Thursday, September 3, 2020

A Floor and More

Hard to believe we are into September now.  The days do pass quickly when they are all so alike.  On the one hand, fall seems to have come too quickly.  On the other hand, I am more than ready for this year to be over.  

Now that the second floor of the art deco house is on, it was time to lay the flooring.  For the bedroom floor, I had decided on parquet.  It was common in art deco homes, and it would mirror the tilework on the first floor, while the wood would be a bit warmer than the marble.  I was originally going to order wood tiles from the same vendor where I got the “mar-like” tiles, but his Etsy site is currently down due to supplier problems (probably related to Covid-19).  His half-scale page on his main site shows “Under Construction,” so even figuring out what I wanted to order would be difficult.  Also, it would have cost around $25.00 plus shipping from the UK to get the tiles I needed, so I decided to make my own. 

I still have lots of the lovely wood veneer Carrie sent me.  I selected two sheets (I think they are pine; they are very light with a nice, close grain), and stained one Minwax Fruitwood and one Minwax Special Walnut.  The Fruitwood was a shade lighter than the Golden Oak I have, and one coat was sufficient for the depth of color I wanted.  The Special Walnut took two coats to get a nice, rich color.  I used 0000 steel wool on both to make them as smooth as possible.

Then I went into my Silhouette Studio.  I just have the basic software, but that is good enough for me.  I started by inserting a square shape.  I had trouble getting it to exactly .5 x .5 inches.  It wanted to stay just slightly under that, but I decided that slightly smaller is better for half scale anyway.  Silhouette Studio has the same copy, paste, snap-to-grid, and group features that I am used to in Office, so it was easy to create a row of duplicate squares, group them, and copy the row down until I had a nice block of squares ready to cut. 

I used my deep cut blade and two passes.  It took around 20 minutes to cut each block of squares, and it didn’t completely cut through the veneer.  However, it was easy to finish the job with my utility knife.  I ended up with two colors of beautifully even tiles, quite similar in thickness to the Mar-like tiles I used on the first floor.

 With my piles of tiles, I got started laying my floor.  

This floor was much easier to lay than the first floor.  For one thing, I will only have one open edge, so there was no need to calculate how best to align the tiles for two clean edges.  Second, it was, of course, a much smaller space to cover. And third, special cuts were a breeze with my utility knife.  There was no scoring/hacking/chipping/cursing this time. 😊 To my surprise, I got the whole floor laid in one afternoon!  

After it was laid, I went over it again with steel wool, then gave it three coats of shellac, with more steel wool after each coat had dried.  I will not be cross-stitching a rug for this room.  I never do for bedrooms, because the bed just covers up most of it anyway.  I have picked this rug, printed on velvet paper, because I wanted a burgundy to go with the little throw pillows on the bed.  I wish I could invert the design and have the background beige and the design in dark burgundy, so that it would really pop, but I don’t have the software to do that.

I had also started the bedroom desk a while ago.  This was my inspiration desk. 

I loved the beautiful, simple art deco design, and the curved footprint would fit so nicely in the curved alcove.  I got some real cherry strip wood for the shelves and desktop. I knew that curved drawers were probably out of the question with half scale, so my intention was to use cherry veneer over a framework of whatever I could make work.  Unfortunately, the left-over cherry veneer from the Sagamore Hill Library roombox was just a bit too thick.  I really liked the wood scrapbook paper I had purchased on Amazon several years ago, but it’s no longer available and didn’t come in cherry anyway.  After hunting on the Internet, I found this site:  I ordered two sample packs, one in .010 thickness and one in .016 thickness.   The paper is absolutely wonderful—just what I needed!  To my surprise, the slightly thicker paper is what I ended up using on the project.

This was my first try. 

I say “first” because, although I think it’s a fairly good match for the original, its scale and proportions are not quite right.  Here you can see it next to the vanity. 

It’s a bit too tall.  When I was designing it, I wanted a decent shelf height.  The shelves, the way they are, are already too low for my half-scale books.  If the desk were any shorter, I thought the shelves would be too cramped.  When I compare it to the original now, though, I see that the original shelves are not very high.  I am pondering my options.  I do love this version, but I can also see where I could improve.  And you know me and do-overs! 😉 Stay tuned.  (Fabulous art deco frame from a kit by Jane Harrop.)

Hope everyone is able to staying safe and enjoying a chance to work on your minis (or your hobby of choice).  Take care and thanks for stopping by!


  1. Nice work! It is so fun to push the limits of our cutting machines and your experiment worked well. Have you discovered the area in the second line on the menu bar where you can type in the height and width of your shape? Anyway, the floor is just beautiful. And I love the desk. The design is perfect for your room and of course it is perfectly executed.

  2. I love how your floor came out. I need to remember this trick for when I want a fancy floor.

    The desk is beautiful. Before you completely redo it, check actual furniture measurements of vanities vs desks. Sometimes a desk is actually higher because the desk chairs are high, and also because a vanity is generally sized for a woman to sit at while desks are considered more 'male'.

  3. The floor turned out so nice. I wish I could see it in person. I love the desk as well. It is perfect for the alcove. Before redoing it, put it in place and let it marinate a bit while you work on other things. It may be perfect with everything else in the room.
    I am so looking forward to the end of this year as well, but I said that about 2019 and 2020 is turning out to be worse and not just because of Covid. Man makes plans and God laughs.....Stay sane my friend!

  4. The floor is gorgeous, and the desk is lovely. I'm currently working on the kitchen in my dollshouse number 2. It's a bit of a 'make it up as I go along' project :-)