Chris Toledo is widely known as a miniaturist and “professional perfectionist.” He’s so meticulous, in fact, that his miniature mansion took two years to complete, as long as the full-sized versions would. Ironically, Toledo himself lives in L.A. in a tiny apartment with barely enough room for the artist and his art.
The son of a man who makes his living restoring Los Angeles’s grand homes, Toledo was interested in his father’s work, but couldn’t see himself becoming a laborer. Then one day, in a doctor’s waiting room, the boy flipped through an issue of Nutshell News, a magazine for miniaturists, and the mini-bug bit him.
“I was amazed. I didn’t know what it was, but I wanted to do just that.”
He spent the next few months building, then furnishing his first miniature, made from a kit. Then he built another. And another. His mother hoped he would pursue architecture, but she wasn’t unhappy with the teensy path he’s chosen.
Dubbed Casa California, Toledo’s most recent effort is a Spanish Revival inspired by a Bob Villa project he saw on television. The Casa comes complete with hand-crafted balconies, vaulted ceilings, and Art Deco-style furniture. Featuring a roof made of 6,000 individual hand-painted, laser-etched tiles, hand-drawn stained-glass windows, a beautiful, 1920s bathroom worthy of Architectural Digest, and a (tiny) chef’s kitchen, the house would make even the fussiest Los Angelenos proud.
All images property of Chris Toledo.