Home: The Little House on West Street LockDown Project

By Paula Briggs & Rowan Briggs Smith

This post shares the progress of a family project undertaken during Lockdown 2020. 

Scale Model of Home
Scale Model. What Makes Home?


If you are one of the lucky ones, (and we know we are very lucky), then lockdown provides the opportunity to shrink down the world a little bit into something more manageable and controllable. It also provides the opportunity, again if you are lucky, to enjoy being home. 

Making things has for us as a family always been a way to calm the body and occupy the mind. There is something so elemental about taking a material, shaping it with your hands, and making something new. And while the hands are busy, and the mind is challenged with problem solving, the body can relax. 

Given that we were to spend the vast majority of our time in our home, for who knows how long, we decided we needed a making project to bring us together for a part of each day, and to occupy our head and hands. Given also that we were to spend most of our time within the walls of our house, we decided to really study those walls; to measure, to plot, to understand and appreciate those walls. How did they fit together? What was the relationship of parts? What are the “essential” items of our home? What do we love? Which spaces do we most enjoy? What makes this our home?

And so the idea for our scale model of home and garden came about on Day 5 of lockdown. We hope you enjoy watching its progress on Instagram at LittleHouseOnWestStreet.

And a big thank you to all those delivery drivers who have fed us with plywood and balsa wood and sandpaper and wood filler, whilst we squirrel ourselves away making our version of our home. And to all those people who are working so hard during lockdown to help make things right, and who cannot stay home surrounded by the people and things they love, thank you. 

Plan Drawings
Plan Drawings


scale model of wood burner
Figuring out the scale. Finally settled on 1:25


wood burner
Lead wood burner (3cm)


measuring shed
Measuring and scaling the summer house where the model is being built


Plywood, coffee stirrer, balsa wood
Summer House (20 cm long): Plywood, coffee stirrer, balsa wood, roofing felt


inside the shed
Inside the summer house, model of the work table containing super small model of the model


hen house
Plan of hen house


parts for hen house
Parts for hen house (cardboard)


Scaled down hen house (5cm)
Scaled down hen house (5cm)


Drawing of Sofa


Sofa: Balsa wood, 5cm
Sofa: Balsa wood, 5cm


small sofa
Small balsa wood sofa


coffee table
Coffee table






Creating the base
Measuring a plywood base


plywood base
Creating sections to jigsaw to make the plywood base more manageable


plywood base
Jigsaw lines and base for trees


Adding trees for structure


measuring for structure
Measuring for the structure of the house in the project sketchbook


Building a section of the house
Building a section of the house (plywood)


adding roof beams
Adding roof beams (balsa wood)


windows and interior walls
Windows and interior walls


goldleaf instead of grass
We decided to switch grass for gold leaf. We all need cheering along and we like the idea that “there is gold everywhere if you look for it”


House Structure

To Be Continued!

Please share your #lockdown projects with us

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