A new Etsy store is taking Lego architecture to the next level with its offer to create custom scale models of your house, built exclusively out of the little toy bricks. Little Brick Lane was launched by Shari Austrian, who uses photographs and architectural plans that customers provide to construct her miniature masterpieces. She’ll even fill your Lego house with tiny replicas of your furniture, if you’re willing to pay the extra price. Exteriors cost 75 cents per square foot, while a house with a decked out interior will cost you $1.25 per square foot.
Austrian built a Lego version of her own home a few years ago, after she became fascinated by its design and construction. Her kids had reintroduced her to the plastic bricks, she told Hyperallergic. She decided to launch a store after receiving “overwhelming enthusiastic response” from people who saw her model house. Since then, she has built three others, based on Neoclassical, Colonial, and Greek-revival styles.
“One of the beauties of working with Lego is its capability to accommodate different architecture styles,” she said.
Austrian has no formal training in art or architecture — until a year ago, she worked in the healthcare field — but she learned how to interpret architectural plans while working with the architect who designed her house. Like real construction projects, hers has its complications. While she is usually able to find almost every necessary Lego piece between the company’s Pick A Brick shop and Brick Owl, there are still product limitations in style and color. And although Lego has perfected the right angle, she said, it could diversify its offerings of diagonals and curves.
“Lego sloped bricks do not often align with commonly used roof pitches, and Lego offers few plant variations that represent typical landscaping,” Austrian said. “Still, there are so many options and there are often times many different ways to create a single feature or effect. The challenge of overcoming these obstacles makes the project even more fun.”