Blog Archive

Powered by Blogger.
February 6, 2014

I did a quick mockup of the cantilevered window for the kitchen.  Oh, and you can see the new washer and dryer arrived!  I found a set that was modern without being clunky, small enough to fit the space, and cheap enough to convince me not to make them.  As you'll soon find out, this turned out to be a good thing.

My first thought was simply to imitate the flat roof of the bay window in the dining room on the other side of the house. Having the windows on the sides helps distract from its bulk and makes it look smaller.  A second option is to give it a sharply angled roof, roughly following the line of the roof directly above it, which I think would be a better idea and make it appear even smaller by gradually sloping out rather than having all those right angles.  It'll be more work, and I'll lose the interior shelf space I was planning for above the window, but I wasn't that set on having it in the first place.  A third option could be to just run the bump out all the way up and merge it with the trimwork above.  

Having gotten this far, I also needed to determine exactly how far I needed this to jut out.  In the photo it's roughly an inch and a half.  I marked off an inch and a quarter and an inch on the mockup, and have been easing it in and out and doing lots of measuring inside.  In order to get all of this right, I have to know the kitchen layout first.  How deep the counters were going to be, where doors and drawers were, how wide the stove and the refrigerator were, etc. Decisions had to be made!

I sketched out some ideas on narrow pieces of paper and simply laid them out on the floor in the house.  With an inch and a half of extra space, I have quite a bit of leeway for other items.  In order to make it narrower, I had to be very careful.  For instance, I can't make the counter depth any narrower than 2", or it starts to look weird.  There's not enough room for a fridge wider than 3", no matter how much I drool over the fancy Japanese ones with all the accessories.  I also need to make sure that the appliances match the counter depth, or at least don't stick out too far.

The height of the counter also affects the positioning and height of the window.  Since the window is so hard to cut, I figured it'd be better if I determined that first.  Once again, I realized that the counter height depended on two things - Robin's height, and the height of the oven.  

A typical real life stove.
It seems the entire kitchen layout depended on the dimensions of the oven, so I went shopping online.  I want the kitchen to be comfortably modern without going overboard.  Just an updated kitchen in an old house.  What I found was discouraging and unrealistic.  Doors with no windows.  Thick, clunky oven racks. Unrealistic burners in odd configurations.  Painted ones to match the counters.  Fun and safe for kids, but I wanted something more formal.
Then there were wood stoves - not the kind that burn wood, but the kind that look like they are made of wood, which I've never, EVER seen in real life.  I've also never seen a stove with inset doors - they always go completely across the front.  The more I looked at mini ovens, the more I kept going to the kitchen to look at MY oven to see why it looked so off.  I even went to Elf Miniatures, which has a great selection of modern miniatures.  A lot of what they had was in European styles.  Very few people realize just how different they can be!  The ovens were nice, but too big and too metallic for what I wanted.

I narrowed it down to two ovens.  The Miehle oven, complete with sound and lights at Elf Miniatures, and a modern white range that I felt 'would do,' but was still deeper than I wanted.  Then I decided I should try to make my own.  If that failed, I could buy one of these.

I actually made the previous oven. It was part of a Real Life Miniatures kit, from the 70's or 80's, and actually very nice.  I just wanted something ever so slightly smaller and maybe a bit more realistic.   Plus, the more I thought about it, the more I decided I wanted a different layout.  Who uses that bottom drawer, anyway?  My sister had a double oven, with what she referred to as the 'pizza drawer' on the top.  With this idea in mind, and with the old oven in front of me, I began working on the new oven.

I'm somewhat snowed in, so I had to use the scraps I had on hand.  This oven is half balsa, half illustration board.  While taking this picture, I realized that the counter needs to be a little bit lower to accommodate Robin's short height.  It's easy enough to redo, as I've got a kind of pedestal underneath the oven that can easily be shortened.  Or I might just give it round legs, which is apparently what's underneath my oven!  

I carved the handles from balsa as well, but my mini wax keeps disappearing on me so I couldn't tack them up for the photo.  I will give everything a good coat of Gesso to even it all out, and then a few coats of basic white, then a gloss sealant.  I'm just not that interested in having a stainless steel appliance!  Clear plastic packaging will serve as glass in the windows, and I even have some black sparkly paint that will go on the interior.  I'm still working out how to do the hinges.  Maybe some kind of piano hinge along the bottom?  I mostly need to make it stop at 90 degrees.  Maybe I'll even just glue it shut!  

I made some oven racks from good old fashioned plastic canvas.  I ended up making three, as I finished the first one (on the right in the picture), realized it didn't look right, and then went downstairs to look in my oven.  It runs the other way!  (enlarge the image, as in the small view it doesn't look like I've done anything to the rack on the right.  I have!)  Even an image search for oven racks showed that they all pretty much go in the same direction.  I'm assuming for smoothness in pulling items out.  I may have to paint them, and possibly reinforce them to keep from sagging, but they don't look too clunky to me!

I still have no idea how to do the burners on the top.  I'm going to have to play with scraps of whatever and figure it out.  

I feel I can stop here, now that I have oven dimensions, and get back to work on the window.  Most likely I'll finish the oven first.