Sunday, November 29, 2009

More Kaleidoscope Houses on ebay

Aww shucks, I should have guessed as it is the holiday season... two more Kaleidoscope Houses are up on ebay. One even new in box, excuse me while I wipe up the drool.

New in box in Sacramento (pictured above), ships worldwide (I could've driven to pick it up, d'oh!) ebay auction.

Used, no cracks but white plastic is yellowed, in Seattle. ebay auction.

I'll definitely be watching to see what these goes for. I've read that in the box houses have gone for $2,000. I bowed out on the ebay auctions last December when K Houses went for $800-$900. I thought winning mine at $355 was a steal after the prices last year, so I'll be sad if these go for less than that. Guess it just depends on who is online this week. 6 days left.

Unassembled in box... aww that would have been awesome. If anyone reading wins these, please post LOTS of pictures!!!

Update: Callsmall started a Flickr Group for Kaleidoscope House owners and fans - post some pics when you are ready! Thanks callsmall!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

London Dolls House Co.

Before the London Dolls House Company went out of business (no web archives after 2003) they were selling Henry Colbert's Art Deco dollhouse and some nice modern furniture.

"Art Decor House For the collector taking the modern approach, we have a range of modern furniture and accessories. Including our Art Deco house featured here. Based on the 1930's style houses this stunning five-room beautifully detailed house is available for £1995."

I would have loved to have purchased some of their modern furniture, especially that bath tub. If only I started collecting years ago.

"Modern Range, prices available on request
We are keen to promote modern furniture and have a fabulous collection for the modern house including a wide selection of kitchens and bathrooms. We also stock 1940's furniture."

(images from web archives of The London Dolls House Co.)

Henry Colbert's Art Deco Dolls House

In my search for Henry Colbert I found a great blog entry by Linda Gavin on My Imaginary World with pictures from the Dolls House Discovery website that is no longer running, but I found the below information on web archives:

Linda says he makes a few houses a year and has a waiting list. Pamela Hurley posted that she got a Henry Colbert dollhouse in Sept 2008, after a 2 year wait. Pamela - where are the pictures? PLEASE!!!!

Henry Colbert's Art Deco Dolls House: Where It All Began

In 1997 I was seeking a hobby that would satisfy my architectural, engineering and computing skills/interests and contribute to increasing my home workshop and computer facilities.

After visiting various ‘Doll’s house’ fairs I concluded that I should concentrate on this market – but what product! Whatever it was to be, nobody else should be making it. Following research and a day at the Hove fair resolved the problem – there were not any makers of 1930’s ‘Art Deco’ houses.

Accordingly, I attended an evening study course on ‘Twentieth Century Architecture’, took a camera and photographed every 1930’s ‘Art Deco’ / Moderne house that I could find within a 250km radius of where I live.

As this style of doll’s house would be unique, apart from the hinges and screws, every component would have to be designed and made by me.

A basic design was established from which it was apparent that the house(s) would have to have curved bay(s) and all the windows and doors would have to be modelled on the designs produced by ‘Crittall’ in England during the 1930’s. The house had to be instantly recognisable as the house every body knew in their childhood.

A major challenge with the house style that I had chosen was the plain simple features, free from architectural mouldings and trim that could cover up any defects and mistakes.

The next year was spent developing techniques and special equipment to engrave and where appropriate bend Acrylic for the window panels. Preform the plywood for the curved bay sections and then manufacture jigs and fixtures for the assembly of the windows / doors together with their associated frames that were assembled from special sections of wood produced by me.

The spiral stairs were another challenge, (shown left.) A wooden pattern had to be made, and then a silicon rubber mould produced so that the basic staircase could be cast in synthetic stone.

The houses are principally constructed from 9.5mm and 12mm plywood, with simulated wood strip floors created with wood veneer.

Currently two basic designs are available; however, to date no two houses have ever been the same as every customer has required a high degree of customisation some with extensions and garages. These may be basic shell for them to finish or fully finished complete with lighting and decoration.

Customers complained that they were unable to purchase bathroom equipment in the 1930’s style, – Accordingly, I designed a product range, produced prototype models and developed a manufacturing technique. I now supply a full range to include: Low flush toilets, hand wash basin, bath, bidet & shower unit in a selection of colours.

The range also includes a towel rail, an illuminated wall mirror with shelf and ‘Art Deco’ wall lights.

My portfolio also includes a twenty forth scale replica ‘Sun House’ house based on the ‘Le Corbusier’ concept, (shown below) Five of these houses were built in Amersham at High & Over Park by Connell & Ward, in 1934 (all still existing).

(images from archives of Dolls House Discovery website and The Modern Dolls' House by Jean Nisbett (2004))

Dollhouse Miniatures magazine Sept 07 Issue?

