Monday, August 13, 2007

Where to find modern miniatures: Part 2 (Furniture and accessories)

Have you caught the modern mini bug after last week's round-up of houses? Or perhaps you're thinking that maybe (just maybe) you could bring your Victorian dolls house kicking and screaming into the 21st century...

The following is a list of some of my favorite sources for buying modern miniatures (and a couple that look interesting but I haven't bought from. Yet!).

Unfortunately some of the best ranges (in my opinion) are now discontinued, but it may be worth setting up eBay alerts for if you're truly dedicated.Catalogue pages showing the range of items sold by AG Minis
1. AG Minis. Alas, now discontinued and fairly highly sought after by collectors, this range was produced by American Girl between about 2000 - 2003.

I was fortunate enough to stumble across their sell-out sale and bought all the pieces I loved at about half the regular price. They had a particularly good range of diner furniture (Lil's Diner) and a rather fabulous shoe shop (Petite Boutique) if you're into that sort of thing.

Voltage was 12 volt but the plugs needed to be changed if you wanted to use the lights in your standard 1/12th lighting system.

My pick:Modern dolls' house miniature orange 'inflatable' armchair in the corner of a room, under a Vespa poster. Orange "inflatable" chair and blue atomic cushion from the Blue Room add-ons set. From this set I'm also currently using both (reversible) pictures and the vase of orange flowers, so it was money well spent. Modern dolls' house miniature coffee plunger, multi plug box and packet of smoked salmon.2. Delph miniatures A UK based company with a wonderful range of appliances, office furniture and supplies, prepackaged food everything you might need for your miniature hairdressing salon. Well worth a visit.

My pick:Modern dolls' house miniature desk corner with a spiral-bound notebook, ring binders, a model chair and a coffee mug.I snapped up the coffee plunger the minute I saw it and also have their CD rack and Electric kettle in my Kaleidoscope House living area plus their binders , a document box and wallet in the study.

3. The Dolls House Emporium has a selection of modern furniture and accessories (but won't let me borrow their images...) Be careful though as some of their pieces run rather large. I bought their Bang & Olufsen stereo and ended up sending it back as it was just too big...

My pick:Modern miniature dolls' house bathroom in orange and white.I believe their modern bathroom pieces are the best around (and very Starck)Modern miniature dolls' house kitchen in blonde wood with black details.
4. ELF Miniatures Another UK based company who specialise in up-to-the-minute kitchens, bathroomsModern dolls' house miniature double sink.and bedrooms for your dolls' house.

My pick: Can I just move into that kitchen above? Pretty please with a cherry on top?Corner of a modern miniature dolls' house living room with designer armchair, sofa and rug. 5. Kaleidoscope House furniture. Now discontinued, of course.


The furniture was designed by Jasper Morrison, Ron Arad, Michael Graves and Karim Rashid. Accessories by Jonathan Adler and artwork by Peter Halley, Carroll Dunham, Mel Kendrick, Mel Kruger and others. What wasn't to love? There was even promise of a 1/12th scale Marc Newson car which never eventuated.

My pick:Interior of a modern miniature Kaleidoscope House living room.Hard as it is to decide, I'd go with the Jasper Morrison sectional sofa.Modern dolls' house miniature mid-century modern arm chair. 6. Kari Bloom Miniton Miniatures for great modern (and retro) sofas and chairs. Loving this 50s style rita chair!Modern miniature Lundby Stockholm living room.
7. Lundby. As I said last last week, this range would work if you were happy to move into 3/4 scale.

A number of the accessories would also work well in 1/12th scale, especially those that in real life come in a range of sizes (lights, bowls, books, rugs, pictures, dogs, cats and plants, for example)

My pick:Modern dolls' house miniature round rice paper lamp shade. I particularly like the rice paper ceiling lights and metal lights, although if I wanted them to be working lights in a 1/12th scene I have to change the wiring from 4 volt (Lundby standard) to 12 volt (1/12th scale standard).Back of a box for a set of Our Generation modern dolls' house miniatures, showing other sets in the range.8. Our Generation Miniatures Also discontinued. They were similar to the AG Minis line but cheaper (I believe they were mainly sold in Target in the States, but I also spotted a couple of sets in a department store in Windsor, England in 2003.)

