"Destroying" a couple Lawbre houses?

43 posts in this topic

16 hours ago, KellyA said:

I meant to ask, how "partial" is partial? Did you get the windows and columns? Those can be pricey. The columns alone are $100 apiece from Lawbre. Requiring six of them = OUCH. Mine came with but I'm using them on a different project. One thing you may consider is square columns. Use 1" x 1" cut to the right length. If you want fluted columns, I'd suggest using 3/4" X 3/4" then adding playscale (1/6) fluted moulding. 1/12 would be too fine on the exterior of a big house like that. I got mine from Manchester Dolhouses. They're on Ebay too as seller austinnoggles.

Most everyone thinks a house like that needs big round columns, which are hard to come by. I think straight dowels look rather half-baked and a noticeably cheap alternative. See a pic below of one of the most beautiful plantation homes in existence, Nottoway Plantation. It has square columns, as do many other homes like it. That front porch would not be difficult to achieve with the proper square columns and brackets. Plus you have the benefit of being able to build a roof accordingly, since yours didn't come with it. The Rosedawn roof as built would not work well with that cornice, which would block the dormer windows. I think this would make a beautiful project.

Oh, and don't forget that windows can be re-sized quite easily with stripwood or cutting 3/8" wood to fill openings to fit more standard sized windows. I wouldn't use the usual 2 1/2" x 5" windows (too small on a house like that) but Earth and Tree sells really nice Architect's Choice 6" tall windows that I think would work well. I think Houseworks might have some 7" tall windows? Not sure. While the Rosedawn windows are beautiful, they're about $50 apiece from Lawbre. If yours didn't come with those, that's another huge expense, not to mention those two doors that cost a hundred bucks each. Earth and Tree has several doors with sidelights that would work, and you could probably modify them with a transom and trim to look more like the Nottoway's doors without great trouble or expense. Google for more pictures if interested. It is a gorgeous home both inside and out.

 

Nottoway Plantation.jpg

Mine did not come with windows, doors, columns, a roof, etc...  I think I can make a good bit of what I need, but I realize I'm going to have to spend $1,000+ to finish it.  I'm building it for my Great Neice's 5th birthday.  As she will turn 2 in June, I have a little time.  However, you seem to be way more experienced at this than I am.  Would you mind if I contact you, through this site, from time to time to get your feedback/ideas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, John B. Venator said:

Mine did not come with windows, doors, columns, a roof, etc...  I think I can make a good bit of what I need, but I realize I'm going to have to spend $1,000+ to finish it.  I'm building it for my Great Neice's 5th birthday.  As she will turn 2 in June, I have a little time.  However, you seem to be way more experienced at this than I am.  Would you mind if I contact you, through this site, from time to time to get your feedback/ideas?

You're braver than I letting a 5-year old near a Lawbre house! :) By my calculations, if you want the Lawbre components for that house, the cost will be closer to $1,500. That doesn't include any exterior or interior finishes. Just warning you in case you haven't seen the prices on Lawbre.com yet.

You can ask me anything but I am certain there are far more talented people than I on this forum. I can point you toward on-line tutorials where I learned how to do much of what I do. Those are better than listening to me! For one, they're the experts and two, they're illustrated, woop!

I can give you one big tip since it's something you might get to early on in this project. NEVER EVER NEVER use that awful clapboard siding many people use. The stuff that comes in 3" X 24" strips. I don't care how much one weights it down, the edges always eventually curl. I see it constantly, and I can always see every 3" joining point. Use stripwood and lay it piece by piece. It's more expensive and it is a LOT of work, but it lasts and it doesn't warp. Plus on a long house like the Rosedawn, you don't want vertical seams. Individual clapboards can be staggered as they would be in real life.

Here are examples of what I'm talking about. The first picture is the product. That garbage is the worst. The second is a house currently for sale on Ebay for $4,800 (as if, good luck with that). I could find many worse examples, but this is just the first one I came across looking for an example on Ebay. I highlighted what I'm talking about in the last picture, not that I needed to. A blind person could spot it.

 

s-l1600.jpg

Clapboard.jpg

Clapboard 2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

15 hours ago, KellyA said:

clapboard siding

My Lawbre which I purchased from Lawbre, house and all components,came with siding in strips.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John, I edited out your email address since posting it publicly can make you a spam magnet.

