La Petite Maison Hibou: The Little Owl House
I am so excited for this reveal. I have poured so much of myself into this little house and while it is not perfect by any means, it is a little expression of my love for my wonderful little girl. A while back I wrote that I had decided to place the owls in the heart of Paris. Perhaps the 8th Arrondissement by the Champs Elysee and Les Tuileries Gardens. It seemed like the perfect place for their little apartment.
When I dreamt up dollhouse I wanted the feel to be relaxed and warm…you’d be able to look around at the furniture and decorations and recognize what it had been previously before its grand repurposing.
My favorite part of Maison Hibou is its story. Mr. Wonderful’s grandfather, about three years ago, thought we needed more shelving in our home and decided to give us this bookshelf. It came to us a caramel stained shelf and was soon painted black to match our decor…and it just sat there. Barely even used. It reminds me of a caterpillar just waiting for its transformation into a thing of beauty. It is the grandest repurpose of the entire dollhouse. So even though his grandfather is gone now…Mr. Wonderful can know that he had a hand in his great-granddaughter’s first dollhouse.
La Petite Maison Hibou consists of three floors; the ground floor containing a living room, entryway, and kitchen, the second floor which has a master bedroom, bathroom, and Little Miss Owl’s room, and finally the rooftop terrace. Since it was given at Christmas the house had to have a tree, presents, and wreaths everywhere. Most of the furniture is not specifically for a dollhouse, much of it was repurposed or built.
For the introductory post for La PM Hibou I’ll go over my process for creating/designing and decorating the house then over subsequent posts I’ll address each room talking about what was bought and where (and cost), repurposed items, and tutorials.
So the first step was obviously painting. I did two coats of primer along with two coats of white paint. Much of the walls in the house were going to be white anyways and it’s such a clean color to work with…and the black had to be covered up. I methodically planned out the layout of the house and then went to my FIL to insert room dividers. The interior walls are all part of the renovation. I can’t tell you too much about them because he’s the carpenter and I am not…I am not heartily wishing I expressed more interest when my Grandpa was alive.
The back of the house is a leftover piece of wainscoting that was from our kitchen remodel. It was measured to fit the back of the shelf and then nailed into the sides of the shelf as well as the new interior walls to make sure it was snug. The walls and the back were all quick and easy. Probably the easiest part of the whole remodel.
Then came the hardwood floor. I owe a great deal of gratitude to my MIL who came up with the fantastic idea and you can find the previous post detailing the process HERE. We also created a ‘slate’ floor for the bathroom. I just brushed grey acrylic paint over the wood pieces and lightly brushed it off and used wood glue to adhere it to the floor.
I almost put baseboards on after the floors and that would have been disastrous. Luckily I was smart enough to catch myself and address the walls first. The kitchen and Miss Owl’s room just have paint which was nice…I wanted those rooms to be calm. The wallpaper I used was scrapbook paper bought mostly from Hobby Lobby since they have great sales. Do remember, as you can see in the photos that humidity will have an effect on the wallpaper. The walls were just a matter of measuring twice then cutting and then doing a light brush of modge-podge on the back of the paper and laying on the wall. I did use an old plastic grocery card to smooth out the paper a bit so there weren’t any bubbles.
Baseboards and crown moulding came next…and here again my grandpa would have done a miraculously perfect job…but I’m not a perfectionist. Sadly. I just don’t let anyone look too closely. It’s a lot of measuring and cutting and painting and cutting again. Honestly it turned out a lot better than I thought it would.
The final step was adding in all of the furniture-which had to be the best part of the entire project-although I was mortally afraid of supergluing anything down. I got over that fear…
So…the next post will start the kitchen and little tutorials there. Enjoy!