Good news, miniature lovers! Dollhouse Beautiful is back for Season 2. This time, House Beautiful gave six California designers the same midcentury modern dollhouse and $500 to decorate it any way they wanted. A whole lot of Krazy Glue, DIY accents, and scaled-down accessories later, we present Dollhouse Beautiful. Tune in for a new episode every Tuesday to see how each designer created their miniature masterpiece.
While they might technically be a real-estate firm, the team at Jenna Cooper LA has an eye for good design. Many of the company's employees are former (or current!) designers, and the firm has such a specific (and beloved) look, it launched its own store, +COOP, on Beverly Boulevard.
"We're very much inspired by Scandinavian style," explains designer and Jenna Cooper agent Amy Zoller, who spearheaded the firm's Dollhouse Beautiful project, translating trademarks of the firm's staging and store to tiny scale.
The approach, though, was no different than with a human-sized home: "When I look at a house, I always think, how does it make me feel? How will it make somebody else feel?" says company founder Jenna Cooper. "When I walk in the door, do I feel relaxed? Do I feel inspired? This house says yes to all of those things, which is really special."
The home's exterior and palette were inspired by a real home that Jenna and her developer husband recently completed. "It has this very dark, black façade," says Zoller. "We painted the exterior of the dollhouse in Farrow & Ball's Off Black to reference that." That hue provides a striking, modern contrast to the mostly neutral palette inside. Read on to see how it call came together.
Inside, the team used Droplets by Dunn Edwards, a warm white that doesn't compete with the wood grain throughout. They handmade the kitchen island and its delicate wire stools to get them to just the right scale. One other small but significant detail? Framing the windows. "We're real minimalists and we're not big into lots of drapery, et cetera, but as a finishing touch, we framed out all of the windows. That made a big difference in terms of the polish," says Zoller.
The dining room table and chairs are also handmade. "We quickly realized that you couldn't just buy things off the shelves and have it work here," says Cooper. "We would have to make them."
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The team's DIY savvy is on full display in the music room, where a gallery wall brings color to the house. "My daughter is an artist, and we made sure we made little teeny miniature versions of the art that we actually have in our house," Cooper explains.
For the bedroom, Jenna Cooper LA's in-house artist hand-crocheted a tiny bedspread, inspired by some of the throws carried in the store. "We realized how well some of the pieces we carry would translate," Cooper says. Zoller re-strung lights found on Etsy for the bedroom pendants.
In the show-stopping study, an Alexander Calder–inspired mobile hangs from the double-height ceiling, where floating shelves house miniature versions of many +COOP products. A sheepskin rug is a nod to one of the team's trademark accessories.
The lofted library is "accessible" from the study via a miniature ladder. "I think that our use of color and textures and, of course, the style of furniture—it all just comes together and makes the whole house really impactful," syas Zoller.
Since it wouldn't be SoCal without an outdoor space, the team constructed a wooden trellis to encase the terrace, which has organic, white oak furniture—a favorite material for the patina it develops with age. The scene wouldn't be complete without a little greenery. "It's impactful in its subtlety," Zoller says. "It's got a really good, cool, Cali, zen vibe to it."
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