My pick:Modern dolls' house miniature office scene with iMac G3 computer.They had fabulous iMac computers!Row of modern miniature designer chairs.
9. Reac Designer Chair Collections 1-5. You've heard me praise these several times already, and with good cause. 1/12th scale models of some of the most famous chairs in the world? At decent prices (around $24.95 each of you buy them retail in Australia, less if you buy them direct from Hong Kong on eBay)? What's not to love?!

My pick: Buy them all!

10. Re-ment My Room furniture and accessories. (Watch out as Rement does a large range of pieces in 1/6th Barbie/ Blythe scale. You're not after those, you're after the smaller (now discontinued, I believe - the story of a modern miniaturist's life!) versions. Once again, eBay is probably your best bet.)

My pick:Modern dolls' house miniature stacking shelf units with mod lamps and clock on top. I particularly love the shelf cubes and the bubble clock.Modern dolls' house miniature bedroom with floating bed.
11. The House that Jacq Built. Another UK based company which I don't know much about but has some interesting-looking pieces...

12. eBay. A standard Houses, Miniatures search for (modern,contemporary) can often pull up all sorts of interesting bits and pieces. Make sure you check the 'Worldwide' option for the best selection of goodies!

8 comments :

Lotta said...

Fantastic list. Any idea where to find, um, naughtier miniatures. Beer bottles, smokes, "smokes", etc. I wanted to use them to make some novelty bobby pins.

The Shopping Sherpa said...

Hi Lotta

Your local miniature shop should be able to order them all in for you - including condoms, viagra and handcuffs...

There used to be a large spotty catalogue put out by Dee's Delights which contained a huge range of almost anything you could wish for. I'm not sure they produce it any longer.

And, of course, there's always eBay. Good luck!

fernbaum said...

Great list, thanks! I hope I didn't get ripped off on eBay tonight. I purchased a Kaleidoscope living room set with a sectional sofa with the white topped wire-legged table. It also comes with a beige and white modern-patterned rug. I paid $90. Be honest.

The Shopping Sherpa said...

Fernbaum:

You paid what you were prepared to pay and what you felt the set was worth (assuming you didn't get dragged into that whole end of auction outbid frenzy...)

From memory the set was around $40-50 new (don't quote me on that please) and with scarcity and the rise in modern miniaturists wanting items you'd expect the resale price to be higher.

Although I at first winced and muttered "ouch" when I heard what you paid once I thought about it $90 is not a bad price to pay for a designer sofa, coffee table and rug considering a mediocre sofa (eg: http://www.dollshouse.com/dhe/product-browse.aspx?dhecode=L_SOFA1) is around the $30-$35 mark and coffee tables in the $15 - $20 range.

If you love it, are exstatic and can still pay the bills I'd leave it at that.

(Well done, by the way!)

fernbaum said...

Thanks for your encouraging words. I am kick-starting my childhood passion for miniatures as I approach 40, but realize that there is a lot to learn! My husband bought me a Villa Sibi for Christmas (found on Craigslist for $300!), and that was IT! Now I am finding much joy in looking at it and thinking about ways to furnish it (and dreaming of living in it, of course). My three kids think I am nuts, but perhaps I can recruit my 8 year old daughter to play with me! Great blog, will continue to tune in. Cheers.

Rebecca said...

Hi Fernbaum,
That Kaleidoscope living room set seems to be one of the rarest sets - I have almost given up hope of acquiring one after bidding on one recently that finally went for US$175. So consider your $90 a very good price!

Wyncia said...

I love your blog. I was looking at the mini designer chairs for a gift for my architect son, and found your site. I have a friend who is a great frugal shopper, and I have a stale blog at www.wyncia.com I think we could do a local (Boulder Colorado) blog on frugal, but fun shopping, sewing, knitting, and such. Keep up the fun stuff. Wyncia

handmade kitchens suffolk said...

Those are very cute little furniture for dolls. I usually make them myself for the kids. But because of my busy schedule, I think I will just be buying them.