Where to begin?
Mostly I prefer to work backwards. Where do I wish to end up, why, how? Hopefully when I know the core of the answers to this multi question it will be possible to work out where the wiring should run and then, and then …? Might be at the beginning of building?
Making Hogepotche a room at a time left the opportunities to ‘lay and plug in’ wiring to a general main body conduit each side of the building, allowing for extra holes being drilled or hacked here and there.
The building materials for this one are far more tender (I would like this house to be built from foam board) and it would be better practice to get the placement of lamps and wire runs as sorted as possible ahead of time. (Though when I last managed to actually carry out best practice is, sadly, difficult to remember.)
Electrics need planning
Working electrics always look inviting.
I have rough plans of what lights might go where but there’s probably too many to be practical either physically or money-wise. Once I’ve finally figured out what would be possible then rationalisation will be needed – big time.
A different view-point for style and influence
Nowadays we do a full make-over of a room, including furnishings, lighting and ornamentation. Time was in the ordinary working household your furniture mostly lasted and lasted and you’d add new equipment and ornamentation or change the curtains; perhaps splash out at a different time for redecoration and, when the money was there, new floor covering. It can cause some visual dissonance which I rather enjoy and I’m hoping to catch a little of this look.
Back to the lighting
Lighting throughout the period 1930s – 1950s has some wonderful shapes and pearlescent glass lampshades along with some exotic and intimidating fringed ones (50s). It would be pleasing to have a mix I think, if it can be achieved.
There’s one bright thing this time (please excuse the pun) in that there are more and more battery lights available for model building. I’ve very little experience in doll’s house miniaturing but have never taken a fancy to the copper tape method even though I realise it’s much easier than wires, so it will hard-wired or battery operated for ‘late comers’ I reckon.
What have we got?
With the aim of starting at the end and working forward in mind, it’s time to sort through resources properly.
- rough idea of wished for colour schemes
- known position of stairs, windows, chimneys
- rough idea of each room layout
- some wallpapers
- some fabrics
- some flooring
- many old and new buttons and jewellery findings that might contribute to ornaments or lights
- memory and images of furniture I’d like to make
- items I’d like to buy in (funds allowing)
Wallpapers and flooring
There are many great examples available both to print for free and to buy in and, hoping to be 50s thrifty I was going to print as many as possible. I’m now buying in as our sad printer only produces examples that make you think you need new glasses – all fuzzy and the colours totally unrelated to what is on the screen. (And yes all the gadgets and the photo program are adjusted to the same colour values and have worked with previous printers.)
Charts – ooh I do like charts
and illustrated lists
I think there are nine main internal areas for decoration and have started an A3 sheet divided for each room and am adding sample images of wallpaper and flooring plus whatever else accumulates in an attempt to keep track of what goes where. Things might change but it’s good to start from somewhere.
So far …
Still working on dining room. There’s a vague possibility that the back bedroom paper and carpet may end up there. Still working that out. Hallways and bathroom/toilet still flexible with that. I hope I’ve got something amongst items flying this way.
You can see why I went for so much lighting to add warmth – it’s a bit of a dull colour palette isn’t it? Aaagh – just realised I’ve not included fires in the lighting plan yet.
Thoughts and info links
I’ve made myself a general page called Things to Remember, a list I want to keep in mind about time and place, and have included it after the added links at the end.
Aiming at a frozen in time house:
- a mix and match of styles across the time period
- a house built somewhere either just before or just after 1930
- the décor has stopped more or less around 1955
- and is available to us in this state now in 20__ (insert remaining figures when reach completion date)
Now eagerly awaiting the arrival of the lovely ordered goodies to can go on with the chart and am also now digging in the fabric boxes for curtain and possible soft furnishings, making lists of what I’d like to try and make instead of dreaming about it and even more lists for what I need for those. Back soon when the postman arrives.
- Chrissie Freeth – Tapestry Weaver – hooked/peggy rugs
- Britain in the 1950s – an overview
- Scumble work effect
Things to remember
A well stirred British pudding mix of timeline, ephemera and activity in the home:
- photos of people in uniform – WWII and in Korea and National Service call-up – Malaya, Empire, Suez etc
- beginning of the Cold War
- 30s – unemployment and hard times; 40s – war and make do and mend – harder times; 50s – recovery and changes – never throw anything out that might ‘come in’
- few fitted carpets, no bare floorboards unless painted around the edges (very dark brown gloss or black) of central large rug– not to be able to cover bare boards with something was not ‘good’; otherwise ‘lino’ visible around edges of rooms instead of floorboards, with large rugs/carpets strategically placed – hooked, rag or peggy rugs (v practical and v fashionable a few years ago but I remember were frowned on by some in the 50s)
- bedrooms with lino and the odd bedside/fireside rug
- lino, plain and patterned and lino squares cut to make patterns
- scumble work on furniture, doors and panels
- smoke-stained ceilings in general living areas
- open fires/ranges/small closed coke burners with enamelled casing
- useful, bright colours added even more to the geometrical Deco styles, fluorescence added to lighting, colours and fabrics
- mid 50s – the idea of ‘the new’ filtering in to general households – space race and household gadgetry filtering down
- beginning of a time of ‘having’ and ‘buying’ new
- television in the home
- records – 78s and 45s, radios, radiogrammes, record players
- Many people tried to avoid the ‘never-never’ – hire purchase from stores became a much bigger thing in the 1950s and you could also buy from ‘the club catalogue’ paying off a little each week, though it was possible to pay off in one go I believe as it is now.