October 17, 2015

the evolution of an idea - floorplans

recently I made a digital floorplan of the Oldtique Store to replace the messy pensketches I had, and add the latest changes in the design at the same time. I thought it would be fun to see how different it is now from the very first idea and how it was inbetween.

final plan - frontview

I have no idea if this is very interesting to you, but I liked to have an overview of the different plans of the Oldtique Store that naturally evolved over time. So bare with me or just skip this post ;).

changes didn't happen often and almost never very intentional. Each plan (except the very first) also stayed in place for a long time, even a few years a time (I would have build it a long time before that normally, but due to serious illness would never have been able to do myself, but my boyfriend was going to. Because of his intensive care for me this has not yet been possible either..). But at a certain point they did change, because of a thought that popped in my mind that I instantly knew (or soon after) would work better, or because of a happy coincidence.

spiral staircase
which was the most recent motivation of change in the design. The owner of a miniature webshop informed all her customers she was quitting and would sell of everything with 50% off, clearing her inventory. And when I went to look on her webshop I saw a metal spiral staircase. Already quite inexpensive to begin with (compared to what I'd seen before for miniature metal staircases), but because of the extra 50% off it was a bargain! And I even had a little budget for it AND was in time to order it, I couldn't believe my luck!

I always wanted a metal spiral staircase as many of us do. But for a house, I never even had thought it could be used for the Oldtique Store. Just never crossed my mind. And for reasons of keeping that store simple (haha, as if that exists in miniatures, as we all very well know ;)), I'd always planned it to become a one story building, so wouldn't have made any sense. And metal stairs were not within reach for a long time anyway, not to buy or to make so it didn't matter.

photo is from the webshop
but when this opportunity came along I knew I could always display it in the store in parts as something that's 'for sale' ;). But later I thought how much fun it would be if it could actually be incorporated in the building leading to another floor! Which will be a loft-type-thing (see the last - most recent - floorplan way below). I came up with some adjustments in the design that I could quite easily get into it. As if the design had been waiting for something like this! And this staircase will make the whole project even more fun at the same time!

sloped roof instead of flat
another reason for a design-change can be a happy 'accident'. As was the case with the sloped roof, instead of the flat one I had always had in my mind. This change anounced itself just because of the box-mockup I'd made last year. And now I'm extra happy I did, and kept it as simple as I had to, by using boxes. Because one made it look like it had a sloped roof. Due to a loose flap that wasn't even part of the mock-up but was attached to one of the boxes I used and kept going towards the store.

it was just there, minding it's own business, wanting nothing to do with no miniature store :D. But unaware of it, it decided the fate of the future roof! To refresh your memory or if you hadn't seen the mock-up before:

the flap on the left above the brick wall is responsible for the change of plans regarding the roof - but very happy for it!

I tried to undo or block the idea of changing the design of the roof at first, mostly because that had  already been cut to size years ago. But after I had thought about it for a short while (like five seconds or so, haha), I decided it would be so much better and spacier that way! So that would be that :D.

and not long after I'd already thought of a way the mdf for it can still be used and it can (in theory at least) be attached to the rest of the structure. And how that could be done so the construction would be solid.

I have to admit that what I think is possible in theory is known to be way too optimistic most of the time, BUT I'm also known for finding new solutions for every new obstacle and will find a way to work it out. So I'm confident it will be fine. The only thing is I'll have to convince the person who will do it, it will work ;).

a little introduction and the floorplans
long story short: the Oldtique Store started quite a few years ago with not being able to have a house yet. So I would start this great hobby with a roombox! As is pretty common to do and seemed like a nice, good and clear plan. Alrighty then!

