Artist’s Cottage floor & door

In the Artist’s Cottage, I’m planning to use a funky kitchen set I got at last year’s CHAMPS show for cheap (along with an Acme fridge). This kitchen lacks an oven, but in keeping with the funky “off the grid” vibe I don’t have a problem with that. I’ll add a microwave and a grill outdoors.

Behind the sink unit I’ll build a breakfast bar with bar stools, but I haven’t bought them yet so the chairs in the photo below are just to give an idea of placement. I’m also planning to paint the cabinets and cover the countertops with Spanish-looking tile.

A picture I found on Google — which I can’t find again now, despite my best efforts — gave me the idea to separate the kitchen area from the rest of the Artist’s Cottage with different flooring. I have a about half a sheet of Itsy Bitsy mosaic tile leftover from the rowhouse kitchen and cut a square to form the cottage’s kitchen floor.

Then I taped pieces of paper together to figure out what shape I needed to cut the hardwood for the rest of the floor.

This is a sheet of old Handley House hardwood flooring I got at another mini yard sale. I’m not sure if it’s meant to be half scale, but the boards are very narrow, so it works well.

The piece of flooring wasn’t big enough to do the whole house, but I had enough from the cut-out pieces to finish the front part of the floor.

I stained the flooring with Minwax Natural. It didn’t really change the color, but made the dark wood more vibrant.

I cut some double bead trim to go around the edge of the kitchen area and stained it so it’s close enough to the floor color.

And voila!

Moving on to door hardware. A few pictures up, you might have noticed that the front door opens so that the theoretical person walking into this house enters into a small space next to the wall. I considered trying to re-pin hinge it to open the other way but wasn’t sure if I could get the holes lined up just right. So, yesterday when I went to the dollhouse store to get door handles, I ended up also buying a package of T hinges to re-hinge the door.

Handles first. I wanted black handles and found one from Island Crafts that seemed like it would work okay in half scale, but the store only had one of them. The gold ones I got instead are slightly too big.

I used wire snips to cut off the protruding edges.

Then I painted the hardware black. I know from experience painting light fixtures that paint hates sticking to this shiny fake brass. I sanded everything first with an emery board, hoping that would make the paint stick better.

No such luck. Here’s how my hinges looked once I got them on the door — the paint scraped right off. It’s partly my own fault for not giving the paint much time to dry, but I was worried about dried paint gumming up the hinges, so I wanted to get them on the door and make sure they still worked. Nothing a little touch-up won’t fix.

Once the hinges were on, I had to sand the edge of the door slightly to keep it from sticking. After taking the photo below, I restained the sanded edge.

The hutch (a handmade piece I got in a recent Freecycle haul) is a little too close to the door in this photo, but I’ll position it so the door opens completely without bumping into it. I’m glad I went to the trouble of re-hinging; this looks much more natural than when the door was hinged on the other side.

Here’s the hardware after touch-ups. I didn’t have a brush quite small enough for this, so I ended up with a bit of paint outside the lines, hopefully it’s not too noticeable.

A glimpse from outside. With the door opening this way you now get a wide view of the inside of the house, rather than a narrow view of the wall.

Finally, here’s a sneak peak of the Braxton Payne fireplace I bought for this house, which arrived in today’s mail. So cute.


  1. Debora

    It looks awesome! I love what you are doing with this build. Like the floor patterns for separating spaces too.

  2. Sandra from Sydney

    Love the tiles on the kitchen area floor, and the fireplace. The re-jigged windows are a really nice touch too. Good job on the hinges and handle. Re-hinging the door makes sense – that’s the way doors open in RL so it is a better idea in a dollhouse too.

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