About the clapboard siding, personally I'd much rather use the sheets because I can't be trusted to maintain straight lines with the strips. I tried it once and it was a huge mess. With the sheets, the seams do tend to buckle, but as long as you use strong glue and weight down the seams while it dries (with masking tape + heavy books if needed), it is possible to glue it down without obvious seams. People should use whatever they're more comfortable with. I've seen houses where people used strips and you can tell the lines aren't evenly spaced, which to me looks worse than a slightly noticeable seam.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if anyone's going to see this or give a hoot but I'll post anyway. On another post I mentioned that I was thinking of putting a water tower on top of the roof of my Barstow Belle. Since I really want to do this up as an old mansion converted into apartments, I was thinking I'd put a water tower, clothes lines, and a greenhouse (probably a greenhouse converted into an artist's studio) on the rooftop deck.

However, I was also thinking of enclosing that open roof and making it into a separate apartment. It would all be pretty straight-forward 45-degree angle cuts so I'm confident I could accomplish that. First picture below is how it's built and intended to be finished.

The last pic is a photoshop mock-up of what I was thinking of doing to it. I don't know, either could work, I guess. A rooftop deck could be fun to work with, but I rather like the appearance that a sloped roof, fully enclosed top floor gives to the house. All opinions welcomed (if anyone cares)!

 

Finished Lawbre.jpg

Barstow Mock-up.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see the water tower in the last photo...  What about a pigeon coop and a rooftop garden for some of the tenants?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, havanaholly said:

I don't see the water tower in the last photo...  What about a pigeon coop and a rooftop garden for some of the tenants?

The water tower is something I was considering, I don't have one yet. I've been getting repeatedly outbid on Ebay trying to get my hands on a bargain one of these (pic below). It's model railroad G Scale (equal to 1/24th) but at 17" high, I think it would work. I wouldn't use the attached downspout of course, just put a big pipe in the middle underneath like the water supply to the apartment building. I'd only add the water tower if I left it as a flat open roof, as it is built now.

I like the idea of a pigeon coop! That had never occurred to me.

G Scale Water Tower.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, KellyA said:

...I like the idea of a pigeon coop! That had never occurred to me.

The rooftop greenhouse made me think of it.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like the new roof design.  It looks completely natural, as if it was a different version of the original house.  So may vintage architects plan books will have the same floor plan and change up the exterior to suit different tastes of the owner.  It also gives you some extra space for an apartment that maybe the greenhouse wouldn't.  I also like the angles ceiling in attic spaces. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, madtex1967 said:

I really like the new roof design.  It looks completely natural, as if it was a different version of the original house.  So may vintage architects plan books will have the same floor plan and change up the exterior to suit different tastes of the owner.  It also gives you some extra space for an apartment that maybe the greenhouse wouldn't.  I also like the angles ceiling in attic spaces. 

I agree, attic spaces can give you interesting decor options.

I'm going to switch gears here and ask you specifically for a personal opinion. You're very familiar with those wonderful Creole plantation homes. I have been researching them and am totally in love with the interiors of the Laura Plantation. As I've mentioned previously on this thread, that's what I want to do with my Rosedawn. That glitzy, ornately plastered look of homes like the Nottoway are beautiful but they just don't appeal to me.

My problem in recreating a Creole is that the Rosedawn is shorter than most of them. They are very, very long. The last thing I need is a 7-foot long dollhouse! Would you take a look at my (badly) modified photo below? The first is a photo of the actual Laura Plantation for comparison.

The bottom picture is my modified version. You'll notice I not only shortened it from an 8-bay to a 5-bay, but I also replaced those columns. The originals look just like those Houseworks Victorian porch posts that are so common. Not that there's anything wrong with that (Seinfeld shout-out!), but I like the round columns on many of those Creole homes. The Houseworks type of columns might be more accurate to the house but, to me, they appear too spindly, i.e.; not substantial enough to support that massive roof. Oh, and I also greatly widened that bump-out that accomodates the exterior staircases. The larger size looks more balanced, imho.

I think the shortened and modified version of the house looks okay but, I don't know, do you think it's too shortened and gives a "stubby" look? The Rosedawn could most certainly be modified into this house and I'd have fun doing it. I just fear being disappointed with it coming off as a: "Sorta-kinda Creole but the dimensions are all wrong, nice try, better luck next time." If that makes sense?

 

Laura Plantation.jpg

Laura Plantation Modified with Columns.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, KellyA said:

I just fear being disappointed with it coming off as a: "Sorta-kinda Creole but the dimensions are all wrong, nice try, better luck next time." If that makes sense?

