Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Dumb Idea?


Dear Readers, Progress has been slow on the Cupboard House this week. But there HAS been progress! You might be wondering WHY I am in such a Hurry with building this house when I am taking so LONG to complete my other houses. Well, the biggest reason is that once I started on the Window kits.... fifteen windows and one door with all their parts and trim pieces spread out to be stained and varnished.... they covered EVERY available surface in my house! I CANNOT get to any of my other projects as long as the windows are all in pieces. And before I can attach all the windows to the house the front needed to be painted which meant all the fancy woodwork needed to be done before the final painting.... and so you can see I have been under some pressure to get beyond this stage of the building! Even so, I have found it irresistible to work on the interior rooms rather than just the exterior. At the moment the lowest level looks like this.....

I attached the dining room ceiling trim to the ceiling..... the whole ceiling is still removable....

And I SLOWLY added the fancy trim to the exterior front of the House. I needed to make sure each added piece wasn't going to end up looking like too much had been added.... even though the Victorians were happy with TOO MUCH decoration! I wanted it to look a bit like the real Brownstone Row Houses! So I carefully cut and tested the look before attaching any of the trim.
And I had to temporarily place the windows too, to get a sense of what it was going to look like with them in place.....

I think this is the wood all added before I started the painting........
and you can see the front steps have been built too......

Ooops, this picture is out of order.... it shows the trim Not yet completed.......

And this picture shows the painting with the darker red undercoat in place.....

And I think this is showing the cocoa colored layer added....... yes, I know these photos are Terrible.... and Boring, too..... it's just that the weather has been SO dark and Rainy again and I have been taking all these pictures late and in a hurry....... and these colors are really difficult to photograph anyway! So, can you tell that I am NOT happy with these pictures?

Please ignore my whining....... at least I AM happy with the way the wood trim turned out! The thing about these Brownstone buildings is that the trim and details are all carved from the same Brown rock as the facing stone....... a REALLY Monotone building except for the fancy textured carved trim. And when the sunlight strikes it right it is just stunning........
Here you can see a closer view of the door surround....... remember it is SUPPOSED to be Stone!

And another view of the facade with a few of the windows in place........
I am really looking forward to a Sunny Morning for good pictures.......
JUST Waiting.......

And another closer view of the Doorway with the door included.......

So you MUST be wondering WHAT was all that about a DUMB idea? Well, it has to do with the Kitchen and the little alcove next to the chimney and the iron stove. It seemed to me like the Perfect place for shelves and maybe enclose it as a small closet! So I started building the shelves.

And I cut the surrounding wood that would enclose it as a closet........

And that was about when I had the DUMB idea....... DUMB as in DUMB WAITER.......

The Upper portion or the closet would make the PERFECT location for a Dumb Waiter that would carry food and dishes all the way up to the Upper floors...... the Parlor, the Bed Chamber, the Nursery..... What a WONDERFUL idea! Except that it poses a whole bunch of technical challenges.... but REALLY.... I think it is too good to resist! Ever since seeing an Antique Dollhouse with a dumb waiter that was featured on Someone's blog earlier this year, I have been entranced with the idea. And even though the space is small...... I have already cut the hole in the ceiling and started to design the mechanism........

I can just see it now.....
with a glass door so you can see the arrival and departure of the cabinet.....
a True VICTORIAN Luxury!

I am going to give it a try!

A Dumb Idea?


  1. I know it's too much work ... but the house is getting beautiful! :D

  2. What a terrific idea with the dumb waiter. I love all the trims in the front. This house is going to be unbelievable!! :)

  3. I planned a dumb waiter in my house too !!!
    Great minds think alike :o))))
    have a nice day, Rosanna

  4. It is a great idea, Betsy! Definately it will take a lot of work but I love it! And can't wait to see it done!;D

  5. A dumb waiter would be an excellent idea. (I've emailed you x)

  6. The house will look magnificent when you are finished! It will have been worth all of the effort and stress! Love the dumbwaiter idea!

  7. I'm sure the house will look great! The ceiling is going great. And I think add a dumb waiter is a perfect idea!

  8. What a fantastically inspiring house!
    Now that you've imagined the dumb waiter - you'd be disappointed every time you looked in that corner if you didn't try! Good luck and I can't wait to see!

  9. I can't wait to see the dumbwaiter, I know it is going to be great :)


  10. Not at all a dumb idea! T'is brilliant, in fact! Anything that involves some engineering in a dollhouse is a mammoth task for me.

    I think this house is going to be a masterpiece!

    Bets, I am loving your trimmings on the facade and the windows are coming along so well. They look like quiet, majestic portals , very inviting for peeping through to your wonders. The picture makes the colour pink on the walls. I can't wait to see the pictures when they are taken on sunshine days as well :).

  11. Actually I think it's very good idea and very appropriate to the project! Great work, the detail on the facade is excellent!
    Best wishes,

  12. Wow! I love it! So amazing! Your very talented!

  13. A dumb idea?! On the contrary! I've never seen a dumb waiter in a dollhouse-I think it's a fabulous idea. It gets me thinking of one of my favorite episodes of the Odd Couple, the neighbor's kid riding up and down and in and out of the building's different kitchens. Now I have to go look for it on Youtube. I would have loved a dumbwaiter in my childhood house, and a laundry shoot...

  14. I love the dumbwaiter idea. Back in the 40s when I was a child living in Westchester County, Aunt Eleanor had a Victorian (Mansard roof, etc) house in Spuyten Duyvel right by the bridge into Manhattan. It was perched on a steep bank; it was almost country in those days. Anyway, she had a dumbwaiter in that very vertical house! We used to love to play with it.
    Carry on!
    Love, Mom

  15. Thanks Everybody! I'm glad you like it! I am excited about it myself..... working away at the details!

  16. Betsy, I hope Blogger will let me leave a comment this time !! You had a brilliant idea and I do love it !!! as you know I thought of a dumb waiter too and this stroke of genius of yours has really enlghted me. You are fabulous !!Thank you very very much, Rosanna