Friday, January 10, 2014

New Workspace and a Midcentury Fireplace

It took a while, but I'm finally settled in enough to resume work on the California house. Progress might be sluggish for a while because I've decided to rip out and redo a couple of things (I know, I know...but it doesn't look right yet).

Some time ago, other miniature bloggers posted pictures of their workspace. I didn't, due to the fact that at the time, I was building my French townhouse in a dark, dusty, cramped garage. Thankfully, I now have twice as much space, allowing my sunny new living room to double as a workroom.

Working on furniture placement for the second bedroom (using the master bed as a placeholder).

Some months ago, I found this tiny Malm-esque fireplace in a secondhand store. Details stamped on the base indicate it was made by Durham Industries around 1980 (the company also manufactured cast-metal Holly Hobbie miniatures), although I couldn't find any information on this piece specifically.

Malm fireplaces are still made by the same Santa Rosa-based company that created them in 1961, making this a perfect fit for a California house remodeled in 1962. It's about 1.5" wide, so it's technically 1/24th scale, but it's so cute I don't care. It was originally gold-tone, but I painted the base black (to resemble lava rock), painted the inside black, and painted the outside sky blue.

I was thrilled to discover that the pipe did, in fact, open into the fireplace proper, making it very simple to thread in a "flickering fire" LED from Evan Designs (it's much more realistic in real life).


  1. I would love to have a workroom like yours. Such a big, bright space. I think the fireplace will look right at home in the California house. Love the colour too

    1. Thanks, Pepper! (The room looks bigger than it is, although it's certainly bright.) I like this fireplace more than the stone fireplace I built for the living room - it's unique, it's colorful, and since the fireplace has a grate, I didn't have to figure out how to disguise the fire effect!

  2. Hi Anna, what a great house, wonderful design! I am a bit jealous about your workroom, wow, what a lot of space :D!!
    The fireplace is a fantastic piece for your Californian house, it will look right at home.


  3. Hello Anna,
    What a bright cheery workroom. The stove looks fantastic with the "fire".
    Big hug,