Citadel Muck-About

I would not be surprised if you are confused by this room (what is it supposed to be, exactly??). I was very confused getting there, so it's not just you!

I had wanted to show you some progress in my Betsy McCall House, but no dice, and I instead decided to do a "quick" overhaul of this upstairs room in my Citadel. Not so quick as it turns out.

I was convinced I had to change the wallpapers that had been tacked up from the last scene I did in this room, almost exactly one year ago to the date (that's actually pretty spooky). I love the papers, but wanted to use a particular sheet of scrapbook paper for the floor that in no way matched and I got super stubborn about using it. I kept trying to match wallpapers, and cut and sized at least three different kinds and nothing worked. After a lot of back-and-forth, I decided to use the lovely geometric flowered paper on the back wall only and then a place mat for the floor. This worked much better. I then brought back the original two papers (yup) for the other two walls and proceeded to kick myself for taking them off in the first place.

By this point I was completely exhausted and puzzled about what to put in the room. I put in an old fashioned sink first and liked how nice it looked against the wall. Not wanting to do a kitchen, I decided to do a modern, clean, "muck-about" room, one in which you could tidy, eat, or read. My littlest son has "muck-about" Fridays at his preschool, where the kids basically do whatever they want in the playground. Mud and dirt are pretty popular, but they couldn't be happier. (By the way, I admit some inspiration for "muck about" from my adventure cleaning bubble gum out of the nooks and crannies of my dryer this weekend after a load of laundry emerged suspiciously streaked in pink!)

How do you muck about in your dollhouse??

Speaking of mucky, I acquired a Princess Patti kitchen sink unit as part of my Besty McCall house purchase, and it was in a pretty dirty state. I was really happy to get it, especially with its original set of dishes. I gently cleaned it up, but then saw that a lot of the gold paint had worn off and tarnished in places.

I recalled a gold poster paint Sharpie from a kid's project and set to work refinishing my Princess Patti kitchen sink. What do you think?

I also wanted to share another little treasure from my McCall purchase, which is actually in pristine condition: an unusual wooden Japanese tea set in a box, labeled "Shirokiya," which I discovered is a department store in Hawaii that also sold items in the mainland. Anyone ever see anything like this?

Credits: Sink is a dollhouse store find; wooden planter/receptacle is Manor House Miniatures, filled with a cut piece of natural sponge from the SFMOMA store; mat is a window shade sample from Lowes; Expedit shelving is by ELF Miniatures; console is PRD Miniatures; zigzag chairs are Reac; chair and table are Hall's Lifetime Toys; lamp is vintage German; magazine holder is Re-ment; topiary is AG Minis; flooring is a place mat from Bed, Bath, and Beyond; wallpaper is from the Paper Source; cork behind console was bought at a tag sale. Accessories are Re-ment, Nancy Tobey, AG Minis, vintage German eBay finds, ELF Miniatures, Chrysonbon, Manor House Miniatures, and random dollhouse store finds.

The time it took me: 2 hours (all that sizing and cutting of unused wallpaper! Blech!)