Sunday, February 27, 2011

Designer: Doris Nathanson

Designer Profile: Doris Nathanson of minimodernistas by Carol Morehead "Truly modern, mid-century, and contemporary dollhouse furnishings. Very cool" is how Doris Nathanson describes her work. And it is! When you use her chairs or lights in your mini house and take pictures people think they are of full sized rooms. You often hear "I had no idea it was miniature!"

                                               photo by Megan Hornbecker
Her work has been featured the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, in Whole Living Magazine by Martha Stewart, and you have probably seen her lamps on the logo of Call of the Small, a modern mini blogger. She gets around.

I first noticed her on Flickr. The pictures of her furniture stood out. She was picked up by the mini blogger Mini Modern and business took off. You can also find her in ads for Elf Miniatures from England.

                                                     minimodernistas' collection Japanese pillows
Doris works mostly in 1/12th scale, but also has a range of items in both 1/16th and 1/6th scales. All the major modern mini bloggers have her furniture. Her clever business name "minimodernistas" has caught the attention of journalists, making her business name almost a catch phrase.

I met Doris when ordering her classic red Long&Low couch, which hit the mini scene like a design earthquake. It opened up a new world of upholstered furniture.

Her lamps and chairs were like putting modern art in your scene. Gone was the stuffiness. Fun to play with, the mini collectors could at last indulge their hunger for modern fixtures.

Doris's color is an important part of her designs

Being a fun and interesting person, she was easy to chat with over the phone and through email. I was lucky to meet her in person last summer at the Design Within Reach exhibit held in San Francisco in September, 2010. She is even MORE fun in person.

(Photo: Megan Hornbecker )

Doris grew up in New York. She attended Syracuse University as an art major. She raised a family and taught print production techniques at Otis College of Art Design. She was long involved in the Los Angeles graphic design community and mini design is her current love. That she made a successful business of it attests to her talent.

Her web site, designed by Doris and Megan Hornbecker of, is You can see the site is as clear and classy as she is.

Her latest creation is the frame chair:

She also creates miniature furniture for children's rooms.

                                                                     Just like full size
What will she do next? I can't wait to see..but the mini design world will be enriched by it and I'm ready to play.

Doris's barrel chairs and table in a scene by Leftcoastmini

Published in Doll Houses Past and Present  Join this free dollhouse group here:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Is this modern? What do you think?

I am showing Marx dollhouses next month on my collection blog:

Is Marx Modern? What do you think? Mid century is so hip right now but what is this considered?

Marx houses in Martha Stewart Living Magazine, this month's issue in an article about collecting. Trendy. Tin litho, and steel houses are just becoming old enough to appear more interesting than junky.

Of course, what I consider an antique, and what my elder assistant (26) considers antique is very different.

It also amuses me when my 4yr old granddaughter walks up to my MH1 and points to all the rement items familiar to her... "Oh a bottle of water.. oh, a celly ( baby talk for cell phone), oh controlls... (tv remote) ". 

One day she asked me what the phone jack on the wall was for in my own house. I found myself saying, "Well, in the olden days phones came out of the wall on cords..." She looked at me blankly.

The more things change, the more different they are... to me. C

Friday, February 18, 2011

The frame chair

credits: minimodernista chair, sindy lamp repainted.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Eye Candy, less than 1 calorie...

                     Happy Valentine's Day!

Credits: lamps, minimodernistas, stairs, Imaginarium house.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

It was a wild morning

My assistant and her assistant went to work on the Imaginarium doll house.

                           Barbie was excited. The structure is sturdy. Notice the stairs and elevator.

Just one little packet of screws is missing. So the roof will have to wait. I wonder where it is. The furniture that came with the house is well made. It is sturdy and the bases are large so little fingers do not knock them over. 

Notice the graphic of a modern sink?

The furniture is sturdy.

The 4 yr old put this together. Slid the steps on the dowel, only one way to go, and we clicked it together. Then she ran around her house brandishing it with glee. It stayed together. We were amazed.

What is it with shag rugs, compare this with the one in the Eagle Hexagon house from the 1950's pictured below.

from the Eagle Hexagon dollhouse

                         Barbie is resting peacefully. Happy Pink Valentine's day!
  My little assistant likes it sooooo much more than the Gottschalk, Phew!  C and Co.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My new house. The "I" house.

My newest house has arrived. It is the Imaginarium Glitter Dream Dollhouse.... I am going to refer to it as the "I house", basically ready to ditch the whole "Glitter Dream" asap..  It is one of those things you can pick up for around $30.00 on ebay,  IF you live near where it is offered, pick up only type. Or $129.00 at Toys r Us.

The first thing you notice about it is it is BRIGHT! No Pink is spared.

The second thing I noticed is that the graphics are interesting. It is too crowded with them, but some are great. Look at this lamp.

And look at these paper lantern style shades on the bathroom lights!
AND ...  Ta Dah!  Look at this very chic horizontal tile in the kitchen. As I love gray I should just get this house in black and white.

I am tempted to make it into an apartment house, it is so big.

Here is my idea. Take this kind of furniture: 
Which is a Sindy lamp I bought on ebayUK for $2.00, and hack it turning it into this:

Well, that's the plan... Doll hacking is so creative and fun.

So far there is just one little fly in the ointment.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Take 5

 I decided to try these spherical lamps in my 1950's Eagle hexagon doll house. 
 For more information go to to learn about this wonderful mini house. Be sure to listen to Miles Davis and Oliver Nelson while doing so.
 Love the flooring... love the faux bois.

What is this art on the living room wall? A heart monitor chart?

Abstract, much.

credits: minimodernista spherical lamps, Spot On couch and chair,and tv, in 1950's Eagle Hexagon House.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ooo eee! The spigots have opened!

IT Sold for $52.99.

ebay item: 27070025775088
                                 Ebay item: 150559644519 sold for $87.80.
                                        Check your closets!

Sold for $57.53.
                                            ebay item: 150559640858

Friday, February 4, 2011

Eames Chair

A study in Eames. In My Realitty

Credits: Barbie chair, Amazing Miniatures shelf, toy block side table, Jonathan Adler Barbie lamp, antique Gottschalk painting.

Colors in reality.

Well, this one must be preferred as it was chosen for a Flickr
explore picture!
See my best of the modern mini shots click here:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What is old is new again, or good design never dies...

Item # 170597034638 on ebay. Ending in about 3 days from now.
Love the chrome cylindrical base.

More from the same seller.

I think this are so attractive to me because everything was made out of cardboard when Barbie showed up at my house. Then pink plastic when my younger daughter had her.

You can go to Worthapedia. com to see what these items sold for.

Tell me this flagstone isn't back? AND (scary music) DRAPES!
Can sculpted wall-to-wall be far off...
When I was in college at UCLA I decorated my apartment with left over Danish Modern furniture from my family. It was JUST passe. And no apartment was complete without accessories from Design Research on Wilshire in Beverly Hills! Like one of those geometric hanging lamp kits made of wooden slats that took forever to glue.
Go here for vintage items:

How did I get into this???? I am NOT a Barbie collector. I'm way too cool... C