I figured the most practical would be to order a standard roombox. So measurements would have been in the region of this (of a roombox I found in an online webshop for reference) and is 38cm wide x 26,5cm deep x 24cm high OR: 15x10.5x9,5 inch:

I wanted an antique-kind-of-store in it. Not very original as a theme maybe, but who cares about that if it's about something you really like? Well, I don't anyway ;D. And I wanted a store with a bit of an airy feel to it. So the first change announced itself automatically: size.

and soon after that I thought it should have a little storage space in the back. Of course there's no real need for, it would be a roombox and roomboxes don't need that kind of extra's. If any, just a suggestion would be fine, like a fake door. But I just really liked it if it would have a real storage space. Didn't have to be much or deep, but just some. And if it had to be a custom build because of the size of the store anyway, it might as well have a few extra centimeters to the back, right? So that was a no-brainer either.

a simple mock-up at that time to see what measurements would 'feel' right.

and this was the floorplan for that, as you can see it's bigger than the standard roombox.

the next floorplan came when I needed to know definite sizes because my boyfriend would have the hardwarestore cut some MDF for it so he could start building it (only never got a change to do the building due to ongoing circumstances). 

and I had thought about a few extra things that made sense so this was the time to incorporate them: 
- the size, it needed to become a bit bigger, 'cause the previous floorplan was still a bit too small for what I had in mind :D
- make more use of the backspace by adding a kitchenarea, toilet and administrative corner to the storage to make it more realistic (and where would the store-owner have to go to the toilet if I wouldn't right?). For that it would need a little bit of extra depth (about 2 centimeters (4/5 of an inch)) to be able to do that realistically, but with just the absolute necessary.
- adding an alley-kind of thing to the rightside of the store, adding more 'depth' to the structure leading to the side-entrance
- a side-entrance, leading to the storage, kitchenarea etc and the back of the store.

not because of the size, but things I at some point thought of that would improve things:
- turning the ceilingbeams and -slats 90 degrees.
- adding a metal gate at the beginning of the small alley
- a chimney behind the mantle (not sure I use the right word for it, I can't find how you call a wide column behind a fireplace that leads to - and is the base of - the actual chimney)
- a high window on either side of the store
- a window in the 'storage'space, behind what will now become the kitchenarea
- a small window in what will now become the toilet
- windowsills behind the facade and columns to the sides (build-in, square, with paneling)
- I've also thought up some nice ways for the construction to be able to see things better in the back without having to have the back opening/hinged. You'll see in time what I mean, but it gets me quite excited every time I think about it!

the plans stayed like this for a few years. The only things that further changed in that time was the idea of adding steps at the entrance. That automatically meant the whole store would have to rise with that height, which was 4,5 cm's (little short of 2 inches). And meant it needed some thought of how to solve that with all the MDF already cut, but wasn't even too hard. At some point I also changed the plan for the wallpaper to use (by creating a scene using a piece of scrappaper that at that point I saw would be perfect for the Oldtique Store's walls!). And later I also added an alcove in the brickwork to the design, something I've always liked and think will add a bit more interest on that leftside brick wall :

as mentioned before: after the 'box-mock-up' of last year, the flap of the one box that initiated this pretty determining change in the design :D. In addition - but just a small change - I decided to move the iron gate more to the back, see floorplan if you'd like to know why. The rest I was still very happy with.

and below the most recent plan, all because of that sudden and lucky opportunity for a cheap metal spiral staircase!! 
- the staircase itself of course
- a landing/loft with balustrade in the back of the store the stair leads to, making the rest of the storespace in the front of that loft/landing very heigh which I really like!
- a higher roof to have a realistic height for the loft
- a skylight with doors. Because of the sloped roof, it needed a section left to the loft because that's where the stairs are and mini-folks would otherwise not be able to stand there. But then I thought it would make sense to make it something with a pulley, where furniturepieces could be hoisted up to that floor. And that's why it will have doors.
- unrelated to all that I thought it might be nice to add one step in the back/storagespace just before the kitchenarea. This has a practical reason to do with the toilet (will be clear whenever I've made that), but I also think it is nice. I like spaces with steps and heightdifferences.

of course these plans all look very clinical and (obviously) don't show any of the character and personality it will have, or that I have in my mind anyway, but at least you get an idea.

and then there's all kinds of ideas I've had pretty much from the start like working awnings, a sidewalk at the front with one or two trees, a lamppost, a trashbin and such.

as this is all about ideas and designstuff, I guess I might as well add some previous and definite designs to the mix ;D. It's not that I didn't like the first design for the facade, I did, but I think the new one fits me and the store better. The new design is also a couple of years old already and I'm still very happy with and proud of it! It combines the mix of modern and nostalgic that I like a lot and represents the store/project well.

the second 3 images are of the bags I will have for the store in two sizes as you might have seen before. The second bag-design (which technically is still the same design of course) is an improvement to the first, but I like the 3rd - contempory - design much better, as I do with the facadetext!

