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Designer Creates Houses in Miniature

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By Mary Beth Breckenridge

He likes to start with photos, preferably those he takes himself so he can capture the angles and details he needs. Sometimes, though, he just has to work from people’s memories.

He’ll draw up a floor plan, just as he did in his interior design work. He follows that with a rough three-dimensional sketch, and then construction begins.

The designs are thoughtful and the details exquisite. A replica of his backyard cottage, for example, has a roof and front wall that lift off to show a fully furnished interior. A log cabin — the “logs” are newspaper rolled on pencils — has an interior that slides out from the cabin’s bottom. He might use handmade mulberry paper to create the look of stucco or corrugated paper to add texture.

He often makes two copies of his creations, one to give and one to keep. The “keepers” are perched on surfaces throughout his house.

There’s a replica of a friend’s cottage in Chautauqua, N.Y., with a flag fluttering out front, chairs on the porch and flowers in the window box. There’s a teardrop trailer — a downscaled version of one Pesce used to dream of owning — that’s outfitted with a tiny bed, a compact banquette and a wee kitchen complete with an impossibly small red dish towel draped over the counter. There’s a model of a backyard pavilion that Pesce created to show a friend what could be done with the wood swing set her children had outgrown.

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