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Artist’s Cottage sleeping loft

The last time I posted about the Spanish Revival Artist’s Cottage, in September 2016, my post ended with “the only thing left to do is the sleeping loft.” That was a true statement! I just didn’t intend for it to take five years.

I bought this one-room 1:24 scale cottage as a $2 gatorboard shell at a flea market. At the time there were a lot of shows on HGTV showing “tiny houses” and creative uses of small spaces, and I got the idea to add a sleeping loft over the couch, since there wasn’t really space for a bed anywhere else.

I made the loft out of 2″ basswood with a piece cut out of the corner for the chimney, and 1/4″ square basswood supports underneath.

I glued another piece of basswood to the bottom.

I painted the loft with the Navajo White paint I used on the stucco.

I got this trim at Heritage Laserworks, which has sadly been down for maintenance for over a year. (I tried emailing to ask if they’ll reopen and never got an answer.) I bought this trim specifically for the sleeping loft because it has a Southwestern flavor, but in the meantime I used some of it on the Blackbird Bar.

The sleeping loft languished at this point because I wasn’t sure what to do for stairs. Building a ladder seemed easy enough, but I couldn’t figure out how to tie it in. I did buy this ladder at a flea market in 2017 thinking it would work, but I didn’t like how much it stuck out into the room.

Recently, looking on eBay for supplies for the Turret House, I came across these 65-degree stairs from Alessio Miniatures. I’d seen these before in 1:12 scale and I’d even gone looking for something like this in 1:24 scale, but I couldn’t remember what I’d wanted them for. I was placing an order anyway so I bought a couple of them to have on hand.

When the stairs got here, I realized they fit perfectly against this wall in the Artist’s Cottage. Maybe the sleeping loft was what I’d wanted them for in the first place.

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Snazzing up the turret

With the apex trim figured out, I turned my attention to the Turret House’s turret. Here’s how it looked the last time I took a picture.

Since then I painted the top and bottom with the dark blue trim color. I also painted the wood inside the window holes, which is visible through the windows.

There’s a bit of a gap where the turret’s panels meet up.

I cut pieces of quarter round to fit in these gaps and create more fluid corners.


After gluing in the quarter round, I filled in the cracks around the edges with wood filler.

Then I painted over it. The corners look neater now.

I painted the windows blue with gold corbels. Now I’m not sure if I should keep the ridges next to the windows gold, or if it’s too much gold. Opinions welcome!

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Turret house apex trim

The past few weekends I’ve continued to paint the Turret House. I’ve also spent a small fortune on various trims and components to dress up the exterior. Here’s how it looks right now.

And a sneak peek of some of the trim. More details to come in a later post!


Many years ago I bought two pieces of Lawbre apex trim from the now (sadly) closed Shellie’s Mini Mania in San Carlos, CA. These are also available from Lawbre’s website. They’re 1:12 scale, but they work with this big gable.

My original idea was to tuck these under the shingles, which overhang the eaves by 1/4″. It didn’t occur to me until after I’d started down this path that this wouldn’t work, for two reasons. One, the right side of the roof opens, so the apex trim can’t be attached to the roof edge.

And two, when the roof is open there would be a big gap between the apex trim and the side of the house. Too precarious.

But the apex trim is slightly too big to fit under the eaves — the right edge bumps into the gable. I decided to cut off the end of the trim to make it fit.

I traced the trim onto a piece of paper, put the paper under the eaves, and folded the edge where it bumps into the gable roof.

Then I used this as a guide to cut the apex trim. I’ll need to cut it a little more once I’ve added shingles to the roof, but I don’t want to take off too much, so I’ll leave it like this for the time being.

However, this piece of apex trim is warped and doesn’t fit snugly under the eaves. (The other piece, which I’ll use on the back of the house, doesn’t have the same problem.) I already don’t have a lot of surface to glue this to, since I can’t attach it to the part of the roof that opens, plus if it’s flush with the front of the roof there will still be a gap between the trim and the house whenever the roof is opened.

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