Monday, 30 June 2008

The Doll House Project

It is the doll house project that is the actual reason behind me starting this diary, so lets get on with it.

The whole matter started with my boyfriend Juhana´s mother offering me the old doll house of Juhana and his sister Riina from their childhood. The potential mother-in-law was staying at our place at the time and we talked about the house with fair amount of enthusiasm. She had though of renovating it herself in the hopes of future grandchildren that are happily expected more from Riina than us - I can´t stand children myself. Not that I hate them - well sometimes I do - but I somehow can´t seem to act naturally around them. One thing I know for a fact, though, is that no child, not even a one of my own flesh and bone will ever be allowed to tough my doll house or dolls. But I have wandered of from to topic and I thing I will do so often enough in the future. The old doll house affair ended when we asked Riina for opinion and she was honest enough to admit that she liked the idea of such house at the future grandparents´place even if my mother-in-law would have happily found something else to do with the space the huge thing was occupying.

But the seed had been left in my mind and all too soon it began to grow. I wanted a doll house and not just any house but the house of my dreams. You know the drill: "When I grow up..." and so forth. The thing is I have recently started feeling quite worryingly grown up yet the dreams one imposes to such phase in life are no closer than before. But then again there are several types of owning and for me it was more important to own an idea of my dream house than actually live in it, so it did not really matter in which scale my dream were to materialise. The scale is 1:6 chosen simply because of the scale of the dolls I collect. The house would be small in their scale but huge in mine - if that makes sense in the slightest bit.

My sister is a fellow doll addict and some years ago my folks made a doll house for her. The house was 120cm high, 100cm wide and 40cm deep. It had three floors and she had extensive plan to turn it into a students dorm for her Momoko dolls. Well, my dolls are a bit more adult than hers, but we´ll get back to that later. After the house was build for her, she had broke up with her boyfriend or few - I can´t seem to keep track, really - and moved into a smaller flat that had no room for such a monstrous contraption. She had also lost interest in the project as she often does with things and men so I dared to approach her with a suggestion. My birthday was coming and the bloody thing with its bothersomely huge bulk was blocking the way to the attic in my Mom´s place. So two birds with a one stone: I would get a present, Mom would get rid of it and as a added bonus my sister wouldn´t have to feel guilty about abandoning the thing there. Great!

So, after a painstakingly long way from my Dad´s car in the parking lot to my flat in second floor the heavy thing was in my bedroom. Juhana was not too happy with the new improvement of the doll regime already occupying a worryingly large amount of the bedroom, but he was still kind enough to help. The room heigh of the house was a bit too low for my FR dolls - being considerably taller than the Momoko dolls, but it would have to do. The windows, however, would not - they had to be make taller by far! This was were Juhana came in since even though good in crafts I never was very good with a saw especially when making round cuts that the arched windows I had put my heard on required.

The first view of the house after it arrived

Juhana enlarging the windows

The windows weren´t really the most modest part as one who knows me might expect. In fact I had already revised a megalomaniac plan at work on a scrambled piece of paper. I will enclose the sketch and the plan here for you to see.

"1) I plan to build a roof on top of the house creating a classic two storey library with spiral staircase and cathedral style rose window on a sealing.

2) A secret entrance thru a bookshelf on the library balcony will lead to a Tim Burton style nursery with a distorted tile floor and striped walls all in shades of grey and a tiny window with a view to the Nightmare Before Christmas cemetery! It will also have a huge industrial roof window quite like the one in Sweeney Todd´s studio. (As one might guess I love Tim Burtons visual style)

3) Below the nursery will be my cha-no-yu room with tatami lined with dark wood floor and white shoji walls with reflections of willow branches outside.

4) An art nouveau style staircase will descent to the second floor that has nothing but the great dining room with an white art nouveau fireplace and my very unfitting gothic dining set (this is a style crime of worst kind but it will have to do for now). And on top of the fireplace there will be a photo of the lady of the house, naturally.

5) In the first floor there will be a bedroom and bathroom divided by a small corridor. The corridor will have nothing more but the Chinese rosewood tea table with a simple flower arrangement , but the corridor itself will be gilded with extravagance. The bathroom is already tiled with blue mosaic tiles and I intend to keep it that way. There will be an integrated bathtub, a huge mirror and fresco of Botticelli's Venus on the wall. As a contrast the bedroom will be utterly minimalistic. All white with nothing but a black four poster futon bed with white chiffon curtains matching the ones on the window.

And I forgot to mention: I want real electric lights for every room of the doll house."

The plan has naturally changed now in a place or two, but the dream itself become more and more real every day. I will try to keep this diary up to speed and take pictures on the every step of the way, but I must admit I am many times too exited about the process itself and have forgotten to do so. Therefore this will probably serve poorly as a tutorial, but will hopefully encourage others to fulfil their dreams - what ever they are. (How corny that sounds...)

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