Meet the Designer Behind These Incredibly Expensive Tiny Homes

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A miniature house made by Chris Toledo can go for $200,000. Though that’s costlier than many full-sized homes in America, his work leaves no detail untouched—from real gold chandeliers to working electric lights. Each house is meant to serve as a collectible heirloom.

Toledo was born, raised, and currently lives in Los Angeles, the city that informs much of his work. His miniatures are all done in a 1/12 (or 1:1) scale, based on the early 20th-century architecture and design found in Southern California. “From the revival mansions of Hancock Park to the romantic villas from the Old Hollywood period, this city never ceases to inspire,” says Toledo.

The exteriors of Toledo’s homes include highly stylized details, such as landscaping and outdoor lighting.

Miniatures may be having a moment, but Toledo has been creating pieces since he was a child who found a copy of Nutshell News magazine in a doctor’s office. The magazine was dedicated solely to the craft of dollhouses and miniatures. “My only knowledge of dollhouses at the time was pink plastic dream houses for a tall blonde whose name we all know; this was completely different,” he says. He became mesmerized by the meticulous structures that encompassed every medium he loved: woodworking, sewing, painting, interior design, architecture, and history. “That very same year I asked for my first dollhouse kit for Christmas, and it began a true love affair.”

Toledo’s design begins with a sketch, which then turns into a 3D rendering. To build his houses, he uses similar tools one would use to build full-sized models.



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