LEAWOOD, Kan. (WDAF) — A retired Leawood couple’s tiny quarantine creation has gone viral. Now they are using their big splash in a miniature world to get some big donations to a cause near to their hearts.
Annie Kampfe and Cliff Donnelly have spent their pandemic like a lot of people stuck at home.
“Constantly we’re cutting pieces of wood,” Kampfe said.
They’ve been doing some remodeling and redecorating.
“That’s real tile. We hand made these doors,” Donnelly pointed out.
The thing is the home they’re working on fits neatly along the back wall of the retired couple’s workshop. They began the project in 2019.
“He came home from his golf trip, and I said I have this crazy idea I want to build a miniature house,” Kampfe said.
But they spent thousands of hours during 2020 perfecting the 13-room home with plenty of nods to the era they grew up in. There’s tiny furniture that takes you back to the mid-century modern era with David Bowie and Blues Brothers pillows.
“So many people have messaged us and said this takes me back to my childhood. Oh my gosh is that a Chia pet?” Kampfe said.
They even decided to add a basement, which has some of Donnelly’s favorite rooms, including a man cave with a bar, fish tank and pool table. Next to the laundry room, there’s a garage with a functioning garage door. The home has dozens of working lights and lava lamps wired for electricity.
The couple’s first venture into miniatures opened their eyes to a whole new world.
“You start to think in that one inch one foot scale,” Kampfe said.
Their drawers are filled with tiny tools like screwdrivers and tweezers and things like ping pong balls used for the outdoor fire place.
“It’s just amazing normal everyday things you can use to create something,” she said.
Turns out for these Kansans who included barbecue ribs on the grill and a miniature poster of Wizard of Oz on their wall there really is no place like home.
“We learned to have patience with each other,” Kampfe said.
“We had to,” Donnelly chuckled.
And though they aren’t welcoming friends like the sign says on the front of the home to view it just yet during the pandemic, one of their children posted pictures online that’s been retweeted more than 40,000 times and received more than 200,000 likes.
“We’re happy that something that gave us joy in doing together people are latching onto and finding their own memory in the mini modern house.”
Kampfe is just saddened her 91-year-old mother can’t enjoy in those memories as she’s suffering from Alzheimer’s. They decided to post links on Twitter and MiniModernHouse’s Instagram after the attention the home received asking people to make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.