Friday, April 30, 2010

Katina Beales' Art Deco Dollhouse

Alice Bell wrote a great article on Katina Beales' Art Deco Dollhouse in (Custom Dolls, Houses, & Miniatures) February 2010 Newsletter. Katina Beales spotted a 1:24 scale Art Deco style house at the Kensington Doll's House Festival in 2006. She commissioned Chris Rouch of Toptoise Design, to build this 1:12 scale version that is 36" wide by 27" long, 21" high on two stories and 10" high one story.

If anyone has any information on the builder please share. All I could fine was a 1993 directory listing on "Chris & Joan Rouch, Toptoise Design, Selkirk, Scottish Borders". I would love to see more of their work. The listing says they make collector houses and furniture specializing in the designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Art deco, Victorian and Scottish vernacular buildings. Chris & Joan Rouch are also endorsed by Glasgow School of Art to reproduce their furniture collection. Considering they have been around since at least 1993 and have work showing in US exhibitions and museums (not sure which ones) you would think there are photos of their work on this interweb thing.

The house is full of beautiful custom pieces, but I laughed when I read the one thing the builder said when he delivered the house was "Do not over-furnish the house!" Really good advice. The article didn't have credits for the pieces in the study, but the living area has several artists filling this room.

I love the custom fireplace screen by Barbara Sabia (based in Melbourne, Florida, she specializes in miniature stained glass. The fireplace screen is the 15th image on this slide show of her work followed by images of the sconces that are also used in the bathroom photo below). The Dragon Screen is a one of kind made by Terence Stringer (Norfolk, England). The white leather chairs are by Arlette's Miniatures (Sutton Coldfield, England). All the other furniture in the living area was been made by Kim Selwood Miniature Furniture (UK). I would love to know where she got that fabulous silver cylinder mesh lamp next to the fireplace. Anyone?

Katina really did her homework on this house. For many of the custom pieces, she gave photos to the builders who recreated authentic Art Deco pieces. The bath room set was made by Lenham Pottery Models (Norfolk, UK) from pictures she found in magazines. The tiles in the bathroom are hand painted real ceramic by Tiny Ceramics (Germany). The furniture in the bedroom is again made by Kim Selwood Miniature Furniture (UK). The kitchen cabinetry was also custom built from photos by, yep you guessed it, ELF Miniatures (London, UK) - I LOVE LOVE LOVE the work of Elizabeth LePla, and love seeing how much her selection has grown over the years. One day I will own a house completely furnished by ELF Miniatures.

The article is really a fabulous read, but the best part is that her husband bought her a large 16 room Georgian house that she plans to give a luxurious Georgian background with highly decorative features, but with MODERN FURNITURE. I CANNOT wait to see what she comes up with next. I really hope that Katina can find away to start a blog or share her photos. She truly has the start of an amazing collection.

(all information from Alice Bell's article, all images from Katina Beales on and


  1. Thank you for tracking down and sharing these photographs. What a truly amazing house.

  2. Thank you so much for your kind words! Art Deco is one of my favorite periods, so I really enjoyed writing the article. Katina certainly created an amazing house and I can't wait to see how she follows it up, either!

  3. wow! What a fantastic house! I love the kitchen......!

  4. WOW! I love this house so much! I particularly love the kitchen! Might have a go at making one myself maybe :D
    Hannah :)

  5. Janice - you are most welcome. This house was quite the pleasant surprise to come across.

    Greenlupa - I've really been enjoying reading the CDHM newsletters. I'm building a dollhouse kit right now, but I will be in touch soon for sure.

    The House of Lisa - I know! I would love to have that kitchen in 1:1.

    HannakFKW - Yes, please take a stab at one yourself and take pictures! It is pretty fun to build stuff. :D

  6. I have gradually fallen in love with this style of house and will build one for myself - but due to space limitations it will be in 1:48 scale. I can never aspire to filling it with OOAK craftsman made pieces unfortunately but I photos to inspire me! Thank you!

  7. Very cool. This House reminds us of the Robin Williams Movie "The Birdcage (1996)". Of course, it's not above a Nightclub and there's no Pool. I don't know if I'd have one for my 1/24/G scale layout.


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