I hope this wasn't too boring, but for me it was very much fun. So there's at least one person very happy with this post, haha :D


  1. Happy with this post:-)
    It just is always a long way to make these decisions influenced by new ideas, materials one could use, and all. But it is fun! Eventually you will decide - but enjoy the process :-)

    1. Hi Marion, thank you for visiting and your kind comment :D. It's a lot of fun indeed! Oh I decide quite easily actually and have known what I want for a long time. The only reason there was room for adjustments along the way (by coincidences and happy accidents) is that it could not have been build sooner. Which is a good thing now, I think the way it's evolved is great!

  2. Ooooh, I Love floor plans!!! (Being the daughter of an architect, it rubbed off on me! LOL!) And I am always interested in the evolution of an idea from the beginning! One of the things I struggle with is the harsh reality that few of us have the actual room for a "dollhouse" that is big enough to have the features we want and still keep to scale! When I was starting my Castle dollhouse, I wrestled with how to fit a structure into my small RL house that would still have some feeling of a "large" building in dollhouse scale. I had to compromise... but I went with the 18 inches deep for the rooms rather than the 12 or 15 inches that are more common... and I'm truly glad I had the courage to "go big"! It makes all the difference to have the extra depth.... and it would be better if I could have made it bigger too! I am still only about a third of the way through the Build... I get distracted by all the other projects... but the scale of the Castle is large by any Hobby standards! It stands over 5 feet tall and is 72 inches wide and now is a little over 18 inches deep (because I added on the "privies" after I had built the main hall!) How do we get so carried away???
    I Love the ideas you have shown for your Oldtique shop.... and the metal spiral stair is a Fantastic choice no matter the price! LOL! I really look forward to seeing more!

    1. Ah, so it's no coincidence you have a love for buildings :D. Wow, that is big! And I can understand why you're so happy with your choices! My house would'nt be small either, but was not the reason for the vecessity of a roombox instead. We get so 'carried' away because of passion I guess! :D Thank you, it's great to read you like my plans, and I totally agree, a metal staircase is a fantastic choice always, but I needed this opportunity to even consider a possibility for the store! I truly hope someone can start building for me, I look forward to seeing more toooooooo :D

  3. Hi Monique, sometimes it is difficult to give up an original idea. Suddenly a small change makes everything fall into place and work better.
    The staircase and loftier roofline make for a much better space and all the more room to display a collection.
    Now to make the next step off the drawing board and into reality. ....or mini reality which is still so much easier to change than reality!

    Regards Janine

    1. Hi Janine, thank you, I think so too! Ha, I would have build it years ago and not even had a drawingboard (or the least bit of it) to begin with, but a muscledisease and other serious healthproblems unfortunately make it impossible for me to build it and due to numerous circumstances there has not been a chance for anyone to do it for me yet. But..... hopefully soon!

  4. Unos planos muy detallados y estudiados que te permitirán llevar a cabo tu trabajo,es bueno no renunciar a una idea!!!

  5. Wát een plannen heb jij, Monique, en zó gedetailleerd, wauw!! Ik ben reuze benieuwd naar wat je gaat beslissen, of het originele plan of tóch veranderen.......het ziet er iig veelbelovend uit. Nou, we zullen het zien in de toekomst, hè, wat het wordt ;O?
    Zelf maak ik eigenlijk nooit een plan, ik ga al werkend verder en 'verdwaal' daardoor nogal eens flink in het bos van 'leuke dingen'en het 'verkennen van nieuwe spannende materialen' met alle gevolgen vandien:D!
    Fijne zondag en week gewenst.
    Groetjes, Ilona

    1. Dank je wel Ilona! Huh? hoezo beslissen? Dat staat al vast, of bedoel je dat dit laatste ontwerp nog kan veranderen, haha, zou zomaar kunnen. Maar dan moet er een goede reden voor zijn hoor, want op zich ben ik juist supertevreden over en dan verandert er niet snel iets. Elke aanvulling/wijziging was met goede reden. En ik zou ook geen plannen hebben gemaakt hoor, ik ben ook echt een doener en heb misschien wel wat dingen die ik van tevoren bedenk, maar vooral in m'n hoofd en slechts dingen snel uitgetekend voor berekeningen. Dat zou ik juist supersimpel houden en gaandeweg komt de rest wel, ik herken dat absoluut!

