BELLEVUE, Wash. — A home in Bellevue practically begs you to sink into a cozy chair with a nice book and a cup of tea.
There's just one catch: a size limit.
"Most of my stuff I do in approximately 1/12 scale, so a 6-foot person would be 6 inches tall,” laughed homeowner Sarah Partap. "So yeah, you'd have to shrink yourself by about 12 to fit into my house."
She calls it Teeny Dream House – a dollhouse-sized structure which she decorates with furnishings that appear to be straight out of West Elm and Pottery Barn catalogs.
Except every piece is made by hand, by Partap.
"When I first started it's because I wanted to imagine: if I could have my own perfect little house, how would I design it?" she said. "I like to design things that I would like to have in real life, or I'll get inspiration from a fancy interior design blog or magazines and say, 'Oh that's a beautiful coffee table but it costs $1600,' so I can make a miniature version."
She shares her tiny creations on Instagram and sells pieces in her Etsy shop.
Her most popular items are pint-sized throw pillows and one-inch sketchbooks with itsy bitsy pencils.
“They actually open, you could actually write on them,” Partap said. “Except the pencil doesn’t work. It’s made out of a toothpick.”
She uses recycled bits of this and that for materials and inspiration. A bed frame is made out of craft wood and coffee stirrers. Colorful ottomans get their shapes from cinnamon roll frosting containers. She transformed a ping pong ball into a hanging light fixture.
Partap's diminutive décor has been shipped across the country. Turns out, there's a big world of miniature enthusiasts looking to furnish their own homes.
"I have a map in my office of all the states that I've shipped orders to. Now it's more than half the states,” she said. “When other people are like, 'Oh my gosh this is the best thing ever, I can't believe how tiny this pencil is,' it's just fun to have that connection to strangers."
Partap also gifts creations to friends and neighbors and hopes to one day support non-profits by donating to auctions.
"Honestly, it's a hobby and I really enjoy it,” she said. “If I could make enough money each year to pay for my own addiction to making tiny things and maybe take a vacation, that would be ideal. But really, most of the fun is just the challenge of the making of the stuff."