Friday, May 28, 2010

French facade - and a question

At last I can show you a little progress on the French project. The walls etc are just in 'dry fit' at the moment but at least you can get some idea of what the outcome will be. There is more trim to be added, the top floor is to have two small balconies and I might add an attic, or a roof garden.

Now... opinions please!! If you look carefully you can see that on the left wall of the ground floor shop there is a window, and near the back on the right there is an open door with a window in the top half (in the photo it looks as if the door is on the back wall but it is in the right wall and is opened into the shop) . The door is there because I can't imagine that the people who live upstairs would want to 'come and go' through the shop doorway when the shop is closed (and there wasn't room to add a 'private' doorway at the front), and the window in it lets in a little extra light. I'm not sure how best to describe why I added the side window - does it make sense to say it is to add another dimensional aspect to the space??? However I'm now wondering if I should rip that window out.

What is bothering me is that when I look at pictures of Parisian streets the buildings are almost all adjoining each other. The side door is ok because in my mind it's on an alleyway, but with the window in the other side as well it means that this building cannot be in a row of connected buildings. It must be standing alone with an alleyway, or small street, on each side which doesn't seem to be the normal thing for Parisian buildings. This picture below is my style 'inspiration pic' for this project, you can see how the buildings are all joined together.

So, what do you think, just be satisfied to have a 'stand alone' building even though it goes against the normal 'rules' of it's location, or pull out that window (it is glued and plastered in but it's not impossible to get it out and the hole can be plastered over). What would you do??

As an extra incentive to help me out here anyone whose comments include advice/opinion about whether or not to take the side window out will be 'rewarded' with an extra chance in the 200 followers giveaway that's coming up... :)

I have to leave my minis to one side again now while I concentrate on finishing my last university assignment for this semester (but I will be reading your opinions on what I should do about that window!). When I come back I've got quite a bit of catching up to do! There are Awards to be acknowledged and passed on, my fair purchases to show you (and I want to tell you about one of the vendors there too), gifts and swaps to be made, and a giveaway to be organised! It's going to be a busy break :)

(The Paris shop fronts image was sourced from ebay, a copyright holder is acknowledged but I can't find the name of the artist.)

Post amendment 1 July 2010 - I have made the decision about the window. What it came down to in the end was that if it was bothering me then it had to go - and it has now been removed. I appreciate all the information and various points of view of everyone who took the time to comment here and as promised all will receive an extra chance in my July giveaway draw. However that offer is now closed (the last commenter to be included is Nancy on 16 June). Thanks for participating!

35 comments:

Margaret said...

Norma I think get rid of the window, you could have one at the back of the shop perhaps. But this is mini land so you can do whatever you want, no building codes to obey. I think most of those buildings would have rear access. Just a thought, you could make it a faux window, like thay have in David Jones cafes. Put lights within the cavity with shutters over the window and the light filters through?

Norma said...

Margaret, I have actually regretted putting the door in the side and not the back (there are stairs to go on the back wall but it could have gone under the stairs) but I'm probably going to leave it there. I say probably not but certainly...

Susan said...

Hmmm, no rules with miniatures of course but after looking at your inspiration photo I can see that taking out the window makes sense. I like the extra interest the window adds internally, however, whether you take it out or not is dependent on how you finish the outside, this could be a building on a corner with a lane way between it and the next building. Then of course, (sly grin) you'll be wanting to add more buildings to the streetscape in the future so you might want to leave outer walls blank!

Norma said...

Susan, I'm going to hide your comment from my husband who is already worried that I'm going to construct a mini Paris, one building at a time! ;) In the last few minutes (while washing dishes) I have considered actually making the side window larger, copying the style of the front, as if it is on a corner of two streets - and perhaps moving the side door to the back. Allows me to have another building on the right - but let's keep that option quiet ;)

Catherine said...

I like the idea that it is on a corner with an alley on the other side. That allows you to do what ever you want to do.

What kind of windows are you going to have? French ones like the ones in Petite Maison? I adore windows that open like that.

I love your idea about having a roof garden. I can see it in my mind with really wonderful plants and flowers and some sort of park bench. Well that's my vision but you may already have much better ideas. :-)

Norma said...

Thanks for your comment Catherine. Yes the windows will French style like Linda's, the first floor one's won't open but my plan is that the second floor ones onto the balconies will.