      En zou gewoon begonnen zijn met bouwen etc, maar door zeer ernstige beperkingen ben ik daartoe zelf absoluut niet in staat en moest dus wel iets op papier zetten voor degene die het voor me moet doen. En dat ik het uiteindelijk heb uitgewerkt (na jaren) is enkel omdat ik door mijn ziekte al bijna nooit iets kan, maar wel soms op de laptop, dan kies ik ervoor om dingen die in m'n hoofd heb uit te werken, zoals met dit. Gewoon omdat het fijner is om iets te doen als er op welke manier dan ook iets even kan, dan niets. En op deze manier blijft het leven en word ik enthousiast en blij, ook al gebeurt er verder niets en dat is fijn en voelt positief! Maar als het goed is, ik hoop het van harte, is er binnenkort de kans dat iemand het voor me kan beginnen te bouwen, woehoe! :D

    2. en jij ook een hele fijne zondag en week natuurlijk! :)

  6. I love watching your thought process and seeing how the design evolves. It's good to see other peoples theory and reassuring that I'm not alone when it comes to thinking, thinking, and more thinking! It's the part I enjoy most. I can't wait to see more...

    1. Thanks Simon! Haha, well, I'm sorry to disappoint you... actually I'm not thinking about it much in terms of what I want, I decide quite easily. I did think of the whole thing quite a lot in the past few years, but mostly about how it will look like in real life. It's just that not being able fysically to build it myself, the idea is just sitting there, waiting for it to be build and some things have come up in those years since the first idea, that I (almost) instantly knew would be a great adjustment or addition! A few things I have given some thought before knowing how to tackle or what would fit/look best etc, and I totally agree, it's fun to do! Hopefully the actual building will be started by a good friend sometime soon..

  7. Hi Monique! I must applaud you on making radical changes to an already incredibly interesting shop. The addition of the spiral staircase has given your shop an entirely new direction and the loft area will be very much like a Real Life antique store that I use to frequent, only the stairs leading up to the loft were a rickety wooden set. The walls of the store were old red brick, with creaky floorboards and the entire store smelled old and musty yet everything in it was intriguing.
    I'm sure that your Oldtique will be by far, a more romantic place to stop and browse through, and it will be very interesting to see how many other changes will also occur as your building project continues to develop and mature. :))


    1. Thank you Elizabeth for all the compliments and confidence! I'm curious to how it will develop too, as there will for sure be some unexpected things coming around, like the ones that have and I just look forward to it all. It's great you all enjoy that journey with me :D

    2. By the way: the store you describe sounds awesome too and I'm not sure what way it will go with mine.. I'm not that much of a romantic, but it might have that feel due to some choices so far, but mixed with or maybe ruled by industrial, which I like a lot! One things is for sure, it will not be one style, it will be a mix of things. We'll see how exactly, I'll know that along the way and it will naturally evolve into whatever it will become ;).

  8. Hi Monique, this is amazing, it's so nice to read your thoughts and the changes you made on your shop. I love the stairs and really look forward to see more of your work on this project!

  9. What a great project. I can't wait to see more.

    BTW... The forum is asking us to seek out new members. I know they would LOVE to have you because you are always doing such FANTASTIC miniatures. http://www.fineminiaturesforum.com/

    1. Thank you Catherine, I can't wait to show more ;)
      Are you serious? Wow, that's a great compliment, I'm not sure I'm up to the level of the members of that forum yet, but I would love to be in it, so I'll definately check it out, thanks! :D

    2. I looked a bit and I now know for sure I'm not up to the level of 'fine miniatures' haha and being IGMA and all, but still like it a lot and I will modestly join :D