Wednesday, February 10, 2021

La Maisonnette - Building an attic bedroom

 It has been so long since I blogged I hardly know where to start! 
But here goes...
For years I had been wanting to renovate my mini bakery into a more French looking building. 
I had always wanted to build a mansard roof with an attic bedroom in it like the one in Lea Frisoni's book
 'Le Grand Livre de la Maison Miniature'.

Here's an old pic of the bakery.
The roof was just a waste of space as it didn't open up and that had always annoyed me. It was the first dollhouse I ever built and as there's not much room in the real house for more dollhouses I ususally just renovate the ones I have. 
Scraping the old sandpaper bricks off was a bit of a trial...until I got my hubby to help.
No turning back at this point!
I have Lea's book in French. My dear friend Sylvia sent it to me many years ago. Whenever I'm looking for motivation or inspiration I flip through it...I love that book! I can understand a very little bit of French and I thought if was going to try and build the mansard roof I might need the English version of the book. 
I managed to get it from the library...and just in time too...because a week later, in March 2020 the whole of  
New Zealand went into lockdown due to Covid 19. 
Which for me meant seven weeks of no work!
I used foamboard to make my mansard roof. I wasn't sure the old Victorian windows were particularly French but I did a bit of research on the internet and did see a few French buildings with similar windows. I'm all for recycling and doing what I can with what I have. Fortunately I had the attic window in my stash of stuff...I like stuff and I have a lot of it. 
I was texting with my mini making friend from the other side of the world Kim Saulter - Kim's Mini Bakery - throughout the build. 
Above is a pic I sent her when I was figuring out the layout.
The bakery will still be on the ground floor with a maisonnette (if that's the right word for it) on the two floors above.
The part I really love in Lea's house is the shelves and cupboard in the mansard roof wall. 
My house is a lot smaller than Lea's so I had to adapt the instructions to fit my needs.
Because I needed to fit a bathroom in the rooftop I had to create a small recess in this wall so there would be enough room for a bed. I've tried to make it look like there was once a fireplace there.
Love it when the painting and aging is done...feels like real progress!
I already had that's some vintage real house wallpaper!

The floor was tricky as I don't have very much wood lying around these days. I found a couple of very warped pieces of wood and as I didn't need very long strips I was able to cut just enough floorboards to fit the bedroom. 
I know those floorboards don't match up but fortunately the bed will cover that!
Floor done!
And just like that the attic bedroom is built!
It was a bit tricky getting the walls to fit together - I might not be that good at measuring. 
The roof isn't attached yet because I'm still working on the wiring.
Now to fill the room, although once the bed is in there won't be much space.
And here's the bed I made. It's just beads and wire. 
And a couple of vintage handkerchiefs for bedding.
The first four weeks of lockdown was called Level 4 which meant everything was closed, only essential services were open. The next three weeks after that was Level 3. Which meant cafe's could open for contactless pick up...which is when I discovered the 'Cakery' a few minutes walk from my house had the most divine cinnamon rolls. 
 All I had to do was text them with my order then walk around the corner and collect - too easy! 

I hope this post isn't too long. 
I almost think I know what I'm doing again!
All the photos have been taken on my phone so I hope they look OK on your screens.
Next post the bathroom (almost done!) and then there's the middle floor which is almost done but proving tricky to fit everything in and the exterior is coming along more to come soon!


  1. Magnificent transformation, Mercedes! Great great work! Love it...So many details...

  2. So good to see you in my mailbox again!
    Love the bedroom and looking forward to seeing more!

  3. I am so excited that you are posting again. I love IG, but so much good detail gets left out. You are doing an awesome job. I've always loved your bed and you say, "It's just beads and wire." Still it wonderful. Welcome back to blog land. Can't wait to see the bathroom. Oh. Your photos are perfect. I've my phone camera for years.

  4. Guau!! Me encanta como has creado ese piso abuhardillado. Se ve muy francés!!

  5. ¡Has aprovechado muy bien a cuarentena! La habitación ha quedado maravillosa. Me encanta el estilo.

  6. Lovely to see you again! We have also gone through a lockdown, and DH worked on some miniatures for our Victorian house, and a fantasy room box for our son.
    Your renovation is going wonderfully! Can't wait for the next parts......

  7. Such an enjoyable post to read and admire...great to have an update from you and look forward to seeing the finished project. It is beautiful so far. Cheers, Alayne

  8. Hi Mercedes. So great to see you blogging abain! And your maisonette is looking amazing! The bedroom is so pretty and I think your floor looks great - no old building is perfect and I think little gaps and cracks add to the character. I can’t wait to see more progress!

  9. What fun to see what you have done with this house. Can't wait to see the bathroom. So far, it is AWESOME!!!!!

  10. Oh I always enjoy a post from you! So glad you and yours seem to be doing well.
    I truly needed some inspiration! I would love a tutorial on the bed! You know for us mortals who aren’t that talented! Hahahah

  11. Hi Mercedes! It's great to see what you have been up to lately! The transformation is just gorgeous! Lea's book is so inspiring. What good luck to find the English version right before the lockdown! The bed you made is so beautiful! And the floor looks perfect to me! This is a really fun project to see... please keep sharing on your blog... I am not on instagram so I miss out when people only post there. :)

  12. Una transformación excelente! me gusta mucho la cama que has hecho, es perfecta para el ambiente francés! Me encantará ir viendo el resto de la transformación.

  13. Wonderful transformation, it's going to be great. I love this new style.

  14. What a lovely bedroom. I too have Lea's book in english and it is sooo helpful. Beautiful job on the room!

  15. Leuk om weer een blog te zien. Het ziet er allemaal prachtig uit. Ik heb nog nooit zoveel tijd aan de hobby kunnen besteden als afgelopen jaar. Dat is dan weer iets positiefs in deze nare tijd. Blijf gezond, Xandra uit Nederland

  16. Very lovely room and work with remaking your house. I am glad to hear that you are well.
    Many hugs Britt

  17. I read your post on my tablet two days ago and also saved it for when I have a few minutes at my desktop computer. The photos are so lovely and filled with detail that it warrants a long browse on a bigger screen. Your attic room is absolutely lovely. I can't wait to see what you do with the bathroom.

  18. Wow! Fantastic renovation. The results are worth all the hard work. I'll love to see the bathroom.
    Stay safe!
    Hugs, Drora

  19. So beautiful. Did you make the decorative pieces on the tops
    of the arches?

  20. Absolutely gorgeous. And that bed is exquisite. Thank you for sharing.

  21. Simply FABULOUS!
    I love seeing Beautiful restoration projects such as this; it's Art duplicating Life only Much More FUN!

  22. Bonsoir Liberty j'admire tout ce que vous faite je fais moi aussi des maisons miniatures mais pas aussi belles que les vôtres c'est un plaisir pour les yeux
    j'ai vu une photo de votre chambre à coucher sur Pinterest je voulais savoir si je pourrais prendre la photo comme décoration pour mes poupées? merci

  23. Fantastic makeover!!!! The bed is superb!!


Thank you for your comments!