I have found a great Paris rooftops photo at

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7365676@N03/774125627

which has an attic AND a garden, maybe I can have the best of both worlds??

Glenda said...

No side doors, no side windows, just buy a few more buildings and join them up!! ;)

Merry Jingle said...

Glenda :D

Well, you could do it to be a corner house, but then you would need more windows on the left side wall and move the door to the back. Or get rid of that window and leave the door - if you're adding another building, you can always do a passage like in the picture.

I would personally take the window out, leave the door and do the attic and the roof top garden :)

Hope that you're studies go well :)

Ira

rosanna said...

There are buildings on their own even in Paris,hidden in small alleys or on the Montematre hill.They have regular windows and doors so you can safely stuck to your project. I'm partial though because I do love windows and I never have enough of them.Best wishes with your study, Rosanna

christine said...

can you live with the window there? or will it forever be a thorn in your side? it gives you more decorating choices, but the fact that it is already a topic of discussion, leads me to think it has to go....on the other hand, a laneway...... :)

The Old Maid said...

If the idea is that the house stands in a row then it is better to get rid of the window. On the other side it gives the light to the shop inside so the idea of the corner house is cool :)
I love what Glenda wrote - that is probably the best idea for your building ;)

Bözse said...

There is a german word for inner, closed yard: lichthof. It's closed by walls, and provides the rooms not being on front walls with natural lights and ventillation. It is very narrow tube between walls. If your side window look at such a "lichthof", you have not to break the continuity of the facades.

Lissu said...

I have the same idea to make French house above my shop :)Nice to follow your project. Have a nice weekend!

Flora said...

Dear Norma, I think the problem does not arise often because the old buildings of Paris after the main entrance hide unexpected and bright courtyards and I think we also see this from the picture that inspires you ... So your house can easily be set against the other on the front and both have a window which gives light on the back of the room!
I like that you have thought about this detail: it means to be an accurate work and will not that be nice :-)

Flora said...

Sorry: I had not read the comment by Bozse about lichthof: I meant just that :-)

Lara said...

Hi Norma, very nice project :-) Can imagine you would make more shops and join them into one street of shops (I hope your husband doesn´t read this ;-))
I think I would have placed the window and the door at the back wall, so there would be a sort of courtyard behind the shop(s). Good luck on making a decision and on finishing your assignment, Lara

Peach Blossom Hill said...

I guess, along with the others, it depends on whether you are going to join up a row of shops. Having never been to Paris, I don't know if there are side windows and doors on free-standing French buildings but as others have said, in mini-land, you can make it whatever you wish. Now to head down and get to work on some mini's on my day off!

Jody

klara said...

Well it is miniland, so you could go either way, don't you? but at your reference picture, I see kind of a open entrence and behind that there could bee a square with other houses. But it could be at the corner of two small streets, that ens in a V shape, i htat way it could hev the window at the side. I hope you understand what I mean, I find it hard to explain in english

Susanne said...

Dear Norma
I´ve seen a lot of houses in Paris and elsewhere, where the entrance is in the gatearea, and where a window easily could be placed also. Maybe the gate leads into a small yard or garden. The gate area will often be a part of the next house, that means, there will be a room above the gate. Often the gate will have a fence, and beautifull ornaments and lamps too.
Let the light and wallspace decide, if you want a window.
Love, Susanne

Susanne said...

...and by the way, I love the idea of building some extra floors on the boutique, I have been thinking of doing that with my shop too, mine has a roof terrace right now, but I don´t seem to use that properly..

Sans said...

Dear Norma, may I just add to the "confusion" ,lol. Personally, I always felt that there are so many possibilities where dh are concerned that you can always adapt or modify an existing "flaw" or layout. I don't usually want to re-do something especially if I have already expended a lot of time making it in the 1st place unless I just absolutely can't stand it, like the roof of my tent :).

Like Rosanna, I love windows and all their possibilities for decoration. If I were you, if I only have 1 building now, then I will prefer to keep the windows. I will make this building the corner one or the one with a central courtyard. When I get a 2nd building, that one can be the middle one with no windows.

Mimmi said...

I do like the idea of having a window on the side, both to get more light, and to add interest to the interior, however I would let authentisity win... So I guess I would remove the window if it was my house.

