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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Beachside Bungalow - Lightwork

This week, I was able to move upstairs and begin the To-Do's up there. By the time the end of the weekend came, I had walls in, trim on, lighting fixtures installed and all of the wiring nearly completed!

I began with the stairwell wall that separates the bedroom. Early on in my dry fits I had decided that I did not want a door here. It seemed like it would just make the stairwell feel crowded. Instead, I cut the wall back to create an open hallway from the stairwell to the bedroom. 

I did not want a lot of dead space, either. It's always hard to know what to do with it, nothing ever fits because it's so cramped and it just leaves me wanting. So, where the back of the stairwell and the angled roof met, I made a knee wall that would bring the wall forward.

A fringe benefit to the knee wall was that it would give the viewer the notion that there was an attic crawl space there. Storage is at a premium, even in dollhouses, so I ran with the idea. I created a faux access door and while it actually serves no purpose, it is fun to imagine that it does.

For the actual stairwell, I wanted it to have an open sky ceiling and the sensation of walking up through a garden. This would give the tight space a much roomier impression. To add to the garden feeling, I decided to make picket fence wainscoting. I made the fence posts 3-1/2" tall, then alternating pickets at 3-1/4" and 3". I rounded off the corners of the 1/16" x 1/4" pickets to embrace the traditional picket look.

I finished this section of wall before I installed it, as reaching in to the stairwell was a tight squeeze! There are more photos below of the finished picket fence with it's cross braces added.

Also, before I could install the stairwell wall, I remembered that I needed to tidy up the wiring. This looks dangerous!

Once the wiring was secure and not a trip or shock hazard anymore, the girls came up to take a look. They all love the cheerful wallpaper, and I love seeing them in the space. They demonstrate for me just how large and roomy this house is, and that makes me excited to begin filling it with everything Kairi needs to live a happy life here. 

On a side note, Betsy suggested the name Roxanne for the lovely lady in leopard (far left). I think it fits perfectly for her personality! I have also begun to imagine a home for her. Perhaps she will be the perfect candidate for the Glencroft Treehouse? But I know Rose (far right), the fun loving owner of Rosie Lee Cottage (a.k.a. the Storybook Cottage), would appreciate her bedroom and living room being finished before starting on another new project. It's so close to being done, after all!

With the wall installed, I could hang the stairwell's pendant light and center it in the space. It matches the island lights on the first floor.

Notice all the pickets and cross braces have been added.

I also installed the edge trim on the end of the wall.

It's always a good idea to check how the occupants will fit in the stairwell, and to see if there is any chance of them hitting their heads on the light fixtures. Though it looks at this camera angle like the fixture is right above Rose's head, it is actually about 2 inches behind her. It passes with flying colors!

In this photo, you can see that the quarter round trim has been installed and blends in with the sky. I am so happy that I was able to mix a paint color that matches the wallpaper so well!

The narrow side strip that borders the left side and back of the stairwell will be the perfect place to add pots of flowers and plants. We'll pretend the fourth wall has loads of windows for plenty of sunlight to pour in.

Later, I was able to install the wall separating the bedroom from the bathroom. There was quite a bit of sanding involved to get it to fit! With the final wall in place it was time to do the rest of the trim work. Those angles on the dormer trim were a challenge, but I really love the warmth of the light oak stain with the cheerful wallpaper.

For the flooring in this house, I will likely make templates so that I can work on them outside the house. Then I can just slide them in, add baseboards and be done. I am still gathering ideas and haven't settled on a material yet, though I do have lots of walnut and cherry lumber left from Tasha's Kitchen's herringbone floor. Colorful Saltillo tile would also be nice so my decision is a tough one. It would be great to make different floors on templates that could be changed out any time. A thought for a future experiment...

Here is a peek into the bathroom.

I have often reduced or eliminated the tall thresholds on dollhouse doors, but because I did not know which flooring I would go with in this house, or how thick it would be, I decided to live with them If need be, after the floor is installed, I can add quarter round to the front of each threshold to ease the transition.

Now for the inside of the bathroom. There is no way you'll be able to go to work grumpy after getting ready in this uplifting bathroom! The combination of the bubble sky, happy stripes and the blooming flower tiles are food for the soul to be eaten with the eyes!

