Dolls' Houses Past & Present

A website and ezine about dolls' houses: antique, vintage and modern. Plus furniture and accessories.

An Art Deco house, made and furnished by Artisans by Jazz

The Start!
I saw a room box on the internet in 2005.  I had never seen anything such as this and I thought I would like to do a Christmas theme room box - which I did.  After going to Miniatura to get Christmas things it was there I decided I would like a dolls house, after seeing so many fab craftsmen and their wonderful work!

The House

I went to Kensington in 2006 with the intent of buying one.  I was not sure what I wanted but I knew I didn't want a traditional Victorian or Edwardian one - (I live in a Victorian Rectory) - I would know it when I saw it!  And that is what happened!  Toptoise (Chris Rouch) had a 1/24th size and said he could build me a 1/12th.



 The house opens on three sides, and is on a concealed turntable. 





Toptoise does not have a website.  Chris Rouch has too much work on to be able to manage orders from a website, I think!!! 


The Style
Art Deco/Moderne with a Chinoiserie theme.  This is more apparent in the dining/living area.  My Sister-in-law, Wendy, sewed the Dragon carpet for me from which I decided on the Chinese theme!  Wendy always gives me Gift Vouchers now as presents so that I can buy things for my house!  She worked really hard to make my carpet as lovely as it is. 


The Furniture
I had met Kim Selwood at Kensington and he has been able to work with my ideas to create most of the furniture.  I come up with curved Art Deco furniture pictures or drawings and he sees it as a challenge to carry it out in miniature!  I love the curves in Art Deco design. ( At the moment he is making me a black lacquer double bed which will have a water lily design painted on it. This is for my next project.) 


The bedroom is all his furniture.  The chest next to the bed we called a Snake Chest.  The dressing table is from a design by Blanche J. Klotz who designed wonderful Art Deco furniture.  And Kim took inspiration from the design to make the bed and blanket chest.  I think the "tulip" chair is maple and all the rest is cherry wood with the dressing table, bed and blanket chest stained in a darker stain. 


I have known Kim 6 years - he thinks I am "crazy" his words not mine!!!  I find pictures of real Art Deco furniture and expect him to make it in miniature - he has not failed me yet.  He now sees it as a challenge when I come up with something else for him to make!!!!  I never think "is this possible in miniature" I just expect him to do it!!!  And so far he has come up trumps!  

My favourite piece is the dining suite and trolley.  This is from an original design by Mies Van der Rohe.  It is so simple but the lines are just amazing. 



 Kim also made the little 'snake' chest that has the radio on.  It has mother of pearl inlaid in the top. 



He made the sideboard and that is maple, I think, and cherry wood.  There is a small "Mackintosh" table that has the palm standing on it.  That also has inlaid mother of pearl on it.  The white leather, three piece suite is by Arlette Shelton, who has now retired from miniature making and runs a fish and chip shop in Cornwall!




My study is a lady’s study - this is definitely the study I would have in real life!  The desk is a copy of my real desk.  But in much better condition in miniature!


Kim Selwood made the bookcase, chair, and the coffee table by the leopard print sofa. The bookcase is one designed by me and Kim from a real Art Deco design that we simplified. The chair is a Frank Lloyd Wright design. Kim loves making chairs.  At one of the exhibitions he was determined to make 101 chairs for it.  And he did!

Kim makes furniture in other styles too - Art Nouveau, Arts & Crafts, De Stijl, Modernist and Contemporary - and even Biedermeier! You can see some of his creations on his website.

The sofa is by Desiree La Fuente.  She is just amazing.  I have a bed from her too, as well as this little sofa, for another project.

The desk is by Colin Bird - another amazing English miniature furniture maker.



  As you can see I love pictures - I have framed these myself. I find the pictures I love, on my computer, and then print them on textured paper.  They are very effective and one way of owning my favourite impressionists and 30's paintings!

The bathroom was made especially for me by Anne of Lenham Pottery Models.  I sent her a design and she made the moulds and cast the bath etc.  She does now sell these items on her site.  But mine was the first!


The tiles are real ceramic hand painted by a German company called Tiny Ceramics, and they are unique. They continue my Chinoiserie theme. 




My kitchen again was designed and made for me by ELF Kitchens.  I wanted a 30’s America style kitchen.  My house is a “luxury” house and I did not want a traditional 30’s kitchen!  


I love to set the house up for dinner and cream teas.  I make the food myself from polymer clay.  


There is also a nursery in my Art Deco house, which has material that I printed and made into silk bed cover and screen. I am able to print silk and linen from my printer and so can have ANY pattern I wish.  Which is wonderful.  As you may have guessed I like things to be unique to me!


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