Found A Dollhouse, Fixed It Up, Need Help!

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Here we go! Have been looking for a forum of people who know what Im asking lol. I found a 4' tall Victorian hand painted solid wood dollhouse with hinged magnetic doors that had been donated at my local "mission".

It really was in excellent shape and was $25.

It has 11 rooms (5 small and 6 large), it is set up vertically 2 rooms on top of two and so on. 6 doors and is clean but only painted a solid cream color inside.

It needed new hinge screws and had no knobs. This house is for me and my only daughter to enjoy together as she gets older. We have taken care of the hinge and door situation and we found some great floor and wall papers to get us started!

My real dilemma, is figuring out the plan for the rooms!

Because the top right room is the only one with a high ceiling (11-12") and the other 10 rooms are only about 6" high ceilings. Not a problem I don't think but the planning is hard. The vaulted ceiling room will be a parlor/piano room, so should I make the bottom ones the dining/kitchen/living or???? I don't have a clue. This is the first house Ive had the pleasure of owning.

Another thing, I have never seen a house like this one. It has info on the back but I have had no luck Googling it. Maybe someone can shed light on that.

Thanks!

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Hello, welcome to our forum. Wow what a great find. "Domestications" I beleive sells speciality items for your home.

I believe it was a shelf unit possibility for a child. Anyway, it can be used as a house. Let your imagination go wild.

Have fun with your child. And post pictures so we can live through you.

Gail :bear:

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Thank you! Im glad to be here. I want to decorate it like a real house so I will be doing the wallpaper and floors and baseboards. When she is much older I also plan to light it, but while she is this little, will just be adding age appropriate wooden furniture and accessory sets from Plan Toys and Hape Toys. My question really though, is how to set up the rooms so I can start papering.

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Please make sure you mount it securely to a solid wall. You would never want a child to climb those tempting levels.

I would treat the floors like this:

-since her current height is about the same as the first 4 floors, I would limit your decorating and furnishings to just those floors. Maybe place stuffed animals on the top floors just until she gets taller.

-1st floor-maybe a garage or animal/horse barn

-2nd floor-kitchen & dining

-3rd floor-living & bath

-4th floor Master & child bedroom

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I know what you mean with the mounting, Im not as concerned about it currently because it is SO bottom heavy. The base is solid dense wood and she only weighs 18lbs. And she also is only in her room for sleep. So only has monitored time with the house. I had not considered a garage or a barn but those are very good ideas as she is an animal and car lover! A must have for her to reach is the nursery as she is big into baby everything. Great ideas thank you!

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Thank you for posting the pictures. The first one is precious because the dollhouse is bigger than your daughter is, and it won't be that way forever.

I really like Sable's idea of placing stuffed animals on the upper shelves until she is old enough to reach that high. I also like her suggestion for the rest of the house. I would have said to put the kitchen and dining room on the first floor, but since your daughter is so young, she would probably enjoy playing with plastic horses or My Little Pony pieces as well as toy cars. As she gets older, she will probably have ideas of her own.

I don't know what her level of interest will be, but I can picture furniture upgrades throughout the years, from plastic toy pieces to wooden collectors' items. So I can very well see the house growing up with her. - Good luck and enjoy.

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That's an adorable dollhouse. If it were mine, I'd set it up like an apartment building with each of those blocks of four rooms as its own apartment. But a little kid wouldn't necessarily like that!

I wouldn't worry too much about "room specific" wallpaper since you might want to rearrange the rooms later. Use designs and colors that could work no matter what the room is. I bet you could find some good scrapbook papers to use with pretty colors that complement the outside of the house.

Scale won't matter so much when she's little, but 6" ceilings are more in line with a half scale house than a traditional 1:12 house. (Usually dollhouses are 1" = 1', or 1:12, so a 6" ceiling would be 6 feet tall. In a half scale dollhouse, 1" = 2', so the 6" ceiling is 12 feet tall.) You might have more luck fitting toy furniture sets (like Calico Critters, Playmobile, Fisher Price, etc.) into those sized rooms than 1:12 dollhouse furniture.

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We do love Calico Critters, so that is a valid possibility. If we go that way though, a barn will not be a good idea lol

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I actually just got in the mail today 3 books of dollhouse floor and wall papers (Victorian) brand new and unused,

24 total sheets of really neat prints and I got all 3 for $10!

