Still, not everything in the room follows this method. Benjamin also makes a lot of the furniture from things he finds at stores like HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, or Marshalls. “They have tons of little things like jewelry boxes and small decor items,” he says. “When you look at them as shapes or objects rather than just for what they were intended, you can use that stuff to make this mini furniture.”
One of the console tables is made from an upside-down candle holder with a cutting board attached to the top. He used a child’s desktop organizer to create another end table, which he painted and attached wood legs to the bottom of. “The better I get at scaling everything down, the more intense that optical illusion gets,” Benjamin says.
The Mini Living Room is always changing, which is part of what makes it such a fun project for Benjamin, the dogs, and his followers. “There’s so much stuff too that’s subtle. You can go back to old videos and see stuff you might have missed the first time,” he says. And since so much is made from other things, he insists it’s not an overly expensive project to keep up with. “This stuff is all $20 each, it’s not like I’m spending thousands and thousands of dollars,” he says.
When Kelsey and Ryan, the couple behind the brand Newbuild Newlyweds, were house hunting, it was extremely important to them that they got a house that had extra space for a room for their cat, Stella. In their old home, they’d turned a spare storage space under their stairs into a farmhouse-style abode for the feline. “When we moved and we were searching for this house, that was my number one thing,” Kelsey recalls. “I was like we need somewhere we can make another cat bedroom.”
Stella’s new home base is full of pink and gold accents, with line-drawn cat wallpaper and a gallery wall featuring pictures of her family. She’s got a baby pink sofa directly in front of her TV (which is an Amazon Fire tablet), and she even has an en-suite bathroom.
The room started as two cedar closets with a bunch of dead space in the middle. Kelsey and Ryan took all of it down to studs and then combined the middle area that eventually became the main bedroom. “Then, we framed out the other closet to be just a smaller side, and we framed out a little hole in the bottom so she could walk in,” Kelsey says. The other closet is where her litter box is, and the whole space has motion sensor lights so she can always see.