...but I am not promising anything!

To give you an impression of what I have started to work on last week, I have adapted an original architectural drawing from an 18th century canal house. 
On the right you can see the front half of the canal house as it was built in the 17th century. In the 18th century a grand staircase and back house were added on. In the back house the kitchen is situated on the ground level, below the great hall.

I made a cardboard model to see how big the house would become. It is quite big. Although not much higher than my first canal house, this second house is much wider and deeper at 150 x 55 x 145 cm (59.1 x 21.7 x 57.1 inches).

For inspiration and research I have read a great many books and online sources. I love doing that. One of the pictures I came across was of this neoclassical room from 1791. I really like the dimensions here, formal but still very intimate. I decided that part of my canal house would be decorated in this style.

In my first dollshouse the windows are made with acrylic glass. Very easy to cut, lightweight, practically unbreakable and cheap. The only negative: it scratches easily. I decided to have real glass in this new house. As the granddaughter of someone in the glass industry, I thought cutting the glass would be easy. Not! 

Even though I asked "opa's" spirit several times to come and give me a hand at this glass cutting business, he must have felt it was better to learn from my mistakes...;) In the end I did manage to cut the glass the right size.

The first room I have started to work on is the dining room in the center of the house. The windows are facing the courtyard.
In the second half of the 18th century, a window was made up of 4 window panes in width. The height of the windows would depend on the height of the room, but were always kept rather big to let in lots of light.

To make working on the house and rooms easier, the house will be built as a series of separate room boxes. When they're all finished, they will fit together to form the complete house. A slight stumbling block was the construction of the double doors opening between the dining room and the front room. My problem was solved when I found this picture from 1794/95 which shows sliding doors! 

The painting by Adriaen de Lelie (which hangs at the Rijksmuseum) shows the art gallery in the canal house of art collector Jan Gildemeester. Through the open sliding doors the front room can be seen. It was probably the first time sliding doors were ever depicted, which would fit in perfectly with the time and style I want for my dining room and front room.

Both paintings are illustrations from the book 'Het Nederlands interieur in beeld 1600-1900' uitgeverij Waanders.
...on a new project!

I have started to build a new canal house! I know, I know, my first canal house isn't even finished yet. I have had these plans in my head for a few years now but just couldn't figure out a few details.

Two weeks ago the solutions suddenly came to me and I started sketching. And then of course I had to see if the size would work so I built a simple cardboard model. And of course I couldn't just leave it there so I went to get some wood cut for the walls.

Well then I couldn't help myself and I had to build one of the windows... As you can see on the photos above the windows are BIG. The house will have high ceilings, particularly on the ground floor and in the 'back house' (more on that in the next post). High ceilings, big windows, big house.

The windows are sliding early 18th century style windows. I have used real glass in my windows which makes them easy to clean. Easy to break too... and I have been known to be quite clumsy...

...and you're all invited.

I wanted to show you this wonderful tea caddy I bought a few months ago...Based on an original eighteenth century apple tea caddy, this miniature version has an ivory interior filled with tea and a silver tea spoon. The tea caddy was made by Vonas Miniaturen. I'm afraid they don't have a website, but they do come to the shows in Paris, Soest (Germany) and Arnhem (Netherlands).

I got a little bit carried away taking photos, so here is a slideshow I made of them.