Preparing for the overhaul...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Note On Scale

I first noticed, many years ago, that not all pieces of (human being-sized) furniture are made in the same scale.  Which seems like kind of an obvious observation, maybe, but one that doesn't get translated into miniatures very well.  Furniture suitable for an American colonial house in, say, Maine would seem tiny in a Georgian-era gentleman's home.  The library tables at the Vatican absolutely dwarf our dining room.  So why is it that we expect all 1:12 scale interior elements, furniture, and dressings to work interchangeably?

I first conceived of the not-Lincoln as using Chrysnbon fixtures--which are, of course, very dainty.  But, given the size and scale of the house (multiple rooms, fairly low ceilings, etc) I thought daintier was better.  My Reutter Porzellan stove, meanwhile, looks enormous in the kitchen.  It's designed, and scaled, for a much grander house.  So, at any rate, in picturing my ultimate decorating scheme, I kept the Chrysnbon cook stove in mind.

My first challenge turned out to be wallpaper.  Initially, I bought a bunch of different papers from Les Chinoiseries (who, in my personal opinion, make the most high quality wallpaper available anywhere).  They arrived, I liked them all individually, but they didn't all work together.  When I saw them side by side, some had much smaller patterns than others.  The effect just wasn't harmonious.  So, I ordered another batch (you can never have too much wallpaper, anyway), and this time was much more successful.  Also, too, because you're seeing so many rooms at the same time, the colors need to at least coordinate.  I learned this the hard way on my first dollhouse.

The next challenge was flooring.  Most of the house will have Houseworks random plank flooring that I plan to doctor up a bit.  For this type of thing, model train-specific tools (grainers, aging liquids, etc) work really well.  I wanted both the hallway and the bathroom (two very fine rooms for the era) to have linoleum, preferably in a pattern emulating tile.  The "marble" tile sheet I wrote about yesterday was huge-seeming.  For some reason, those tiles seemed enormously outsized.  The Les Chinoiseries "tiles" seem to work much better in the space.

Incidentally, I'm still deciding whether I want wood or linoleum in the kitchen.

Then there was ceiling paper; I've written about that before.

I'm sure other issues will come up--especially when I start making furniture--but this is what I've dealt with so far.

Your biggest design issue?

1 comment:

Giac said...

Hello C.J.,
I agree with you 100%. In the past I tried making items using exact m,easurements of real life pieces and it just looked wrong. My biggest issue has been estimating just how big a room will look. Most of the time I imagin a room I always think it will be crowded or just big enough...the minute I put in furniture I realize just how big it would be in real life. I also love Les Chinoiserie papaers. I was lucky that my project is big enough that you never really see all the rooms at once so mathcing papaers was not too much of an issue.