Good luck with your university assignment! I just submitted my bachelor paper today, so now I`m done with this semester. Yay!

all kinds of everything said...

Hi Norma,
I think I would leave the window as it is now,Just beautiful!
I do not know about Paris but
in other French city's I have seen
shops standing alone.(On the corner of the street)

Norma said...

Thanks so much everyone! Although there are different opinions and advice among your comments they've all been useful in someway, and certainly appreciated!

Special thanks to Bozse and Flora for explaining about the lichthof.

Glenda, this is a scratch build so it's not possible to just go out and buy another one (I think my husband is very grateful for that!) but I think I'd better be very nice to my son who cut out the walls and floors for me because I don't think I am going to be satisfied with just one ;)

Thanks too for the good wishes for my studies, it's coming along slowly.

Wee Cute Treasures said...

Hi Norma, I agree with those who say the side window should go - but the side door would be fine. When I lived in Austria (similar architectural basic style to France) it was very common to have little inner courtyards where a door could lead into your shop.

Another advantage of removing the window is that you get more wall space to use in the inside of your shop.

This is going to be a beautiful project - I can't wait to see how it progresses. Hugs, Carol :)

Doris said...

I think you should take the window out because I have a feeling that you will want to join up other shops as in your 'inspiration' photo.

Brenda@Cozy Little House said...

I would say whichever way your heart is leaning. Because if we don't follow our heart and our instincts, we usually regret it.
Brenda

stephknits said...

Hi Norma! Thanks so much for visiting my blog. This whole thing is really new to me, and yes I certainly did want to cry about the warping. It's definitely authentic to older houses, but somehow I doubt the authentic builders had to deal with it on the same scale. ;)

As for your dilemma I personally vote for keeping the window, but then as you'll probably soon find out the authentic details aren't as important to me, and windows are always nice.

Frederica said...

Hi Norma , I think your french house is looking great already , awesome job , what ever you decide , it will look great either way .
like in Holland you have the houses attached , but also houses next to an alley on one side and offcourse corner houses , its all realistic for Europe , so go with what you feel looks best , lots of love frederica

miniature wonderland said...

i wish i could build a doll house like yours... it looks great!
i think you should keep the window... i'm sure you'll find something to do with the window decoration so it won't be so annoying ;)

hugs,
christina

Carmen L said...

My congratulations because it shows very perfection in your work and I like that. As for your question, I personally would leave the side window, I think it gives more personality to the building, but I'm sure whatever you decide will be great.
A hug
Carmen

Nancy said...

Hi Norma,
What a lovely house...
I'm sure you'll make the right choice because what feels best, is always the best choice. Personally, I like the window and the door, because it's a dollhouse and the light and atmosfere is more important then the real situation. But that's my personal opinion. Your choice will be the best choice!
Gr. Nancy
ps sorry if my English is bad, I did it without a translation site because it's late and I'm sleepy ;-))

Norma said...

I have added an amendment to this post as follows:

I have made the decision about the window. What it came down to in the end was that if it was bothering me then it had to go - and it has now been removed. I appreciate all the information and various points of view of everyone who took the time to comment here and as promised all will receive an extra chance in my July giveaway draw. However that offer is now closed (the last commenter to be included is Nancy on 16 June). Thanks for participating!

I'm repeating it here as a comment so that those of you who are receiving email notifications of new comments on this thread will know what I finally decided. Thanks everyone - it was a really interesting and informative exercise :)

dale said...

Well, I'm late and it doesn't matter anymore for the give away, what ever! ;)

Sometimes in the city, one side and the other side buildings are removed for any number of given reasons, like fire, crumbling or what not. Just my 2c. :)

But, if you removed it cause it was bugging you. I completely understand that. You gotta go with your gut and if it was gonna bother you, then yes, you should have removed it. :)

Monica said...

Before I decided to read everyone elses suggestions, I was thinking you could brick it up (as if it had once been a corner building, and the city got carried away with itself during some past reconstruction period) then add some narrow shelves as creative display space for your little whatevers. And, now I see my idea isn't so unique after all .. ! I like your idea about adding a window similar to the ones in front, making it a corner building with your 'other' tag along shops following on down the line (this sotto voce). I have an Etsy site (not opened yet) named 'Shhh ... Don't Tell Daddy!', and I do believe this may be a good rule of thumb for all miniature collectors!