Jessica Leigh Hester is a former senior associate editor at CityLab, covering environment and culture. Her work also appears in the New Yorker, The Atlantic, New York Times, Modern Farmer, Village Voice, Slate, BBC, NPR, and other outlets.
These grown-up dollhouses can shelter your cell phone and sunglasses.
Don Draper's having a tough time unloading his midcentury apartment, but you can snag your own miniature version of a 1960s-era pad in the form of a floating shelf crafted by Canadian furniture maker Judson Beaumont.
Beaumont's “Walled Estates” are mounted shelves resembling mod dollhouses. The series is inspired by the iconic silhouettes of Palm Springs’s desert homes. Beaumont says he was struck by the houses' iconic "butterfly roofs" when he visited the city for Modernism Week last year. (The whimsical moniker is a nod to the roofs' angular design.) Beaumont also paid homage to the retro vibe by outfitting the shelves with miniature Eames-style chairs, faux wood paneled walls, and floor-to-ceiling windows.
To build the functional dioramas, Beaumont repurposes cast-off wood from his larger-scale furniture projects, then adds scraps of laminate and cork.
"This is only the first in what I hope to be a large series of shelves inspired by architecture," says Beaumont. Coming soon: versions inspired by grain elevators in his hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
So why toss your phone on the coffee table when it could hang out in its own little foyer? Mount these petite living quarters inside your own front door to give key fobs, sunglasses, and more a chic place to crash.
Shelf, price upon request, at Straight Line Designs.