This is the shell when it was still in John's garage.  I was thrilled when my husband took me there to pick it up! 

This is the shell in my home after I began wiring it.

Crown Jewel Manor

Welcome to Crown Jewel Manor, a 21 room work-in-progress housing my private collection.

Crown Jewel Manor was built in 1994 by John DiMenna, of Stratford, CT. It is constructed of cabinet grade birch plywood with glass windows from Lawbre.

The exterior of the manor was inspired by The Elms, the summer residence of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Julius Berwind of Philadelphia and New York. In 1898, the Berwinds engaged Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer to design a house modeled after the mid-18th century French chateau d'Asnieres (c.1750) outside Paris.

The interiors and furnishings of The Elms were designed by Allard and Sons of Paris and while I did not follow through with such lofty aspirations for my interior, many of the rooms in Crown Jewel Manor are arranged enfilade, meaning you can stand at one end of the house and look down through a succession of open doorways to see clear to the opposite end!

The Elms is located in Newport, R.I. Crown Jewel Manor is located in the Crown Jewel Imaginarium© and is something of a landmark there due to its size, as you might imagine.  It came to me as a bare wood shell and I've done all the work- inside and out- myself.

The interior boasts twenty-one rooms but most are still incomplete.  It's a work-in-progress and I work on it in my spare time (LOL) when I can. I wired all the rooms with 12-volt electricity and installed lighting in many rooms.

The walls have been primed, papered and finished with a variety of mediums to achieve various styles. Almost all the floors are in and many have inlaid marquetry features that I made by cutting up sheets of wood flooring.  Some rooms such as the butler's pantry, kitchen, etc have tile floors or other finishes.

Very few rooms are complete! Many still need additional crown, door and baseboard molding. Most of my furniture and accessories are currently in storage until the mansion is complete but I have partially furnished some rooms with odds and ends to provide you with something more interesting to see than photos of bare spaces.

It is my hope that Crown Jewel Manor will inspire other miniaturists. Trust your imagination and build your dreams! With a little inspiration and a lot of effort, you too can build an heirloom.

Feel free to contact me with questions and comments! Only through the art of sharing can we turn miniature ideas into life-like realities.


Main Floor:

The Drawing Room
The Gilded Dining Room
The Crimson Portrait Gallery
The Main Entrance Hall (photos not yet included)
The Delft Kitchen
The Butler's Pantry
The Morning Room (photos not yet included)

First Floor:

The Blanc Ballroom
The Chinese Music Room
The Library
The Billiards Hall
The Bath Chamber (photos not yet included)
His Lordship's Bedchamber
Her Ladyship's Boudoir


Top Floor:

Nanny's Lavender Boudoir
Rose's Burgundy Boudoir
The Wedgwood Rooom
Marble Hall
The Houskeeper's Bedchamber
The Nursery
The Nursery Day Room

More Information

Crown Jewel Manor is the jewel in my private collection of miniatures. I no longer build or decorate dollhouses or roomboxes for sale but your feedback is very much appreciated! Please visit the Contact Me page for complete contact information.