Monday, August 1, 2011


I confess, I lied. This is not an abandoned house high in the hills. It's a miniature, a built set, a doll house manipulated to look like a ruined forgotten dream. So that's that, my guilt is lifted. You guys comments were so inspiring, so wonderful, I thought I better explain.  

The whole idea was to create a set that looked like a abandoned building.  Luckily I found a doll house at the flea market that was just the right style, from there I collected the furnishing, painted, and installed some details. The process took about 6 months. Finding the right furniture and matching the scale was the biggest challenge, but the most fun.

My intentions were not to have the structure and it's furnishing to be the art piece, but the photo themselves. So this is where you guys come in. The idea was not to deceive (although this is Hollywood), the idea was to confuse the eye of the audience, make them wonder and question what they are looking at, and most importantly take the audience to a dream state.  Their own personnel dream.

So dear readers, please let me know what you saw in your mind's eye and how you felt while looking at the prior post INTERIORS. You guys are my audience and each and everyone of you are important to me.
So express yourself, your voice counts. Your comments are always insightful, surprisingly candid, generous, and always appreciated.

 Using a flashlight, some lamps and my little camera I can escape to one abandoned dream  house, for a moment, it's my world..
 Interior design is a broad term in many ways, a designed interior  may not be physical place you live in, but a place you dream in and isn't that, the place we call home.


Laurent said...

The project was a magnificent success without being entirely deceptive. The decrepitude had styling, and the sense of perceiving the whole setting at once implied a missing wall. But don't, yourself, be deceived: it was gorgeous to look at and portrayed only the most innocent and valuable imagination. And so we respect more than ever the rôle of the doll's house, and the necessity it eases. A success ..

YONKS said...

You fooled me, it was magnificent. I could smell the mustiness in the rooms, like so many old deserted houses in the UK, slightly spooky, but you can't help going in for a look.
GENIUS! Thanks for the illusion :-)

YONKS said...

Going back and having a second look at yesterday's post,it's obvious! I guess the eye sees what it wants to see. If only I had looked beyond the rooms through the windows it's clear it was minature - even more GENIUS!

An Urban Cottage said...

I saw dead people.

Okay, maybe I felt the presence of ghosts.

I totally fell for it but more than anything, I couldn't believe that someone left what looked like really cool furniture behind.

Very well done.

Gary said...


“Bravo”, “Bravo” I have already mentioned the dream or nightmare quality in my comment on the last post. I did ask for the back-story and by golly you supplied it, how marvelous a design project this was. I will admit that I saw exactly what I want too.

The hook, so to speak, that pulled me in was the your attention to the smaller pieces of detailing. The paper litter laying about the flooring that sparked the feeling of misused, mistreatment of abandonment. That feeling was so strong for me that I did not question any thing else presented. It was and still is for me a once lovely house that now sites waiting for decay to erase its existence. – gary

normadesmond said...

really, really fabulous.

Mark D. Ruffner said...

I'LL BE DARNED! You did drag that harp over there! Kevin, I've gone back and looked at those photos again, and everything is still completely convincing. Pure genius!

I too wondered why anyone would abandon antique furniture of quality. In the back of my mind there was an image of an elegant life that went into a slow decline and then ended (was snuffed out?) in a moment.

Thanks for a delicious surprise!

David Toms said...

What a feat! I congratulate you for all your hard work! (and for fooling us all)

Hollywood forever, Kevin said...

Laurent and Yonks, thanks so much for the insight and the kind words. Very smart to pick up on the missing wall, I need to be more careful and Yonks the windows are a challenge, just wait though.

Hollywood forever, Kevin said...

Steve, Thank you so much. I loved that, like me, you were very concerned about the furniture and most of all your eyes saw what they saw.

Gary, The dust and litter works everytime. I thought while working on the house," what is it you always see and that's trash". Thank you, what a wonderful poetic comment.

Al said...

Very cool! I had not seen the previous post. I just now took a look at the fabulous interiors that you created. They were very real, so much so, that I would've been fooled! You are a clever one, to have hatched and made up this wonderful tale. Lots of fun indeed.

