Seaside Villa porch lattice and flooring

I first learned to use plastic needlepoint canvas as 1:24 scale lattice when my Gull Bay came with some. What a brilliant idea! It’s cheap, too — I paid about two dollars for a 12″ x 18″ piece to make lattice for the Seaside Villa, and will have a ton left over.

I painted the section of the foundation to be covered with lattice black, and then cut the canvas on a diagonal. Since the trim on this house is white, I don’t even have to paint it.

I made a frame for the lattice out of 1/4″ x 1/16″ strip wood, painted the same gray as the house. I did this with the house lying on its side and lined the edges of the strip wood up with the bottom of the foundation.

But when I set the house upright, I realized it’s not quite square and the front part of the foundation is slightly lifted off the table.

The glue hadn’t dried yet, so I pulled off the side pieces and replaced them with pieces that were slightly longer. Then I added wood filler to the seams, did a final coat of paint, and cut the lattice to fit inside the hole.

Next I added flooring to the porches. A local hobby shop closed down over the summer (sob) and I bought a bundle of very thin wood pieces in their going out of business sale. Most of the bundle are dark brown, but there were about 15 raw pieces that I pulled out.

These are 3/16″ wide, perfect for 1:24 scale floorboards.

I dyed the end of one with Minwax Classic Gray as a test — it goes well with the gray paint.

It had been raining earlier in the day, but the sun came out long enough for me to stain the pieces in the backyard. As I rubbed the stain on I found that they broke very easily!

Back inside, I drew pencil lines to show where the floorboard pieces should meet up.

I cut a piece of scrap wood at a 37.5 degree angle to use as a guide.

By setting this on top of a floorboard and lining it up with the pencil line, I was able to mark the correct angle. The wood cut easily with scissors.

I did the two side pieces this way, and then lay a center piece down between them and used the side pieces to mark the angles, to make sure they would fit snugly.

I noticed as I did these first pieces that there was some peach paint showing through at the edges of the porch, due to the masking tape that had been stuck down there. (The peach I originally used seeped under the tape and then the gray didn’t cover it up.) So I paused to paint around the edges before gluing down any flooring.

Here’s the upstairs porch. The bundle coincidentally had one piece of wood that was skinnier than the rest, and it was the perfect size to use for the final boards around the front edge.

And here’s the downstairs porch.

I’m planning to shingle the house with asphalt shingles and I literally just bought them this morning, but now that I’m looking at this picture I wonder if I should use wooden shingles stained with the same gray stain, to complement the porches. Hmm…

And here you can see the finished lattice. The front panel will be covered up with a staircase. The house didn’t come with stairs so I need to build something.


  1. Sheila

    It looks wonderful! I love the weathered grey look of the porch boards against the siding.

  2. Elizabeth

    Initially I wasn’t sure how the canvas was going to look but now that it’s installed, it looks GREAT!
    I also love the colour of the wood stain you’ve chosen for the porches. I liked the idea of asphalt shingles because of their texture, but now that you’ve mentioned the stained wood?
    Oh the decisions… the decisions …. it’s a good thing that you’re the one making them Emily! :)

  3. Diane

    Looks great. I have also used the plastic canvas as lattice. Looks nice and so easy! Can’t wait to see what you decide for the roof. What color asphalt did you order?

    • Emily

      The shingles are dark gray, but much closer to black than the porch stain. They’re discontinued by What’s Next, I had one package and was able to find two more online. Gluing shingles on one by one is so tedious and I want this to be a modern house, so I thought the asphalt would be a good choice.

      • Diane

        I think the asphalt will look good. You’ll be able to tell when you hold them up to the house. I agree about the shingles – I hate doing shingles!

  4. Sharon Goldsmith

    Emily…it is looking beautiful! Great Job.


  5. ann

    The porch floor looks clean and neat. I am always nervous about cutting angles and you have given us a very good method of measuring the exact angle. I still have to shingle the Bellingham. I have a sack full of shingles that I could dye, but then I see the strip shingles or quick shingles @Greenleaf and think that they would be neater and quicker, but in our area where hail damage can be almost every summer and is expensive to repair, many have gone with metal roofing. HBS catalog now carries “metal” roofing. I am pondering. It will be interesting to see which you choose, and which ever it is, it will be perfect.

    • Emily

      A metal roof is an interesting idea! My only hesitation would be if it’s made out of styrene. I used styrene barrel tiles on my artist’s cottage and they were hard to paint and glue. https://www.emilymorganti.com/blog/?p=7647

  6. Apryl

    Your idea of wood shingles is perfect, especially since it’s a beach house. Shaker shingles and siding are on most all houses along the Michigan lakes.
    Question: did you do a tutorial on your front door? If so, may I have to date and title so I can look it up. It’s so beautiful and fits well with the grace of the house. I’m always inspired by your ingenuity. Thank you for sharing with all of us.??

  7. Janet

    I was so excited to find this blog today. I purchased the Sea Side Villa 1:12 scale from Norms Dollhouse in 1990 for my 10 year old daughter. We spent many many hours together and finished it pretty much like Norm’s store model with lots of wired lights. It was pretty much pristine until her 5 year old triplet boys got a hold of it a few years ago (think tore the front porches off). Thinking about restoring it and updating the decor and am very interested in seeing your seaside decor.

    • Emily

      Hi Janet, I’m glad you found my blog! I haven’t done anything to the inside of the Seaside Villa yet but I’ll post pictures when I start on it. I’d love to see pictures of yours!

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