There is no escaping the day job

Christiane Berridge

Christiane Berridge

30 October 2013

I am really pleased with the current issue of The Dolls' House magazine. November's colour-themed content was a joy to put together. Until I got home. And looked at my walls - my real walls! I decided to go on a painting frenzy. Pouring over paint charts I discovered an interesting (or frustrating) thing. The colour chip on the front of the can is only a computer generated colour. This was pointed out to me when, in a 'Changing Rooms' moment I realised that the colour inside the tin that I had bought was not the colour on the outside, and took it back to the store for a refund.

So, how do we know what colour we are getting? Ah, I have to buy the matchpot, apply it and wait for it to dry to see the real colour. I know it makes sense but it is frustrating when I just want to get on with the job and get that paint on the walls!

Having completely re-thought my colour scheme in the light of this I opted for a couple of more natural shades rather than the vibrance in my mind's eye (with lots of paintings and soft furnishings to provide that zing of colour instead). My reason - I was treating my house as an entireity, as I would a dolls' house. How would it look if the front were removed and all the rooms visible at once. Would my rooms jar? Well, now they don't, they are a harmonious whole! 

On your bike!

Christiane Berridge

Christiane Berridge

21 October 2013

Last week I bought a new bicycle but with no intentions of riding it. Found in a local gift shop the bike is made from re-cycled tin cans; a re-cycled cycle as it were, which has a lovely ring about it. The bike is one of a range of tin can home 'standing ornaments' Fair Trade Gifts from the Shared Earth company, who are all about ethical trading. Each bike (and there are two styles) is different because of the variety of materials used, so it took a while to decide which one I wanted, but this one finally won me over - it was the blue saddle with the writing that did it!

Fair Trade bike (2)

The bike is currently parked outside my Victorian dolls' house, and although very 21st century in colour, it will suit my re-imagined doll's house when I manage to move it outside of my head and into reality!


Discover the Shared Earth range on line at

Or telephone 01904 632896

Topsy turvy home décor inspiration

Karen Bamford

Karen Bamford

17 October 2013

Lately I’ve been looking at life from a different perspective. You will have noticed that most dolls’ house interiors are inspired by real life homes, whether they are recreations of houses from the past, or places that we would love to inhabit if only we could. But lately I’ve noticed it working the other way around for me… with dolls’ houses influencing my choice of home décor.

It began with Linda Carswell’s French style dolls’ house that we featured in The Dolls’ House magazine issue 159. I was drawn to the Parisian chic of Le Petite Maison and particularly the palette of soft greys and worn whites. Soon I was planning my own shabby chic 1:24 scale cottage with a similar colour scheme. What I hadn’t expected was how it would also influence my choices at home.

Subconsciously I started to recreate some of the features there too, with the acquisition of a white metal bedstead, and muted pink and white bed linen. This week I’m having the exterior of my house painted a soft shade of grey to compliment the new darker grey of the front door. I’m just hoping the overall effect will be elegant, like Le Petite Maison, and not a concrete disappointment.

More miniature design influence seeped into my home unexpectedly during a trip to Ikea. Hitherto my home furnishings have been classic and traditional, but on this trip I bought eight white dining chairs of a contemporary, curved wood design AND a large white modular shelving unit. Back at home, my open plan dining/playroom/kitchen space was transformed. I was very pleased with my new eye for modern aesthetics until I picked up the current issue of The Dolls’ House magazine and realised that yet again I’d stolen the idea. Somehow I’d forgotten Anna-Maria Sviatko’s white room with its four-squares-by-four-squares modular unit just like mine.

Hopefully it simply proves that when you’re creating your ideal home – whether it’s small scale or life-size – it doesn’t really matter where inspiration comes from as long as it works for you.

BLOG Wall Unit NEW 

Anna-Maria Sviatko's scene planted a sublimal message in my brain to modernise my home!

Addicted to self-build

Christiane Berridge

Christiane Berridge

10 October 2013

It started off with Grand Designs, but now there is a plethora of home-building programmes. And I am addicted to watching them; 'The £100,000 House' is just the latest on my 'must-view' list. I love seeing the inspirational homes that the self-builders are shown and experience huge lifestyle envy with the owners of some of these innovative residences. But my addiction doesn't stop there. I find myself watching 'Location, Location, Location' or 'Phil Spencer, Secret Agent' even though i have no plans to move house. It's the houses that I want to see - inside and out. The programmes fill my head with ideas - ideas that I just don't have the finances to carry out. But I can dream...

And of course, the solution is to interpret those dreams in miniature. It's the dolls' house addicts' mantra really. But like the real-size house builder looking for that plot of land, I am looking for a new 'house' for my miniatures collection. It won't be house-shaped, but cupboard-shaped. And in my mind's eye I know what it needs to look like. It's just finding it...although I might have to resort to carpentry and make it from scratch!

Grab yourself a bargain and help charity too!

Karen Bamford

Karen Bamford

8 October 2013

Fundraiser Pat Cutforth is ready to throw open her farm for the annual dolls’ house sale in aid of Cancer Research UK. Her old stables are full of dolls’ houses old and new, big and small. In the barn you will find trestle tables laid out with kits of all sizes, roomboxes, dolls, furniture, accessories, tools, wood and other supplies, plus more than 2,000 magazines at 50p each.

Last year’s sale raised more than £3,500 and Pat hopes to do even better this year. She said: “There is loads of parking and lovely views over the Wiltshire countryside as you drive along. Take a break with coffee, tea and biscuits, then load up with more goodies and help this wonderful charity.”

The sale is on 2 November at Shaw Farm near Lockeridge, Marlborough, SN8 4LU, from 10.30am-2.30pm.

Admission is free!

For more information, call Pat on 01672861228 or email:

There's even a map at