There are no hard and fast design rules regarding the size of Creole houses. I love your modified version. If you decorate the interior in the manner of Laura Plantation, folks looking at it are going to be so fascinated that they won't criticize the overall size of the house.

I've been to Laura Plantation several times. It was a favorite place to take out of town visitors because Lloyd and I enjoyed it. We also took folks to Oak Alley, but not as often.The sugary wedding cake aura of the fancier plantations gets a bit old.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, KathieB said:

There are no hard and fast design rules regarding the size of Creole houses. I love your modified version. If you decorate the interior in the manner of Laura Plantation, folks looking at it are going to be so fascinated that they won't criticize the overall size of the house.

I've been to Laura Plantation several times. It was a favorite place to take out of town visitors because Lloyd and I enjoyed it. We also took folks to Oak Alley, but not as often.The sugary wedding cake aura of the fancier plantations gets a bit old.

I was still online when you posted so thank you for your opinion. I should have added I wasn't looking ONLY for madtex's opinion. To hear from others familiar with these houses means a lot to me. I can recreate the Laura Plantation's interiors, I'm confident of that. I guess I just question myself when it comes to severely altering the entire exterior dimensions of a house like that. Recreating it exactly as built is simply not an option. I have to work with what I've got. :(

I hesitate to say this, but I LOATHED the 20-minute Oak Alley tour. Oh, the house is stunning, I'd be a fool to say otherwise, but what a disappointment the tour was. "Here's the dining room. Moving on, here's the parlor..." NO KIDDING. Ugh, never again. That Laura Plantation tour given by the man who restored it, oh my goodness, best home tour I've ever been on, hands down! 90 minutes flew by. I'm going to do it again next time I'm in New Orleans this coming October & November. Also selfishly planning to get a better look at all the interior details, haha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The one thing at Oak Alley that I love is the cradle in the master bedroom. The carving is wonderful.  After the first few times, we'd send our guests in for the house tour while we enjoyed sitting on the porch and gazing at the oaks. When I did go inside, I tuned out the guide's spiel and took in the decorative details.   

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at where the dormers are in relation to the windows across the front I must say that your "doctored" photo makes for a better balanced dollhouse that conveys that same Creole feeling.

I have taken two historical home tours that were outstanding the first time (on both, subsequent visits involved HUGE tour groups and a much less interesting tour).  The first was Gunston Hall, George Mason's gorgeous home with its hand-painted yellow Chinoiserie dining room wallpaper; the second was Mount Vernon the day before Thanksgiving when about two other elderly couples joined us and the docent took us everywhere!  and we got to see Martha's linen room and china storage and an explanation of the paint colors in the downstairs rooms.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, KellyA said:

I agree, attic spaces can give you interesting decor options.

I'm going to switch gears here and ask you specifically for a personal opinion. You're very familiar with those wonderful Creole plantation homes. I have been researching them and am totally in love with the interiors of the Laura Plantation. As I've mentioned previously on this thread, that's what I want to do with my Rosedawn. That glitzy, ornately plastered look of homes like the Nottoway are beautiful but they just don't appeal to me.

My problem in recreating a Creole is that the Rosedawn is shorter than most of them. They are very, very long. The last thing I need is a 7-foot long dollhouse! Would you take a look at my (badly) modified photo below? The first is a photo of the actual Laura Plantation for comparison.

The bottom picture is my modified version. You'll notice I not only shortened it from an 8-bay to a 5-bay, but I also replaced those columns. The originals look just like those Houseworks Victorian porch posts that are so common. Not that there's anything wrong with that (Seinfeld shout-out!), but I like the round columns on many of those Creole homes. The Houseworks type of columns might be more accurate to the house but, to me, they appear too spindly, i.e.; not substantial enough to support that massive roof. Oh, and I also greatly widened that bump-out that accomodates the exterior staircases. The larger size looks more balanced, imho.

I think the shortened and modified version of the house looks okay but, I don't know, do you think it's too shortened and gives a "stubby" look? The Rosedawn could most certainly be modified into this house and I'd have fun doing it. I just fear being disappointed with it coming off as a: "Sorta-kinda Creole but the dimensions are all wrong, nice try, better luck next time." If that makes sense?

 

Laura Plantation.jpg

Laura Plantation Modified with Columns.jpg

WOW! WOW! WOW!  I really like what you did here!  I can see the Rosedawn recreated this way.  Laura is such a beautiful home and has such a great history.  I say go for it!  This would be a fun bash on what is a cookie cutter plantation house kit (sorry if offend anyone, Rosedawn is a pretty house).  I think it would be a show stopper with the colorful paint scheme that the Creoles loved so much.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phew, thank you, these opinions all mean a lot to me. I was seriously questioning my plan. You know that nagging devil-on-your-shoulder voice: "Are you suuuurrre you want to do this? You could ruin it, BWAHAHAA!"

