When we have a dedicated train room, in which we construct our model railroad empire, everything about the room is determined by the form the model railroad takes on. When the layout is added to an existing shared space in the home should it draw influence from its environment?
The above photo isn’t of my apartment but is of an apartment a lot like mine and in the same building. If I were adding furniture to this room I’d be inclined to select pieces that matched the scale of the greater space and those existing elements. Further, I’d try and pick things that aesthetically worked against the colour and texture of the exposed brick or white plaster walls or the clear-finished birch cabinets. In this way, designing the model railroad that fits here is a lot like adding any other furniture item.
Do the lines, colour, or texture from those brick walls provide a form that any lines the layout adds should compliment?
Is the pattern from the brick so visually “noisy” that a layout set against them should not add another chorus of voices? That is, a busy miniature urban scene might be too much but a more pastoral landscape might fit better? What draws our attention?
I find the finishes apparent throughout the apartment very appealing. They feel natural. In this way should lines found in the layout’s envelope, both in the lines of the track and the footprint, feel equally flowing and natural?
In terms of framing the layout, I’d think that the fascia should have as much visual integrity as the walls it is placed against. Maybe a white-washed pine and maybe not forest green or black-painted Masonite?
This started as an email but appears to maybe work better as a blog post. Just some random thoughts while I wade through unpacking our stuff now that the move is behind us and we wade into the next chapter.
Finally, some unrelated trivia: I finally caved and bought a cell phone. It’s my first ever and this post is the first I wrote using it. It’s been interesting to compare the hardware in terms of trying to express my idea using the phone as compared to my preferred keyboard.