Thursday, September 29, 2011

In the steps of my grandfather

My grandfather, the Alois for whom mini Alois is named, was a master cabinetmaker. I'm joking about following in his steps, but I thought about him today as I assembled furniture for the inn. Alois and his brother-in-law operated the Krejsa and Martinek Saloon and Restaurant in Niles, Illinois, in the early 1900s. I never met him, as he passed on long before I was born, but I can feel him and my father looking over my shoulder as I work on this project.

Here is the furniture. It is very simple, but appropriate for the inn. It will be painted, and the chairs will have seat pads to cover the tab-and-slot construction. The table tops will be spackled smooth, as will the cupboards. I don't recall where I got these. They are by Woodcraft, made in China. I put together all three sets, thinking to sell what I don't use, but after doing a little staging, it appears I'll be using all of them on place or another.
Here is where construction stands. All but one exterior wall and the ground floor ceiling glued in place. I'm pleased to report that the stairway and partition wall slide in and out very easily. The swinging door will eventually lead into the kitchen. It is taped to a dowel that is held in place by the weight of the ceiling. I put the dowel there to keep the ceiling from sagging.

The missing wall needs some carpentry work, namely a couple of doorways cut into it before it goes up. As I mentioned earlier, a kitchen wing will be added on the other side of the swinging door. I'd thought to attach it to the main house, but I'm now thinking to make it freestanding. I need to scope out the roof line before making a final decision.
The room layout for the second floor has yet to be finalized. The furniture up there is just scattered about. The general plan is to have the far corner, at the top of the stairs, be a sort of lounge/public area for the guests, with two guest rooms to the left of it and one larger room to the right. A doorway in the missing wall will lead into the room above the kitchen, where there will be a stairway to the 3rd floor/attic rooms and a shared bathroom.

I'd hoped to have a  fireplace in the dining room (on the missing wall), but with three tables, there really isn't room. If I replace one of the square tables with a small round one, it might work. Debating.
The private dining room is looking good. Alois is in his favorite place, behind the bar. He'll be even happier when it is stocked. Although some of the walls appear to be white, the entire ground floor (except for the lobby) is painted Venetian Stucco by Glidden.


  1. ooooh, it's really coming along nicely!

  2. You know, those budget press-out dollhouse kits are extremely difficult to put together. But they have so much detail and can look very nice if one is willing to put in the time and effort on them.