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Man Builds His Dream House (A Very Small One)


Master of Miniatures Builds a Dream Mansion in Los Angeles
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A man in Los Angeles wants to live in a mansion -- a big, grand, expensive house. But he can't afford it. So, he has built his own!

Man Builds His Dream House (A Very Small One)
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Many of us think about our dream home.

When designer Chris Toledo dreams about his, he lets his imagination run wild. He wants a Spanish-style house with hand-painted floor tiles, circling staircases and at least 12 bedrooms.

That is his dream.

For now, Toledo lives in a small, two-bedroom apartment. But that has not stopped him from building his dream home. It is just a lot…smaller. A lot.

Toledo was born and raised in southern California. He has been working on his miniature Spanish-style dream home for the past two years.

"Here in California Spanish-style that's very common. You can't go anywhere in Los Angeles without seeing Spanish-style houses.”

The beauty of these mansions is there for anyone to see -- on the outside. But it is not easy to get a look at the inside of these homes. Homeowners protect their mansions with security gates, walls and in some cases armed guards.

But Toledo found a way to get around all that security. He went online and looked at houses for sale on real estate websites.

"I would go on real estate websites and look at houses there for sale that are the same style, the same age period. I would just look for all the original details. And most of the houses that I used for inspiration…they were probably about $2 to $10 million dollars.”

Inspired by the Mediterranean style, he researched this style thoroughly. He filled his Spanish-style mini-mansion with objects true to that style – many he made by hand.

His miniature version is as real as he can make it. His small house is made of real wood. He covered the wood with a material that would have been part of a real Spanish-style of building. He hand-painted over 6,000 small tiles for the floors.

The house even has electricity; Toledo made all the lights by hand. He also made many other household objects, like tables and pillows. Other objects he bought and then painted them to fit the house. He even included a copy of a very old oil painting that he found in a book on Spanish design.

Toledo’s final creation is extremely true-to-life. The bathroom sinks have water markings. The lighting fixtures have extremely small spider webs. Other pieces have dust on them.

The only thing his miniature mansion does not have is running water; Toledo was afraid it would ruin the building.

One person has already offered Toledo $80,000 for his miniature dream home. Toledo says he plans to use that money for a down payment on a home. It may not be a mansion but it will be real…and full-sized.

I’m Anna Matteo.

Angelina Bagdasaryan reported this story from Los Angeles for VOA News. Anna Matteo adapted it for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

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Words in This Story


tile n. a usually flat piece of hard clay, stone, or other material that is used for covering walls, floors, etc.

staircase n. a set of stairs and its supporting structures

apartment n. a room or set of rooms fitted especially with housekeeping facilities and usually leased as a dwelling

miniature adj. being or represented on a small scale

mansion n. a large and impressive house : the large house of a wealthy person

real estate n. property in buildings and land

original adj. happening or existing first or at the beginning : made or produced first : not a copy, translation, etc.

sink n. a wide bowl that has a faucet for water and a drain at the bottom and is usually positioned in a counter or on a pedestal

inspiration n. something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create : a force or influence that inspires someone

down payment n. a part of the full price paid at the time of purchase or delivery with the balance to be paid later

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