Sometime in the 6th grade, I pulled a dusty, primitive dollhouse out of our basement and fell in love. I didn’t know where the house had come from, we just sort of always had it. My siblings and I, we colored on it, shoved junk in there, but never used it for its intended purpose. But something clicked in my 12-year-old mind and I wanted to save it. And while I was saving it, I wanted to create inside a perfect little world all my own.

This newfound interest also coincided with my fledgling babysitting business. Maybe I was feeling the rush of cash-on-hand? Maybe it was because I had started venturing away from my house, across the field to the new strip mall, and wandering the aisles of Michael’s Arts and Crafts? Do you remember when that store was more than scrapbooking? It used to be a mecca of art supplies, crafts, silk flowers and miniatures. Sigh… those were the days. (Subsequently, Michael’s also turned out to be my first real job. At 15. I had to get a work permit. Employee discount! And possibly the occasional five-finger discount too. Hmm…)
Anyway, I remember standing in front of those glass cases filled with furniture and those plastic bags of bric-a-brac, so tiny, fantastic, wonderful, filling an entire aisle. I wanted it all. The drawers that opened, the books with actual pages, the tiny cups and plates…

As I dreamed of my dollhouse, I romanticized the quiet life its inhabitants would lead. I imagined I was creating my own heritage piece, something to pass along to someone, my own daughter maybe, someday. And I began saving and collecting. I remember the $20 porcelain bathroom set was SUCH a splurge, but I justified it by making my own shelving, using a bead for a perfume bottle. The dusty blue couch set, a budget compromise. I outfitted the kitchen in oak, with a drop leaf table (not unlike the one I have now) and fridge that used ice, no electricity. And a pot belly stove. The parents’ bedroom had a four-poster bed I put together myself. And the nursery, the nursery was beautiful. Delicate and white. My mom jumped on my bandwagon and showed me a shop behind The Last Straw Ice Cream Parlour that was just for dollhouses. There I found wallpaper, carpeting and the clapboard siding of my dreams. I used to wander that shop for hours, not always buying something either. I wonder what that counter lady thought of me!
You know, I also wandered antique malls at that age. By myself. In retrospect, is that strange?
So flash forward a quarter century and here I am with a little lady of my own. Full size, not 1:12 scale! And she’s coming up on a third birthday. I give my mom a call and ask her to please, oh please, will you pull that dusty, primitive dollhouse out of your garage and ship it California? And she did.
And woah. What many years in a couple different garages of varying temps can do. Gotta admit, I was a little taken aback at the site of the dollhouse I had cherished so much. All of the windows and all of the trim were gone.
The inside faired much worse and it was looking a bit of a horror show. Not to mention, wobbly as all get out. Was I really going to give this to my daughter? Uh, yes. When faced with a project like this, it’s fuel for my motivational fire. The uglier something is, the prettier I want to make it.
Ugly isn’t enough of a word here. From the top:
Before: Attic
Before: Parents’ room
Before: bathroom (my shelf!)
Before: kid’s room
Before: kitchen
Before: living room
Safety was priority number one, so the first thing I did was remove every stray nail and scrape every surface until all was smooth(ish). Then I pulled out some wood glue and my nail gun and restored its rigidity. Solid.

A coat of primer went over every inch, because sometimes, you can’t see what’s there until everything is white. Primer also worked to deter the musty smell of the wood and obviously, stain block.

After the house was smooth, strong and the perfect blank slate, I realized all of the walls, inside and out, were so scuffed and gouged, that paint would not be enough to give it the clean, fresh, 2014 look I was going for. I had already decided on wallpaper for the back walls, but now I knew I would need to wallpaper all of the walls. And the exterior would get all new siding. I wanted to put clapboard on this house SO BAD when I was a kid. It feels full circle to do it now.

The To-Do List looked a lot like this:

Replace windows with acrylic
Add siding on exterior
Wallpaper all the walls
New flooring throughout
Replace trim exterior and interior – around windows and baseboards
Paint the ceilings
Decide on roof treatment (paint or shingles?)

What’s hilarious is I had originally intended this to be a Christmas present and thought I could get all of the above done in a weekend. Ha!!! When reality set in, I decided it was best to save it for her birthday at the end of March. Good idea because I need those entire three months to get this done. Between work, childcare and sourcing materials, this project proved intense. I’ll follow up tomorrow with the process of restoring this little house. It was so much fun, you know, if you like this sort of thing.