Hollywood forever, Kevin said...

Ms.Desmond, you of all people should know about smoke and mirrors, so thank you for the generous compliment.
Mark, you were so close with the harp! I wish I could say genius, more like good lighting. Thank you so much for the support and kind words.
Tom, you who always says nice things. You are right, it was a lot of hard work and fun to try out some visual tricks. Thank you.

Charlotte Holmes said...

I wondered about the likelihood of such a house in the Hollywood did seem more like something might find in, say, Tuscany.

A number of artists use this sleight of hand, making photographs of what look like small town streets but are really models.

Remember disaster films of our childhood? The boat tossing on the high seas was usually a plastic model being heaved about in the bathtub.

Nice work, Kevin!

eileen said...

What a great project-it's beautiful! I'm disappointed that I missed the first post, so I don't know if I would have been fooled or not. I'm pretty cynical though, so I might not have believed that scavengers (like me) would have left all that cool furniture behind without a little graffiti (and maybe some used needles and condoms) to warn them off. It's a million times more interesting than a regular dollhouse inhabited by a repressed looking nuclear family of dolls with pained smiles frozen on their faces. Bravo!

loveandlilac said...

Well you had me hook line and sinker (although I confess I did wonder why the harp hadn't been looted).
Perhaps we experienced the power of suggestion - the abandoned house in the Hollywood Hills - and a particular image that comes to mind, which your creation fulfilled. We see what we want to see.

When I saw the original photos I thought how brave Kevin is to snoop around such a spooky house. Cold, dark, and damp.

In the real world there would be grafitti, discarded needles etc. I think I prefer your wonderful illusion to reality.
Louise x

Karen in Georgia said...

I did wonder if it was real.. at the same time I thought it beautiful a story about ruined lives, lost dreams, time

Hollywood forever, Kevin said...

Al, Thank you, I'm glad you had fun, I certainly did.

Charlotte, You are the wise one, you knew all along. Believe it are not, there are houses still in hills like this. Shady money that just leaves, unknown actors, chorus girls with no family, it's all here in Hollywood.

Hollywood forever, Kevin said...

Eileen and Louise, thank you, we do see what we want to see, is true.
Good point about the graffiti, I'll have to add that to the set.
I'm thrilled you liked the series.

Karen in Georgia, welcome to Hf,K.
Nice to hear from you, thank you for the kind words and please stick around.

Mr. Bluehaunt said...

I had an inkling.... :)

sarah atmyyellowhouse said...

This project was absolutely brilliant! I am thoroughly obsessed with old vintage wallpaper and looked at those photos over and over and had not one clue that there was any deception. I'm so impressed, I don't know what to say! I especially appreciate the work it must have taken to recreate exactly what I picture an old abandoned Hollywood house to look like....harp and all!
My favorite though was how you got the light to faintly shine through on the walls.


Hollywood forever, Kevin said...

Mi Blue Haunt, I had a feeling you knew.

Sarah, thanks so much for the generous words. The lighting is done with an old fashioned flashlight and a tripod, it's the fun part.

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

I thought it might be a dollhouse when I saw the top of the stairs and the cobwebs were so big! But then the chandeliers looked so real. Beautiful job.

Susie said...

6 months,wow. I thought of the photos after I first saw them....wondered why someone had not taken the Clever you. Susie

Share my Garden said...

Truly Hollywood, you've certainly earned your title, Kevin! Such a creative act; a delight and very Miss Haversham.

Lee said...

Great job, Kevin!
I am your newest follower and really enjoyed looking back at your past blogs. As a miniature artist, I appreciate your eye for detail, especially in this miniature scene.
Maybe I should turn one of my miniature splints into an abandoned house...especially when planning for the upcoming Halloween season.
Thanks for sharing your creativity!

lisa said...

Oh my. I love miniatures and this was fabulous. Found you through mod vintage life and can't wait to explore more.

Thombeau said...

wonderfully done, great lighting!

sweetheartville said...

Oh, sweet lord, that was beautiful. Nicely done.