Nyne Dollhouse Render by Ann Nguyen01

The Nyne House

So this is the project that I dreamt up a few months ago and have been planning since. I actually started working on it a few weeks ago in my spare time (which is very limited) and have only got to the framing process.

The Nyne House, A Modern Miniature Dollhouse

Remember a post I made a long while back? The Nyne House is sort of it’s great, great, great, great, great, great grand child. It wasn’t until a few months of getting better at Google Sketchup and getting more experience building and “playing” with 1:12 scale dollhouses, that I learned about the elements that were most desirable in a modern dollhouse just for me.

It had to be easy to use in setting up the scenes, open enough for my giant camera to fit and take pictures, it had to look great from all (or most) angles, it had to be light weight, and used with a material that is easy to build with (since my access to power tools during the cold months is very limited). With all the must-haves, it also had to be a home that I would actually want to live in!

The Nyne House, A Modern Miniature Dollhouse

There were many, many, many, MANY different images and plans from many different architectural firms that served as inspiration; Public Architecture and Planning and SPG Architects are to name a few. Seriously, just take a peek at their gallery and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Now, I don’t fancy myself an architecture or even a hobbyist architecture (is there even such a thing!?), but I do know what I like and admire and I try to emulate it the best I can.

After all the research, the rendered pictures you see here is ultimately the plan that I came up with. It’s a one bed room, 1 bathroom, luxury modern (little) home. The boxiness and the symmetry should make it easier for me to build (hypothetically).

The Nyne House, A Modern Miniature Dollhouse

It is named the “Nyne House” as a play on the word “nine.” The number 9 is a significant because the area of the first floor consists of 9 cubes of 9″ by 9″ by 9″ which you can see is carried upstairs. It will be built in 1″ scale. If you think about it in life sized terms, it would not be a very big house with 1,214 sq ft of indoor living space, but since it is built for a 1″ scale Ann, that it’s more than enough room for me, I mean, her. Besides, any bigger would make this an issue in trying to hide it from my family.

The Nyne House has a lot of windows which I love, but it would also act as a way for me to freely maneuver my giant hands (and camera) in and around the house. There will be plexiglas to fully enclose the home when its not in use, because I plan on making the plexiglas removable, by enabling it to slide it in and out from the side. In the images above, the parts without the “glass” shows the areas that the plexi that are be removable from.

Because I want the focus of this project to be on building it, I am not going to get into electrifying dollhouses just yet. I’m saving that for the Willow sometime in the near (or far) future.

The Nyne House, A Modern Miniature Dollhouse

You might notice that the load bearing walls are pretty darn thick for a dollhouse, but they were much thinner in a previous version when I had planned on building it out of 1/4″ plywood. Since I would most definitely have to use power tools for cutting plywood, I had changed the plans to build it out of foam-core boards (aka gator board) instead. I did buy a huge piece of foam-core but was discouraged at how freaking expensive it was.

After some initial research on a cheaper, but safe alternative, I decided on using the foam that is used for life sized home insulation as the load bearing walls and floors. To buy the right product, I donned my old UMass sweatshirt and headed to the local HomeDepot to pretend to be a architecture student in need of supplies for a class assignment (so I don’t get those weird looks or smirks when I tell them that its to build a dollhouse). I needed to ask a worker there to make sure I choose the right material that is safe to use for model building, because I know that certain insulation can be very hazardous to use.

In the end, I bought two pieces of three quarter inch Foamular 250 for 1/4th of the cost of getting the same area space and volume as foam-core from the craft shops.

The Nyne House, A Modern Miniature Dollhouse

So I’m going to start to build the Nyne House and I have grand plans for it. I’m not sure how long this build will take to finish 100%. I’m hoping to get the basic frame up, the interior walls, and floors installed by the end of Jan 2011. How much I am able to work on this depends largely on my financial situation, but do I want to learn as much as possible from building it using non-conventional tools and materials and documenting it here.

I’m getting really excited!

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7 Responses to The Nyne House

  1. Lyssa November 16, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    Oooooh! Ann, I love this design. It is so clean and open! It’s fabulous. Hope you get lots of time to work on in the next few months. 🙂 I am eager to start my other houses, too, but I refuse to flit! Good luck and remember to save a few minutes to update us and share pictures!!!

    • Ann November 17, 2010 at 10:26 am #

      I wish I had your resolve. I can’t seem to stay focused enough to actually *finish* a project. I am really hoping that I get really far ahead before something sidetracks me from the Nyne.. like every other project =X

      Too much going on, too many ideas, and not enough time!

  2. doris/minimodernistas November 17, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    Do you have a floor plan you would be willing to share? I would love to try this goodie for my private collection…You’ve done a great job on this plan!!!!! I had trouble with foamcore at first too, but found that using a new blade every two or three cuts makes a huge difference.

  3. Megan February 10, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    I can’t believe I missed this the first time around. I think I was too busy working on my I’m a Giant Challenge. I LOVE THIS DESIGN!!!! Just fabulous. Can’t wait to see more of it.

    • Ann February 13, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

      Thanks again Megan! Hoping to get back to the Nyne and finish this darn thing already!

  4. Mary March 1, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    Hello Ann, I don’t remember how I came across your blog but it’s wonderful and I absolutely love this Nyne House. You wouldn’t happen to have the template for it? Love the layout. I’d like to try my hand at this as well.

    • Ann March 2, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

      Hi Mary, I don’t have actual plans for these, per se, but I’ll email you what I have. They are more like a bunch of descriptions and pictures, but better than nothing, I suppose! If anyone else is interested, do let me know and I’ll send the same email. Hopefully, I can carve out some time to create actual plans for these in the future for everyone.

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