home Depot for about $50.

I even bought a cheap mini baby miter saw to help me cut all that mini lumber. Everything dollhouse is so teensy-tiny that I’m having trouble getting clean cuts with proper angles and still need to figure out a way to miter longer and wider sections of wood for furniture building.

Here is the underside of the cabin loft, otherwise known as a PAIN IN MY ASS.

Hey angles. I hate you.

Constructing the a-frame creates complicatedly annoying angles that I somehow failed to realize would be a huge building issue. Case in point, that ghost of a glue line? That is where I did some very bad math and dropped the loft to about 7″ above the floor instead of 9″.

Nobody wants 7″ tall ceilings, dammit. Nobody.

Beside construction, another major hurdle is my extreme lack of mini furnishings.

I did find this little ship in a bottle for a couple bucks at a vintage shop. This could work all by itself, right? Minimalism to the extreme.

Mini furniture – especially modern – is so unbelievably costly that it makes me want to lay down and give up. I am obsessing over those REAC mini chairs, which apparently have the cruel ability to fill my life with torment and longing and unrequited desire. This dollhouse thing has become soul crushingly complicated since these teensy modern furnishings hunger for dollars I don’t have.

Maybe, hypothetically, if a company had some mini modern furniture in 1:12 scale (that just happened to be a little dining set or couple of lounge chairs or fridge or whatever) and storage is running short and perhaps desperation sets in to free up some extra space…I mean…wink wink. HINT HINT. I could take some off your hands. For reals, I can easily help out with that. It’s no problem. At all.

(Shut up. I’m desperate and have been hand-building things from scratch that quickly turn into pure garbage. The despair of my constant failure can only be expressed by playing slow mournful melodies on a miniature violin while weeping uncontrollably)

This hand built furniture thing is turning out…well…there’s a learning curve.

This little bench didn’t work out quite how I’d hoped and is bit of a Monet (check out that sly Clueless reference – just keeping my cultural nods dated for your pleasure). It was a test-it-prototype and other ‘tests’ have been burned, buried and the earth slated where they lay.

Ever the optimist, I’m still trying to figure out what the right gauge wire is for bending into table bases, how to cleanly and sharply bend wire, how to attach brass tubes together for lamps and how to build and upholster a mini Toga sofa. Imagine brass table bases, raw wood, mini 1970’s Sciolari chandeliers, some Donald Judd modernism and rustic bits all up in here. My single ‘make this happen or burn it all to the ground’ goal is constructing the perfect brass hot tub for the deck.

Because that’s how my cabin rolls.

I still have to float the cabin up on a base, attach the deck + sun-shades, build out the interior walls, build the loft ladder + bathroom + kitchen cabinets, install windows, figure out doors, paint stuff, add roofing, build furniture and then so much more forever and ever. Good thing those wacky interior angles aren’t turning me into a complete crazy person and none of this is going to be an epic failure.

How do hardcore dollhouse people do this? It is (admittedly) really fun, but also, frustratingly challenging.

Props to you mini modern makers. Mad respect.

Maybe my personality is not a good fit for hobbies.


October 5th, 2011

Are you sensing a theme?

A Barcelona style theme?

Keen insight. Gold stars all around.

Ever since Maya texted me a pic of her fancy craigslist Barcelona find, I’ve been a tad bit covetous. It’s a fine piece of furniture for getting your lazy on. Oh and maybe, I didn’t actually ask to post this pic, so “someones” anonymity is being protected very poorly. Someone whose name starts with a W and ends with a S (SORRY).

Look how cute Mika pup is hanging out under that Barcelona. Design doggy.

Well, while most of the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona line sort of makes me think of American Psycho, I’ve always had a soft spot and deep need to posses the couch in a sassy caramel leather. You know, just to casually go in front of the fireplace or casually sit by a window. No big deal, just complete casual Barcelona style.

Apparently though, according to all those images above, it appears that only the sexiest folks effortlessly work daybed style living into their homes.

Modern. Sexy. Time.

This is going to happen. In Hemet. Sexy time.

Remember when we bought our sofa in a pinch from Alex at Modern Furniture Rental? I know, it was so long ago. But, then we got that awesome womb chair?

Well, good ‘ol Alex emailed me about his quickly approaching 10th custom order that is going down on Oct. 14th and wanted to extend a special offer for fancy Brick House folks.

Here’s one of Alex’s recent custom orders residing at a happy owners home.

I’m dreaming of something more like this…yes…ocher verging on poop.

This is just right.

Here are some of the other fabric options.

Along with the Barcelona daybed/couch, most of the lounge chairs and sofas come in a pretty wide assortment of custom leather and fabric options. I know Maya wants a hot pink womb chair. ADMIT IT.

That bottom right leather sample is calling out to me. Brown town all the way.

Here be the deets (as I’ve overheard the hip kids say)

Alex is taking custom orders for Oct. 14th.
Lead time is 7-8 weeks.
Pick up at no charge or have things delivered to your house for $75.00.
Alex is also able to ship out of state – so non-SoCal peeps make sure to ask for a quote.



**Well, when you order a lounge chair, loveseat or sofa. I kind of wanted to pull a bit of an Oprah there. Not really the same with just capitals and the internet.


Go ahead and contact Alex with any questions or if you want to stop by and view stuff in person. He’s around and happy to show you samples of what they got whenever you like.

Alex Chisholm
(714) 595-2445


Modern Chair Rental
1301 S. Beach Blvd unit C
La Habra CA, 90631
(562) 943-2500