Maybe it's my background in interior design, or maybe it's the fact that I spent SOOO much time on-line over the past year, checking out what other people have done with their doll houses...but I decided, you just can't design one room at a time. I know this is not a professional opinion, it's just my own...but it seems to me that just like a real house...you have to have a plan.
I did notice that on a personal level, I was drawn to the finished doll houses that had some kind of continuity in style. They had a theme going on that made all the rooms feel connected. I think I am especially drawn to this because unlike a life-sized home, when you look at a doll house, you can actually see all the rooms...or most of the rooms, depending on the style of your doll house...at once. For this reason, I made a conscious decision to coordinate my rooms from the start. But I needed to find that common thread to be used as a spring board for the design.
Because this is the first doll house I have ever had to finish and style, I knew I would need to go with wallpaper for probably most, if not all, of the rooms. While there are certainly many patterns to choose from, I had previously discovered from all that research that 1) There's a lot of really cheesy country mini-wallpaper out there, and I am not all that keen on cheesy country. 2) A lot of the mini-wallpaper is shiny! I don't even like shiny wallpaper in real-life, and I think it would be especially horrid in mini-life! And 3) Doll house wallpaper can be very expensive!
At the same time I was looking for a pattern to inspire me, I was also looking for something embossed to put on the ceilings. I knew I wanted something that would look like tin or tile, but I also knew I didn't want to pay $6.00 a sheet for the opportunity. So I went looking for some real-life wallpaper that would mimic that. Finding an entire roll was my goal, so I if I screwed up, I would have plenty to replace it. And what I found was a roll of anaglypta wallpaper from Fred's Decorating in Chicago. Here it is...
I like this wallpaper a lot! It has a deep embossed design, it's paintable, and the little squares will mimic a real tin ceiling nicely, I think!
Personally, I don't know why tin ceilings ever went out of style. They are so beautiful to look at...but now, much more expensive to install than they use to be.
Above is a photo of the white painted ceiling tile in designer Windsor Smith's kitchen! Now who wouldn't rather look at that than plain old sheet rock? So as long as I had found the perfect embossed wallpaper for the ceiling at http://www.fredswallpaper.com/ (and at a darned good price, I might add!) I decided to see what else this website might have to offer.
AND THERE IT WAS!
Not exactly what I had originally thought I wanted, but I fell in love with it immediately! Since I already kind of had a color scheme for the exterior in mind (we'll discuss that later) this wallpaper not only seemed to enhance my vision, but was the right scale for what I had in mind.
There too, I had just visited Andrew Jackson's historic home, "The Hermitage", and was probably still a little under the influence of the wallpaper that had been imported from Paris for the entrance hall.
There is a definite grandness about this style of wallpaper that I wanted to insert into the brownstone. I've seen it in historic old homes before. I've even seen it in grand old brownstones in New York and Philly. So it seemed fitting to me. Plus...I really like the colors and pattern.
So maybe the teeny tiny couple who own the deli and live here will have to be Italian! The wallpaper most definitely has a Tuscan feel.