Does anyone have the September 2007 issue of Dollhouse Miniatures? I've been trying to find the magazine for about a year and I haven't seen it on ebay yet. I'd be happy to pay for a scan of the article on Henry Colbert:

38 Thoroughly Moderne Henry Colbert
By Deb Weissler
Art Deco, Jazz Modern or Streamline Moderne, his houses shine.

Henry Colbert built the Art Deco House on the cover of The Modern Dolls' House by Jean Nisbett (2004), but since starting this blog, I've yet to track him down online. I would love to see the pictures in the article and find out how to get in touch with him to see his latest work.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Blog Redesign

Well, since I'm anxiously awaiting my kaleidoscope house, I've been catching up on other modern miniatures blogs and realized it was about time to clean up this one. Oese's MINIFRISEURSALON (is just about the cutest blog on the block) inspired me to revamp my layout. But my indecisiveness took over and I couldn't choose between patterns, stripes or circles. Pattern won for now. Thanks for the motivation Oese!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The other Dollhouse in my life

Sadly, yet another Joss Whedon show has been cancelled. The upside is that maybe now when I do image searches, more actual dollhouses will show up instead of pictures from the Dollhouse Fox TV series. I guess I'll have to get my Joss fix when he directs an upcoming Glee episode. If its anything like "Once More, with Feeling" the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, then I will have something to cheer me up.

Sorry b***f, its mine

I sniped b***f in the last few seconds for this ebay find, but I finally got the winning bid on a Kaleidoscope House. I almost hyperventilated. Plus it comes with furniture & dolls, most I already have, but can't hurt to have two sets (and now I have someplace to put them!) The next 5-7 days for shipping will be grueling. Excuse me, where's my latte?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

LEGOs, seriously?

Heather LEGOgirl built this incredibly detailed LEGO dollhouse. Check out the lego person standing in front of the door to give you an idea of the scale. I can't even imagine how much time it to took to design all of this, let alone build it. Kudos Heather LEGOgirl, brick on!

(All photos from Heather LEGOgirl's moc page

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thank you Altera!

Yes, I have been offline for awhile, but I cried when I saw Altera's post from June on the availability of Kaleidoscope sets on eBay again. It seemed like all of the Jasper Morrison white sofas were gone, but low and behold one popped back up and now I finally have my Bozart Kaleidoscope White Living Room. THANK YOU ALTERA!!!! I've been trying to win this set since the month I started this blog, but had given up recently. Happy days, oh happy days!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Modernist Wood Dollhouse

So, er um, yeah, my apologies... I have a back log of posts to get up, but until kid #2 starts sleeping through the night, my hours of sanity are limited, so sorry for the disappearing act.

Simple house, I like the sliding doors on each side. I hope it finds a modern enthusiast's home. I'd love to see this place decked out.

Details: This modernist wooden dollhouse features sliding doors/panels to each of its four sides. It's designer and maker are unknown. It's selling for $350 at Design Smith Gallery, Cincinnati, OH.
Dimensions: 28-3/4" x 23" x 22-1/4" high
Condition: Very good + condition, a couple of faint child's marks

(All images from Design Smith Gallery

Update: Heard back from David G. Smith and he unfortunately has no information about possible origins or builder; also that it has been sold.

David Lee Designs

Stumbled across some interesting designs by David Lee. Wish there were larger pictures.

The first pic is a study mock up of his design of the Mid-Century Modern Doll House Play Set. The round house is his open architecture Dollhouse design concept. David offers creative services to help clients create exciting new products. Some interesting ideas, I'd love to see this in local toy stores.

(All images from David Lee Designs

Peter Tucker workshops @ Chicago International

Chicago International (April 2010) has two Peter Tucker workshops this year, building Art Deco/Moderne style furniture based on a work by American designer Paul Frank. The class will "discuss how planning an approach before starting to build can simplify the process and aid in getting neat and accurate results". Jeez, do I ever need this class.


(All images from Tom Bishop Shows, Chicago International,

Friday, November 6, 2009

Clearview House on sale

Clearview House by MIAIM Miniature Design & Architecture is how I envisioned customizing the Antrim Modern Kit I bought. I love the balconies, all of the windows and the front door. They dropped the price to around $650 US + shipping from UK.

Clearview has a stunning, unique layout with features including modern windows, balconies and roof terrace. I love the designer glass paneled double doors entrance. Its a 1 bedroom 1 bath town house. Comprising of open plan stairs, 2 glass fronted balconies, 1 single and 2 double sliding doors and full length windows throughout that allow a "Clearview" through the house at almost any angle. The roof terrace has access from the top floor seen here as the bed room.

Dimensions: The base of Clearview is 80cms (31 1/2") wide. The House is 77cms (Appx 30 1/4") wide, 79.5cms (Appx 31") high and 46cms (Appx18") deep.

MIAIM is a new small company with one designer, one technical manager and one manufacturer. Focused on designs after 1900, they intend to design from 1920’s Art Deco through every decade and into the future. I really like their idea of bringing "dolls houses back in fashion ... by simply making them more fashionable". I hope the can continue to bring more modern, contemporary designs to market.

(All images from MIAIM Miniature Design & Architecture