Owl Hill Manor
 A One Inch Scale Tudor House, 2021
by Grace Shaw
My husband, Jim, picked this house up (see before photo) for me at a flea market about 20 years ago for about $25. It sat gathering dust for all those years. I love the Tudor look and wanted to do something special with it. Then JBM came out with their Tudor line of furniture and I fell in love. I talked Aztec into putting one of each piece on
 lay-a-way for me. They would send me between $100 and $150 dollars worth of furniture a month and as soon as I paid that off, they would send me another shipment. Sometimes I even managed two shipments a month. Still, it took me nearly three years to pay it all off.
 
Next, I had to find time to work on the house. Another 4 or 5 years passed. Finally when I turned 72 years old last year, I said to myself, if I don't do it soon, I might not ever get it done. And so I started building. First thing I had to do was shore up the foundation. The house was literally falling apart. However installing a good foundation under the house made a huge difference and made it much stronger.

Because the roof had some missing shingles, and because the porch roof was half hanging off, I decided to take it all the way off and use the shingles on the porch roof to fix the main roof. I figured I'd never find shingles that would match completely otherwise. Then I decided to pull the end window panels off both ends so I could work on them and access the inside of the house easier. One thing I hated was the thin plastic windows with painted mullions. I'd also seen the windows with wooden mullions and I didn't like those either. So I approached Alessio Miniatures and asked if they could make the window glass with etched diamonds in them? They said yes and made all the window glass for me. Originally, I had planned to use stained glass window paint on them but they were so pretty just the way they were, I decided not to do anything to them.

I also decided to use one of the Alessio Parquet floors for the foyer, and I carried that over into my regular wood floors in the octagon window rooms. And I decided that I didn't like the narrow staircases in the house and wanted to use spiral staircases, so I used two of Alessio spiral staircases. First, I'd like to say the staircase kits were fairly easy to put together. However, the instructions didn't tell me anything about how to install the spiral staircases and I'd never done them before so I made a huge mistake. I put in my wood flooring before figuring out how the staircases would go in. If you ever plan to use spiral staircases, be sure to figure out how they are installed BEFORE you put in your flooring. They don't always fit into the original staircase opening. The second floor opening had to be opened up but I didn't have to make too much of a patch  to fill part of the original opening. However, you can't put one spiral staircase above the other and I had to fill in the original opening on the third floor completely and cut a whole new opening. Because I use individual strip wood glued to the cheap Lauan plywood, I couldn't take up the floor to make the staggered look over the patched staircase opening. If I had tried, the Lauan would have split and I'd have had to put a whole new third floor in and start all over and that would have been difficult.

I also had the bright idea to take out the dividing room walls and make panel walls like you see in older Tudor and English homes. That wasn't too bad except I was worried that the cats might get in the house and break the floors since the walls below that held them up had been removed. The new panel walls are very sturdy though and do a good job of supporting the floor/ceilings above. I think they give character to the house.

And finally, I decided I wanted exposed ceiling beams in the third floor. Since whoever had built this house originally used hot glue, there was nothing square in the whole house. Putting in the exposed beams was a real job because none of the angles were right. I had to get Jim to help me figure them out then cut the angles for me because my little cut off saw couldn't handle the job. It took us over a week just to figure the angles and even longer to install them. And some of the walls were bowed which caused even more problems. So while the ceiling beams aren't always perfect, we did get them up there.

I also wanted to make unique rails for my balcony and Alessio Miniatures made the diamond shaped parts for my balcony railing. JBM made all the lovely doors in the house, including the front entry and balcony entry which had to be cut down to fit under the roof, and all of the arched interior doors. This house wouldn't have been so special without the Alessio's and Pauline Baker of JBM Miniatures. Hope you enjoy the photos of the house. It was a big project. There will be more photos of the furnishings when I get all the little touches that make a  house look lived in, completed.
Be sure to click on the photos to see the features better.

Before - Greenleaf Harrison
Front of Owl's Hill Manor
Front of Owl's Hill Manor
Front door and balcony door by JBM Miniatues
Looking at it from the front, the left side of Owl's Hill Manor
Looking at it from the front, the left side of Owl's Hill Manor
Window glass by Alessio Miniatures
Looking at it from the front, the right end of the Owl's Hill Manor
Looking at it from the front, the right end of the Owl's Hill Manor
The balcony of Owl's Hill Manor
The balcony of Owl's Hill Manor
Diamond pattern on balcony by Alessio Minatures and the door by JBM Miniatures
First floor - entry and staircases
Inside: First floor. Notice the foyer floor is parquet and in the center of the octagon section you can see a square of parquet to match the foyer floor. Also the spiral staircase both by Alessio Miniatures.
First floor - door and panel wall
First floor. Notice the beautiful arched door by JBM Miniatures. And the special paneled wall that I built to give the house more character.
First floor- windows
First floor. You can see the diamond pattern in the windows. Done by Alessio Miniatures.
First floor. dining room door open
First floor. Dining room. Notice the door by JBM coming from the foyer.
First floor. diining room - window seats
First floor: Dining room with door closed. Has two window seats and the paneled wall.
Second Floor Game Room
Second floor. Game room. Second spiral staircase. Octagon floor with parquet square in the center.
Game room. Spiral stairs, arched door, panel wall.
Second floor. Game room. Showing the spiral stairs, and arched door in the panel wall.
Second Floor bedroom.
Second floor. Bedroom. Has two window seats and the paneled wall. Door is in the front of the room.
Third floor. Largest bedroom. Exposed ceiling beams, paneled wall.
Third floor. Largest bedroom. Exposed ceiling beams. Paneled wall.

Third Floor: Largest bedroom. Panel Wall and arched door.
Third floor. Smallest bedroom opens onto balcony.
Third Floor. Smaller bedroom but opens onto balcony.

More photos to show furnishings by JBM Miniatures when I get all the finishing touches done.