Sunday, 20 October 2013

Helen Hall, part 2

I have now dismantled Helen Hall once again to embark on interior decoration. I have never before decorated a house that can be dismantled, and if I ever get the house of my dreams I will be well prepared. It really makes sense to decorate a dollhouse before you assemble it, but it is frustrating because it takes ages before you have results worth boasting of. Moreover, since I had never done it before I kept making mistakes and had to go back to paint a skirting board I had forgotten. This house is not meant to be painted and decorated; it is not meant to be assembled and stay so. It has basic colours - beige and brown. It has awkward angles. I didn't know where to start.

I had to start somewhere, so I started in the bottom left corner, which is the entrance hall. I had found flooring that I wanted to use in this room, but when I began to look at wallpaper, none went well with the floor. You cannot have both floors and wallpaper in bright colours and conspicuous details in a dollhouse because it will feel too much (you can't have it in a 1:1 room either). Finally I found what I wanted and wallpapered the most difficult wall, the one with a door and two windows.


Fortunately, there were still original templates on some walls. I didn't like the patterns, and there was only wallpaper on walls with windows. All the wallpaper I use comes from a great printie site which I happily acknowledge. I used the template, and it was easy to cut the paper. I had to resize it because the 1:12 pattern felt too clumsy. 

By the way, the door handle - temporarily green, will be painted - is a bead. All door handles were missing. You can get them from ebay for £3 a pair, but I was sure I'd find something suitable in my collection of rubbish, and I did.

Next, I wallpapered the left wall thar has no doors or windows, but I had to figure out how to deal with corners. Eventually, I will glue the overlapping bits together, but who knows how many times I will need to dismantle the structure because of some minor error. I kept testing the walls about twenty times. The right wall has a door, and there is no template, but I managed it.

The floor in the first picture is only a sheet of paper, and this is where I had to go back. There are natural skirting boards on the walls that I painted white, but I wasn't sure how to put in flooring to make it neat. So I began from the beginning. 


I left a 3mm border of the sheet and folded around the edges. Then I put back the walls so that they held the sheet in place. It wasn't easy, but I am pleased with the result.

I tested how it would look with a ceiling and a staircase. 

I had painted just one ceiling panel white, and since there were already beams on it, I painted them dark, to look like... well, beams. The staicase looks very plastic, but the colour is fine, so perhaps I'll just give it a coat of similar paint. 

Then I had to take the right wall down again to put wallpaper on the other side. I had been looking for a suitable wallpaper for a while as well, and I really like this one. Wallpapering the wall with windows was again easy with a template, and with each wall I got better and better. The living room opens into the conservatory, so there was just one interior wall with a door. 

I believe I need to stop here for a while. From now on, I won't be able to go back, at least not if I put in the floors in the living room and conservatory the way I want. Like this - just temporarily:

This will do for this weekend which has been highly productive. I have also painted the conservatory frames, because the plastic had grown old and yellow. I still have to paint all window frames. 

I have bought the spares I need from ebay; hope they arrive in the next few days, although it will be some time before I will come to that part of the house. I very much enjoy this project because it has a completely new set of challenges. Although I believe I learned a lot from remaking the small plastic house.

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