The Den of Slack

Mansard Victorian bathroom – false wall and ceiling

The Mansard Victorian’s upstairs ceilings look lower than they are, due to a 5/8″ strip underneath the roof trim that hangs down over the top of the rooms.

Originally I thought about putting flourette bulbs or LEDs behind that trim piece, since they’d be hidden, but instead decided to take advantage of that space to install false ceilings. The wires for the ceiling fixtures will run to the back and come down behind a false wall, to be plugged in behind the door (like I did with the staircase).

I plan to do this in all three rooms on the second floor. The bedrooms will only need about 1/4″ of space between the false wall and the real wall — enough for the plug to fit behind the doors.

The bathroom doesn’t need to be so deep, so I’ll install the false wall farther into the room, lining up with the staircase wall downstairs. This will give the illusion that the (also false) staircase continues up to the second floor. In the picture below, the door and linen closet are sitting where the new wall will be.

(The door won’t look like this when it’s done! I’m going to bash it like I did with the kitchen door.)

I bought a piece of 3/16″ foam board from Michaels — much easier to cut than wood, and when it’s finished you’ll never know the difference. I did something similar in the Sam & Max roombox.

I cut a piece for the bathroom ceiling, 3.75″ wide by 6″ deep, which is slightly deeper than the placement of the false wall.

I covered the foam board with the textured wallpaper I use for all my ceilings. I bought this roll of wallpaper at Lowe’s back in the early 2000s, have used it in almost every dollhouse I’ve ever worked on, and am still nowhere close to using it up.

In this case, since the ceiling will be tucked up behind the trim piece and the foam board is white to begin with, I could have left it alone, but I want all the ceilings in the house to match.

Next, I flipped it over and drew a line to indicate where the false wall will butt up against the ceiling. I then drew diagonal lines to find the center, and poked the electricity pilot tool through to make a hole for the light fixture wires to pass through.

I got this light in an eBay lot of Lighting Bug light fixtures. This one is a hexagonal shade ceiling light.

I love these fixtures and used them in my Fairfield — my first half scale house and only the second one I electrified, almost twenty years ago (yikes) — but I’ve never bought them again because most of them don’t have replaceable bulbs. One of the Fairfield’s lights stopped working early on and I never had the heart to tear apart the room above to fix it.

With the false ceilings, since the wire won’t be trapped under the flooring of the room above, and since I’m plugging the lights into outlets rather than hard wiring, my hope is that I’ll be able to remove a light and replace it if a bulb burns out, without having to destroy anything. That may or may not turn out to be true, but I decided to chance it.

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Bauder-Pine pickle crock, and other crockery

Last week I was browsing the Miniature Designs website and happened upon this Bauder-Pine pickle crock.

Of course, I had to have it for my Mansard Victorian. Shipping was steep for such a tiny thing, so I threw some wallpaper and strip wood in the cart to qualify for free shipping.

I reached out to Cathy, the current owner of Bauder-Pine, to see if she knew anything about it. She said Pat Bauder had a bunch of these in a desk drawer for years, and that they might have been made by Jane Graber or Vernon Pottery. The crock I bought is unsigned, so its maker remains a mystery.

While I was waiting for my new pickle crock to come in the mail, I dug through my stash to see what else I had to dress up the Hoosier cabinet I recently built.

The spatterware jug on the top shelf and matching bowl on the right came from the Amberwood haul, and were made by Jane Graber. (The jug doesn’t have a signature, but the bowl does, and they clearly go together.) The white bowl also came with the Amberwood, but is unsigned.

The brown bowl is unsigned — can’t remember where I got it, but I used to have it on display in the Rosedale. The big crock on the floor is Jane Graber, and the one on the top shelf is San Dunlap (more on this below).

The blue bowl was made by IGMA artisan Jo-Ann Shaw. It was in my stash in a plastic bag with her info and I can’t remember where I got it… maybe in a swap? I’m mentioning this here so I’ll remember later!

So the pickle crock arrived, and it’s adorable. The lid does come off, but the crock is filled with putty to keep the lid from getting lost.

I’ll tuck it in this corner of the counter.

While I was looking for items for the cabinet, I came across this other crock with utensils in it, that I used to have in the Fairfield. (I never set up most of my dollhouses again after I moved in 2020, so all of the accessories that go with the houses are currently separated into bins.) This crock was also made by Sam Dunlap, and I bought it from Dollhouses, Trains, and More years ago after I finished the Fairfield’s kitchen.

Back to the Hoosier cabinet. I also found an orange jug and black spatterware bowl in my stash. I can’t remember where the jug came from, but it was set aside with other Mansard Victorian stuff, so apparently I intended to put it in this house. The bowl is the smallest of a set of 1:12 nesting bowls that I got years ago at an estate sale.

I got the Sam Dunlap crock pictured above from Dollhouses, Trains, and More during their going out of business sale. I intended to also use it for cooking utensils, but it’s a little bigger than the other one and it looked too big on the counter. Seeing it next to the Bauder-Pine pickle crock made me think it could work as a canister, if only it had a lid. Okay, so let’s make a lid!

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Kitbashed built-in linen closet

My Mansard Victorian didn’t come with any door holes in the walls. Since it’s a front-opening house, I decided to add false walls with doors along the back wall, to give the illusion that there’s a hallway there. The false wall gives me an opportunity to add a built-in linen closet to the bathroom. I love putting closets in dollhouses!

I’m not trying to recreate a specific era with this house, but the kitchen is 1920s-ish with its checkerboard floor, subway tile, Wedgwood stove, and monitor-top fridge.

The bathroom will have similar tiles, so I googled “1920s linen closet” to get ideas. I found this picture on Pinterest (here’s the original source).

The person who posted it said it was from Homes and Interiors of the 1920s, a reprint of a 1923 catalog from the Morgan Woodwork Organization. I found a 1921 catalog from the same company on the Internet Archive, which doesn’t have this model of linen closet but includes a similar one with fold-down panels on the bottom instead of drawers.

Like I did for the kitchen cabinets, I wanted to bash Cassidy Creations kits to make the linen closet. The bottom is basically a dresser — that’s easy enough. The top could be modified from a wardrobe, but the standard wardrobes were too tall. Cassidy Creations makes a nursery wardrobe that’s a little shorter.


Not seeing it yet? Bear with me! (No pun intended.)

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