LEANNE BARTLETT, CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND OWNER
Based in Hampshire on the South Coast of England, Leanne Bartlett launched The Contemporary Home in Miniaturein 2010 as a direct response to a gap in the dolls house collectors market. From a very early age she has always had an interest in artistic pursuits and dolls houses allow her to indulge her passion for contemporary design, colour, pattern and texture in one place.
From her first dolls house as a child Leanne has always sought to improve on the design and add those finishing detail which lifted the dolls house out of the ordinary. She has been an avid builder and furnisher of dolls houses for a number of years but became increasingly frustrated that she could not follow her real interest in contemporary design as the majority of dolls houses and furnishings are traditional in design.
After fruitless searches for contemporary houses at dolls house fairs around the UK and on the internet she decided the only solution was to build her own. To do this she enlisted the help of her father who had many years of experience as an aircraft engineer and who was a prolific DIY-er. His eye for detail and technical skills with angles and minute measurements meant she could finally realise her dream of creating innovative and cutting edge designs for contemporary dolls houses. In close collaboration Leanne and her father have designed and built several contemporary houses which break the mould for dolls house collectors.
Once the house has been designed, the layout refined and then finally constructed, Leanne can set about designing an exciting and inventive interior right down the very smallest of details. The attention to detail throughout the build and completion of the house are Leanne’s trade mark. She is a professional hairdresser with nearly 30 years experience and knows the importance of those final touches in creating something which demonstrates her artistic flair. Dolls houses are yet another expression of her passion for artistic pursuits and she is also accomplished in producing soft furnishings and adapting and converting old objects into new and exciting interior design touches.
Her interest in dolls houses came about as a result of refurbishing several of her own properties over the years, but as she explains, it was a rather expensive and time consuming way to indulge her interest in interior design! The solution to this was to scale down her pursuits and she returned to her childhood interest of dolls houses to find an outlet for her frustrated creativity. Her real passion is colour and pattern and she loves nothing more than to experiment with different fabrics and finishes to create something unique with her signature flair. She enjoys the challenge of working to scale and making the designs work in miniature. The effect of scale gives the miniature interior designer more challenges than their larger counterparts. Patterns, textures and finishes must be absolutely right or the whole design effect will be ruined. This is where Leanne’s experienced eye for detail comes in. Her many years working as a hairdresser and colourist means she has an innate understanding of colours and how they can be put together. She has used this skill to push the boundaries of colour and texture and produce unique designs that complement her contemporary houses exactly. The challenge of finding exactly the right shade of paint or fabric is what drives her. She uses lateral thinking to design and produce items from objects whose original purpose was far removed from dolls house design. This ability to recycle, adapt and improve stimulates her and provides unique answers to her search for originality.
She has been greatly encouraged by the amount of interest that has been shown in The Contemporary Home in Miniatureand feels the gap in the market she experienced as a collector is on its way to being resolved. This does not stop her continuing to seek inspiration from the world around her however and she is constantly refining new design ideas.
Leanne sees the dolls house collectors market as a shifting dynamic with more and more younger people becoming interested in collecting houses in miniature. To cater for their needs she continues to design a variety of both contemporary houses and shops in response to the increasing demand from modern enthusiasts.
Leanne's houses have regularly featured in the internationally distributed Dolls House and Miniature Scene magazine (see some of the articles on this site) and the well-known Dollshouse WorldMagazine. Her designs have also headlined on two popular American blogs -Mini Modern Blog andModern Mini Houses. The Contemporary Home in Miniature was also fortunate enough to be featured in the popularSimply Homemade magazine in March 2015. Leanne has been featured locally in the Southern Daily EchoWeekend magazine in October 2014 and was interviewed for the major national publication, theSunday Telegraph as well as the on-line newspaper, the Western Wards Gazette in January 2015. The article in the Sunday Telegraph is due to be published shortly. Leanne has also been interviewed for south coast publication Solent Life magazine and the article has just been published in the April 2015 edition. Click on the link to read the article. The Contemporary Home in Miniature is also due to be featured shortly in the long-running Dollshouse World Magazine. She has had two of her designs displayed in the popular and long-establishedBerkshire Dolls House and Model Company shop in Twyford, Berkshire. The Contemporary Home in Miniature was also recommended on the popularMitchy Moo Miniatures Blog and theFour Little Walls Blog. The Contemporary Home in Miniature were also featured inMichele Young'sDocumentary about the Kensington Dolls House Festival in November 2014. Keep checking the website and Facebook page for more information.
Leanne can also produce bespoke interiors on request. For further information please contact Leanne on the webform or via the Facebook page.