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Saturday, December 11, 2010


After sanding, prepping, then sanding the entire doll house again, I decided I might like to tackle the deli floor.  Truth be known, while I do plan to electrify the entire doll house, I thought at least getting something done before I threw myself into all the trials and tribulations of electrifying the thing would keep me motivated!  And since none of the wiring would be running across the lower-level floor, it seemed like a good place to start!

As I plan to install wood floors on the upper levels, I was interested in doing tile floors in the deli, just to mix it up and give it some contrast.  There too, almost every deli I have personally encountered in NYC has tile floors, and I really thought it would give the place an authentic look.  So I went in search of something different.  But deciding exactly what to do was perplexing.

There are so many tile floor options on the market for the doll house miniature enthusiast, and that includes sheets of paper tiles, molds to make your own, individual linoleum and ceramic squares, and wood.  I had even considered cutting down a couple of self-adhesive life size linoleum squares into 1" pieces, but thought it would take me a month of Sundays just to get enough to cover the large main floor! 

And then I stumbled upon these wood parquet tiles that seemed  ideal.

Check out these sample photos from!  Doesn't this look like the perfect solution?  I eagerly ordered not one, but two bags of these things...just in case...and then just as eagerly tracked their route on-line while waiting for the UPS truck!

Which makes my disappointment upon their arrival even more heartbreaking.  Based on the above photo, I thought they were going to look like a less polished version of Scrabble tiles.  What I got instead was a bag full of wood chips!  They were almost paper thin, not even cut remotely even, and the bag was full of saw dust!  Quite honestly...I hated them.  I had spent almost $30 (plus postage!) to cover 800 square inches...far more than I would actually need...only to find myself headed right back to the drawing board. 

And then an amazing idea came to me out of nowhere!

I remembered one of the many botanical gardens I had visited on one of my many road trips, but I couldn't remember in what city I had seen it.  What I did recall was the feeling invoked by the old tile floors that adorned the main conservatory.  They had an inviting appeal,  imperfect as they were, that gave the space lots and lots of patina.  I remember thinking they must have held up for years, and they still looked incredibly current and so full of character.  Maybe they were slate.  Or perhaps they were concrete. Whatever they were, I liked their style and it made an impression...apparently not enough to remember where I saw them (ha!), but enough to still hold a place in my memory.

After doing a bit of research, I found my inspiration!  While not an exact duplicate of my personal conservatory experience, it does come awfully darned close. I absolutely LOVE this look!  I LOVE the different tones in the tile!  I LOVE the feeling of the squares not quite matching up!  And I LOVE the color!  With that in mind, I set out to see if perhaps I could salvage my bag of wood chips and turn them into something truly unique and beautiful!

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