  • I just happened upon your blog, and I love this dollhouse!!! Can't wait for today's follow-up…and I'm going to have fun looking around your site! Thanks!

  • I'm sure the last time I commented was a long time ago, but this post! I had similar dollhouse fantasies at the same age, but no dollhouse. I was a figure skater (back when skaters actually skated figures) and figure practice was so boring. (I like jumping and spinning much better.) Anyway, I remember occupying my mind with thoughts of the perfect dollhouse I wanted to create. No idea why–but it's not all that different from how I sometimes think about my real house now. This post was just fascinating to me–and I can't wait to see what you did with this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

togel deposit dana klik88 klik88s tok99toto Link alternatif klik88slot togel bsi mahjong gacor slot zeus maxwin akun pro kamboja gacor slot gacor agen bola88 situs toto situs sv388 tok99toto klik88slots link alternatif klik88 situs slot thailand bp77slot bandar sbobet rtp klik88slot rtp tok99toto rtp k86sport rtp one8slot slot thailand super gacor slot gacor thailand slot zeus idn live casinod slot dana indonesia slot maxwin terpercaya slot demo pragmatic sv388 slot mahjong ways pg soft taruhan bola sbobet slot thailand 2023 slot gacor situs slot server thailand slot zeus gampang menang link slot mahjong gacor slot dana slot mahjong ways link slot pg soft slot gacor thailand link slot thailand Slot thailand gacor slot88 resmi login k86sport sv388 online 24jam akun slot thailand slot bsi slot gacor slot server luar slot deposit dana slot deposit bsi link slot gacor server thailand bo tok99toto k86sport slot gacor server thailand link slot gacor thailand link slot gacor link server thailand slot88 gacor klik88slot thailand slot thailand slot5000 situs slot 5000 bandar togel 4d akun pro kamboja fun77 situs slot88 slot thailand x500 slot thailand maxwin slot link slot gacor slot gacor maxwin tok99 klik88slots gacor thailand akun pro vip slot toto link klik88 data sdy slot88 gacor maxwin slot thailand gacor maxwin slot zeus online sv388 slot pragmatic play slot toto togel ngamentogel akun pro server thailand link alternatif tok99toto situs tok99toto situs k86sport link alternatif k86sport link alternatif k86sport resmi tok99toto gacor slot zeus gacor slot thailand terbaik slot maxwin mudah menang judi pg soft slot server thailand super gacor link slot deposit dana Starlight Princess 1000 slot dana gacor ok88slot gacor slot macau akun pro slot thailand one8slot slot china 10 link slot thailand 12 link slot thailand slot mahjong terbaik data hk pragmatic play slot bandar toto resmi daftar slot maxwin slot gacor slot thailand super gacor gampang menang slot dana server thailand slot zeus gacor rtp tertinggi mahjong bet 200 slot deposit 10k situs slot ovo 5k pg soft resmi slot thailand super gacor hari ini sabung ayam sv388 slot pgsoft bet 200 mahjong 200 perak terbaru mas77toto slot gacor deposit dana bandar judi baccarat slot mahjong maxwin dewaslot mahjong slot777 resmi pragmatic bet 200 joker123 deposit 5000 slot depo 5k slot olympus 77 server thailand gacor slot-thailand super gacor slot mahjong ways 2 2023 link slot toto gacor link slot thailand 2023 pg soft bet 200 link slot gacor dana slot ovo anti rungkad akun pro thailand rtp slot gacor mudah maxwin slot ewallet dana gopay ovo linkaja slot live casino baccarat slot dana mudah maxwin slot thailand mudah menang terpercaya slot gacor hari ini slot server thailand super gacor 2023 slot depo ovo 10k slot mahjong gacor bet 200 situs togel terpercaya tok99toto deposit 5ribu situs slot88 gacor slot zeus maxwin bandar togel terpercaya slot88 server thailand ok88 slot gacor mudah maxwin deposit dana ok88slot ngacor slot thailand mudah maxwin fun77toto link fun77toto pg soft slot mahjong ways slot thailand gacor maxwin terbaik