Since I already did it, here's the floor plan (pic below). I had to make sure that widening the center dormer was going to work, like not collide with the dormers to either side, plus work with the attic knee walls I'd do no matter how I finished the house.

Lawbre does a couple things with a few of their houses - the Rosedawn being their prime offender - that absolutely drives me nuts. For starters, the aforementioned attic knee walls. They don't have them. Their attics slope down to tight, narrow corners. Try arranging furniture in that! They also have a great deal of useless (IMO) attic space. I like the look of storage attics: bare beams, newspaper over lathe, lots of old furniture and boxes, etc. The problem is that takes as much work (more, actually!) than decorating an actual room. I don't like unfinished attics THAT much, lol.

The worst offense is the chimneys. They're just stuck on the roof with no purpose! They don't align with any fireplaces underneath them. What are they doing up there, exactly, venting the attic? It's stupid.

So with my changes in mind - including adding side dormers to break up that great expanse of roof - coupled with correcting the design flaws (in my opinion), and getting the symmetry correct, I had to draw it all out to verify that it all works. AND IT DOES! BOOYAH! :)  :)  :)

 

Creole Floor Plan.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And just for grins, here's the 1/12th scale old Tin Lizzie jalopy I already bought to park on the muddy driveway next to the house, right in front of the rusty tin shed that's going on the right side of the house. The chicken coop and rabbit hutch are going on the left side.

All due respect to the wedding cake plantation homes, but I'm obviously not going for the Cotton King mansion look on this one. Hey, I did say it was going to be aged and distressed! Think moss. Lots and lots of moss.

That reminds me, I forgot to add the screened in porch on the right side of the second floor porch, outside the dining room and office. The perfect spot for sitting on worn wicker furniture while enjoying swee' tea and pecan pie. Welcome to the Mississippi Delta!

Tin Lizzie 1.jpg

Tin Lizzie 2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

  • Similar Content

    • New Member: Lawbre Rosedawn Plantation
      By HH3S
      Hi all!
      I have recently come into possession of an unfinished Lawbre Rosedawn Plantation dollhouse, and I'm trying to find someone to take it off my hands. It's in really good condition, and has all the parts that have not yet been assembled. It also has a parts list and some installation instructions.
      The date on the order is from 5/1/91, #3951 from the Lawbre company.
      I've been told that it is a very sought after piece, but I'm not a miniaturist.  I'd like to find a new home sooner than later for this massive miniature is taking up my garage space.
      If you or someone you know would be interested, please reach out to me.
      Thanks,
      Bryan





    • Distressing Shingles
      By Boca1212
      Hello, Mini Folks
      I'm nearing completion on my Beacon Hill build and I am interested in learning more about distressing the wood shingles. If anyone has ideas, methods or links it would be great to hear from you... I'm planning on using the shingles that came with the kit. I've tested a vinegar and water solution soak - which produces a grayish color - but i would like to test other options before making a decision.
      Thanks in advance 
      Danny
    • My very own Lawbre French Country Manor!!!
      By miniaddicted
      Finally!!! At long last, I am the proud owner of a Lawbre French Country Manor!  Man, I never thought it would happen - I'd resigned myself to settling...why I built the Thornhill with a french country theme. 
      The owner is local, hence pickup only. Apparently health issues and wanted to offload it. It needs some major exterior paint color wash help to tone it down to what the Lawbre site shows as the finish. Its partially shingled...looks like its been years since its been touched. Electrified but who knows how good...rest of the interior unfinished. Some windows painted, but pictures are low quality so it looks like they are not so neatly painted I don't think all windows are done, so I will have to see....
       I am grinning from ear to ear!! 
       
    • How To: Make A Workbench
      By My Miniature Madness
      Hello everyone,
      I've been making a work bench for my little garage, and thought I'd share some How To's on my blog. Stop by if you'd like to give a scratch made work bench a try!
      http://my-miniaturemadness.blogspot.com/2015/10/making-work-bench.html
      Jodi
       
    • Aging the Copper
      By dkumpula
      My wife thinks I should have left the copper bright and shiny. I suppose I could reverse the aging with Tarn-X and clear coat it to keep finger prints from showing up, but I haven't decided as yet.