The toilet will abut the shower, then the vanity will sit under the sconces. I will have to come up with a nice mirror for Kairi, and install some towel bars and hooks. Form AND Function, I always say!

Hopefully, with the LED "can" light in the ceiling and the two sconces, she'll have plenty of light to see with. The sconces in this room are sold as Heidi Ott and match the bedroom's fixture with their tropical leaf design. A perfect style to have in a home by the beach!

Now for the big moment! It's always a thrill to test the lights and have everything working properly!

And I had just taken a moment to congratulate myself on all my accomplishments for the week when I remembered that there was still trim work to be done on the first floor! Yikes! Luckily, it wasn't anything complicated. Just some stained crown molding for the great room...

And some painted quarter round for the powder room...

And then, after feeling good about the progress, my thoughts turned to how to conceal the wiring and make it seamlessly function. We'll save that for next week's post, and I may even try to design and print some utility boxes with the 3D printer. So much fun yet to enjoy!

I hope you're enjoying this project with me, and finding inspiration and motivation toward your own mini dreams! Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

xo xo,


P.S. - If you are making minis and sharing your creativity with the community, then you are a worker of light. If you are letting folks know you see and appreciate them, you are just as essential. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart! In many significant and innumerable ways, you are making the world a better and more hopeful place. Let those lights shine!💗


  1. That's fine! I like your lamps

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your miniature journey. It's been a treat to follow your progress. Soooo much knowledge shared and eye candy.

  3. This is so much fun to watch one inspiration follow another. I love the little surprises like the wallpaper trimmed around the flowers in the stairwell and then the picket fence to contain them. The little door to access “attic space” is so cute. And then the main topic of this entry is light, which perfectly allows the visitors to see all the extra detail trim you have so carefully added. I totally agree with your p.s. about the light that bloggers and blog viewers add.

  4. Why do I hear Debbie Boone going through my head right now? It must be because you truly do light up our lives, Jodi. This project keeps me smiling all day. It is such a joyful project and your ideas are all so original and beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this joy with us all. Big hugs! - Marilyn D.

  5. That access door, what a brilliant idea. I love the colours of the wallpaper, and the picket fence does give a lovely feeling of being in a garden. And as for the bathroom, yes, I would have a smile on my face walking in there. Kairi must be so excited watching the progress of her new home :-)

  6. Una maravilla Jodi, tu casita está llena de color y una combinación de colores que la hace única ,gracias por compartirlo . Tu eres una persona trabajadora de la luz ,tus entradas son fantásticas. Feliz fin de semana, besos

  7. I'm always inspired to get to work after a session with you. Love the picket fence--who'd think to do that? And, I love my blogging community because everyone is so cheerful, positive, supportive, and happy. Anxious to see what you do with the floors. I do like the idea of not making them permanent. Neither are mine in the Bellingham.

  8. This would have to be the ultimate Happy House, Jodi! The picket fence stairwell is just a strike of genius and the knee wall and storage space is such a clever use of a useless space - even if it is just make believe.
    Thanks for sprinkling some sunshine and happiness into this rainy day.
    Anna X

  9. Dear Jodi, this is such a fun project and it is looking so Fantastic!!! I really love the stairwell "open sky" idea with the garden fence! Brilliant! (In my old house I painted a mural in the stairwell... making that "end wall" visually disappear by making it a long view over trees to a river valley in the distance... it worked!) And the trim and lighting you have added are the perfect complements in every case! I too, love the warm oak with the floral paper... it works so much better than trying to coordinate a single color in that room! (That "pretend" kneewall storage door needs a mini-mini "fairy door" tucked in next to it.... just to keep people guessing!) When you bring the ladies in to visit, I am astonished at how large the building really is! Somehow it's "profile" makes it seem smaller. As for flooring options.... some old New England building used a "splattered" painted style... multi colored "polka-dots" on a solid painted ground. (Just if you are wanting to add more painted color under foot but want to stay with wood.) I am sure you will surprise us with a fantastic choice... and I can't wait to see it! Keep up the Wonderful work! (And don't forget to let us know how the Birthday -kitchen reveal goes...!):):):)