Junk shop finds furnish restored house
It's a fiddly passion.
Finger-numbing hours of cutting, pasting and using tweezers to put together tiny pieces of furniture has kept David Wood busy for several months.
But the end result is a meticulously restored wooden doll house complete with miniature chandeliers, real Limoges china, velvet carpet and paintings adorning the walls.
It has been a labour of love, he says.
"It's a ridiculous way of having fun. I'm just on a mission.
"Sometimes I will start first thing in the morning and find I'm still cutting pieces of cardboard at night because I'm so excited about it. The time flies."
Wood bought the bare bones of the house at a Mercy Hospice store and immediately set about restoring it.
Every interior piece was found during months of trawling hospice stores and junk shops.
Wood has donated the finished product back to the store to raise money for the charity.
Finding hidden treasures and being inventive was all part of the fun, he says.
"You can just tell some are bits that granddad made in his back shed. I'm restoring them and think of how proud they would be. There's a real joy in it when suddenly you think about that."
The former interior designer took up the pastime last year and says he is hooked.
The current doll house sold in its first week on display but will not be the only one.
Wood has collected another "handful" of run-down doll houses which he will set about restoring in the coming months.
"It's created a monster," he says.
"It looks after the interior designer in me and the junk shop addict.
"I have a reason to come to these stores all the time now, in search of this little piece or that."
Hospice store manager Helen Brabazon says her staff have got to know Wood during his miniature crusade over the last months.
The store raises money for Mercy Hospice Auckland in Freemans Bay, which cares for people from all over Auckland.
And Wood's careful work is also helping the good cause, she says.
"You start to have very different eyes once you know David. We've been setting aside pieces for him to look at and buy for a while.
"Where else would it go otherwise? It would be sitting collecting dust somewhere. It's just beautiful - and it's helping people, that's the thing."
Article by Lauren Priestley, © Fairfax NZ News