Meet dollhouse interior designer/maker Julia Valka @ Mini Modern Designs

Julia Valka – I am an interior design lover with a diploma in sports science.

How did Mini Modern Designs begin?

I started my first dolls house reno in 2016 and it soon become my favourite thing to do.  Being a busy mum of two I barely have time for myself and this is something I do to relax and have fun.

I have decided only recently about taking this hobby to a business level so I am slowly working on a logo and on a catalogue (and probably a website in the future). However I prioritise my orders so I am only expecting it to be ready beginning of January. To be honest I didn’t estimate such a huge response to my work!

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Do you make everything by yourself?

I make many of the miniatures myself like beds, bedding , tv cabinets, plants, mini decorations ( pom Pom garlands, mini cameras, mini peg dolls, mini houses , mini mountains , stacking cubes, button hooks etc ), side cabinets, coffee tables, swing shelves, scalloped shelves, floating shelves, hanging shelf with vase ,terrariums, faux marble coasters, couches and armchairs, picture frames, trays , round hanging chairs, washable paper bags, little stools, peg boards, soft furnishings like cushions and rugs , lights (working and non working ) ladders …to name a few.

There are things I don’t make at this stage or that I prefer to purchase (and refurbish if needed ) bath tubs, toilets, stoves etc.
I also purchase little things like : tv, cooking ware , polymer clay food, taps, sinks and others.
I buy a lot of things from other miniaturists mostly to use for my own dolls house interiors and sometimes to add to a fully designed house.
The dolls house makers community is great and I love supporting their work.
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Do you make the entire buildings as well or do you focus mainly on the interiors and where do you get your supplies from?
I like focusing on interiors at this stage.
I get my supplies mostly online and some of the local craft and hardware shops.
Do you collaborate with other makers?
I have been collaborating with Holly from Tres Collective.
I am in the process of finishing one of her houses for a customer in NSW and starting another one for a customer in California.
I also had a great collaboration with Tara from Tiny Bungalow for couple of months whilst being their brand representative.
I love working with Tassie Oak which is a beautiful warm hardwood made from eucalyptus. Its quality gives a great finish to the product.
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The biggest challenge so far…
The biggest challenge so far was actually getting started as I had no idea how to cut wood , I couldn’t sew and had a sparse idea of craft making .
My husband who is a carpenter and a set builder …and a very patient person …helped me with all my questions and still does.
What’s your favourite room you have worked on?
My favourite room so far must be the master bedroom in the attic. I love the simple clean look and I’ve always wanted a bath tub in my bedroom !
I also love the fact that I gave it few different looks although at the beginning I thought the attic angle was a bit of a challenge for fitting furniture.
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Where do you look for inspiration?

I look for inspiration mostly online in real life interior design websites and magazines. I have lots of screen shots in my phone of the things I would like to make in miniature so usually I think of what I need to make it and go for it. I would take measurements before cutting wood etc but I am not very good with sketches.

Where do you work from?

I work from home. I have a room ( that used to be a play room /guest room ) where I up a little working space. I also have the shed in the back yard where I keep all the power tools.

If you weren’t a dollhouse interior designer/maker, what would you be?

A personal trainer

 

 

What’s a perfect day in Mini Modern Designs?

A perfect day at Mini Modern Designs is a day that I create something new … a day that I see that people like my work … a day that I get a message from one of my customers saying that they love their items. Kids go to kindly twice a week and those are usually great days for me to do the loud work like cutting wood etc … Making miniatures requires a lot of preciseness therefore I need a quiet house to focus.

I also like working at night after everyone has gone to bed . That’s when I do sewing, painting, gluing etc .
When the kiddies are at home and I know I won’t get any orders done I like trying to make new things whilst watching them play.

 

What does craft mean to you?

To me craft is the ability and skill of making something from nothing.

 

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Placing your orders with Mini Modern Design

I usually get contacted on my Instagram page for orders. Orders vary from one item to few random items to a whole room or a full house fit out. At this stage I make to order and yes I do customise some of my items  (eg. customer can choose colours for bedsheets or for different little pieces) or when designing a whole house interior I take in consideration little details they would like but keeping my own modern style.

I have been enjoying making every little piece. I am booked out until the end of January 2017. I will be releasing 4 full fitted doll houses (two rooms and attic) and few room kits ready in for Christmas. My online shop will be up and running at the beginning of 2017.

 

Would you offer any discounts for the blog readers?

Yes of course ! I can offer a free mini grid board with any orders.

 

Thanks for reading and looking forward to create for you!

Julia

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