Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Smallisimo is waiting for you

Smallisimo.com is LIVE!! You can check out their demo launch and help be involved as they continue to expand their services.

There is A LOT happening on this website, head straight to the WELCOME page to learn how to navigate, get started and stay connected on the site. I've virtually met Gwen and Leanne, and am inspired by the energy they are bringing to this project. Their vision of building the technology to bring together the miniatures world has so much potential to expand and grow the miniatures community. I'm excited!

"Smallisimo.com is the global resource for all things mini & marvelous!

Essentially, the Smallisimo vision is one of service. We are here to serve the dollhouse miniature industry – its artisans, the retail stores, the many local clubs and organizations, and everyone in between. We want you to be a part of the site’s development. So, we need you to speak your mind by leaving comments and sending us emails and sharing what you love in your favorite social media. Be sure to tell us what works, what we can do better, who we need to know, and if you have any ideas for content.

Here you will find content, community, classifieds, a calendar, even commerce (through our Artisan miniMARKET and Retail Store miniMALL)..and we hope connection!"

Definitely read all of their coverage of the Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA Designer Dollhouse Showcase 112th & MAIN | Kaleidoscope Fundraiser, Beverly Hills, California. You can also check out my guest blog post on the event as well.

Pour a cup of tea and have some fun checking out what's so big about smallisimo. I think this is going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Monday, June 3, 2013

MCHUCLA: Contemporary Beach House 2 by Chris Barrett and Ron Woodson & Jaime Rummerfield, Landscaping by Inner Gardens

The Designer Dollhouse Showcase at the Kaleidocsope Ball was a huge success helping to raise almost $1.8 million for UCLA Mattel Children's Discovery and Innovation Institute. I had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Barrett before the event. Here is our interview and her final work with partners Ron Woodson and Jaime Rummerfield.

Chris Barrett designed the first floor to include a combination of textures in light colors with white high gloss ceilings, grey walnut driftwood floors, and white grass cloth on the walls. The neutral colors of the living room are broken up with an unexpected pop of pink in the large custom area rug, while the window treatments and pillows showcase the new patterns and colors of Chris Barrett Textiles. The kitchen includes high gloss white cabinets with “Carrera marble” countertops manufactured by Bespoke Furniture. The family room includes a modern built in, a sectional, and Noguchi coffee table. The three story entryway is emphasized by the driftwood gray walnut planks extending from top to bottom, which contrast nicely with the high gloss lacquered walls. Credits go to Bespoke furniture, Marc Phillips, Elf Miniatures, Gigi Walker, Paris Renfroe, Phillip Jeffries, and Phenoyd Inc. for their contributions to the design.

Ron Woodson and Jaime Rummerfield designed the 2nd and 3rd floors to include a garage, master bedroom suite, guest bedroom, office, and two balconies. They created a look that is clean and contemporary by using a color scheme of tonal whites and cool grays. Pops of blues and yellows, the use of chrome accents, white lacquer, and muted bleached wood throughout help to give the floors a sophisticated California coastal look. Woodson and Rummerfield wanted a design focused on simple colors but rich textures and luxurious materials as seen in the master bedroom’s focal wall of faux-onyx and the floors’ sculptural accents and art (some of it painted by the designers themselves!). Credits go to Superior Glass, Miniatures from Avalon, PRD Miniatures, Astek, Rolling Greens Nursery, and Eric Soroe for their contributions to the design.

Stephen Block and landscape designer Sherry Till designed a garden for a modern beach house that is simple yet organic. Using natural materials of gravel as sand and stones and rubble as rocks and gravel at the shore Block was able to accentuate and support the modern architecture of the house without distracting from the house’s beauty. The use of “tillanandsia” plants, grey airy plants, was used to represent the Sea Lavender that grows at the beach.


Q: How did you get involved with the project?
Barrett: I was one of the designers that Tim contacted originally for the project. I also know one of the committee members.

Q: How did you get partnered with Ron & Jaime?
A: We were paired with Ron and Jaime via the committee. I don't know what there method was. Originally, our partnering was random, literally drawn from a hat.

Q: Had you known them before?
A: I've known Ron and Jaime through business connections. The design community is pretty tight.

Q: Have you been collaborating or working independently?
A: We got together for our initial vision and then we went off on our own. We've met at the "site" and worked on the house together - throwing ideas around.

Q: Which company built the house?
A: Steve Miller (of Miller Woodworking)

Q: Are they doing all of the finishing details like wiring the electrical, installing floors, wallpaper trim, etc.? Or are there other people involved with that?
A: Bespoke Furniture did all of our finishing, i.e., installed all of the floors, wallcoverings, etc.

Q: Does your house have any landscaping?
A: We worked with Stephen Block of Inner Gardens on our landscaping. Conceptually, we decided that we were on a cliff that sloped down to the sand. They did an amazing job!

Q: How long have you been working on the project? It seems like this has been a tight turn around for such an incredible build, have things gone on schedule or any pieces causing delays?
A: Pretty much on schedule. We've been working on it off and on for a couple of months.

Q: Have you ever worked in miniature before?
A: I've never worked in miniature before. It's a world I never knew existed.

Q: How does designing in miniature compare to designing in full scale?
A: It's the same process. The biggest difference is the sources. It was a challenge getting up to speed on who and where the sources were.

Q: Was anything easier or harder than you'd imagined when you first signed on?
A: Something like this is always more work than you expect. It was fun - very time consuming!

Q: How did you find all of the miniature furniture, accessories, lighting, flooring, wallpaper?
A: We sourced a lot of it on line. All of the designers shared their sources. In the end, we had most things custom made.

Q: Did you have miniatures made of your line of textiles or were you able to repurpose any of your existing textiles into your designs?
A: We scaled down one of our fabrics for the sling chairs outside and also for the window coverings in the media room.

Q: What is your favorite item for the house?
A: The Barcelona bench in the entry and the piano!

Publicity information provided by bluPRint.

For more pictures on the Contemporary Beach House 2 see the event coverage on smallisimo.com.

Read full coverage of the event, features on designers and see more photos in all of my posts here. Or visit my main MCHUCLA Designer Dollhouse Showcase page with links to all 10 houses here.