I am likely going to paper all of the rooms and just let her put the furniture/rooms where she wants them.

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What a fun project. Yes, it is a shelving unit and not a dollhouse. Yes, it is a perfect dollhouse. I don't want to mess with your big dreams for the house but I would consider a few things.

Having a just turned 6 daughter I can easily say your daughter isn't going to care about wallpaper. She would probably much rather just have the spaces painted. 6" is a good size for 1/2" scale. There are a TON of sets out there with furniture pieces, accessories and figures like Hello Kitty, Calico Critters, My Little Pony, little princess dolls, and anything your heart desires. What about not worrying about wall paper and piano's that will probably live upside down in the basement with a pony in it? You could use this wonderfully unique dollhouse shelf as a place to house all kinds of tiny toy sets. A Hello Kitty bedroom and living room. My Little Pony gets a bathroom and kitchen, Sophia has a bedroom and dressing room, Lalaloopsy has a kitchen...and so on. They all have all kinds of stuff.

Also, wiring will be a challenge. Is the unit wood or mdf? If it's mdf, big project to wire in my opinion.

Here is why I would consider the above. Do yourself a favor and examine the Greenleaf Company store. There are other brands too, I am a Greenleaf fan. Look at the amazing dollhouse kits for older kids and adult collectors. In your story, I heard a Mom who would do justice to an heirloom quality project. Something in addition to this piece. Don't think one dollhouse will be enough. Start saving such things as this fantastic wallpaper find for a detailed house, later. Something with windows and doors.

Your house is awesome. Don't get me wrong. With your desire, you should check out what else is out there. You might be like the rest of us. We are most all rather addicted to this wonderful hobby.

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I am likely going to paper all of the rooms and just let her put the furniture/rooms where she wants them.

What a gorgeous house! I know you want to make this extra nice for your daughter, Mom, but I'm with Morgan in that I'd leave the walls painted for now. As your daughter gets furniture and critters to live in the house, the rooms will change around a LOT. Don't be surprised to see a pony in what you thought was the master bedroom or a toilet next to the kitchen sink. And don't be surprised if she does some decorating on her own -- with crayons and/or magic markers or stickers designed to last until doomsday. Cleaning up paint is sooooo much easier than wallpaper. :D

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Looks like you will have a lot of fun with this, and so will your adorable little girl! :)

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I wouldn't even repaint the interior walls, as she will most likely "decorate" them with crayons, markers and stickers that can all be removed after she's older and ready for a more realistic house. Also, with 6" ceilings I believe your house would be much closer to 1:18 scale (3/4"=1'); later on the taller room could become a grand ballroom with a musicians' balcony accessible through a door in the topmost room. Is that your little princess standing next to the house? What a pretty little doll she is herself!

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What a great find, and what a cute little house-owner! I'm on the other side-- I would go all out on the wallpaper and flooring. :prop: Curtains too; I would add faux windows just so that I could install curtains. I wallpaper and floor and trim (not to mention electrics, staircases, and even window and door hardware) on the houses for my little nieces, and sure there will be (have been) boo-boos along the way but the rooms can be redone at some point if it comes to that...

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My impression is this was originally made for some kind of miniature, toy, or doll storage box, thus the painted insides and magnetic catches and no real windows to look through.

There were five more for sale according to Google:

Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana

Lot 5 Handpainted Vintage Domestications Wooden Doll Houses

Currently $37.01 USD

http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/5-Handpainted-Vtg-Domestications-Wood-Doll-Houses-11752669.html

But as someone else mentioned- nothing else really comes up in google for this, probably it was a very short lived line by some small maker that came and went out of business quickly.

Edited by Sculptor
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Reuse, repurpose... I love it!!

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Just a side thought. After I studied it for a min. What if you removed the center shelves? That way it becomes 12" rooms and Barbie will fit later. I completely stopped using my dollhouse as a child, once barbies came into play. She just didn't fit. I love the idea of making this into a dollhouse, but your baby is still so little, you could get away with just furniture for now. I disagree with everyone who said put stuffed animals up top for now. Anything that may entice her to climb that baby is a no no. That base sure looks like a step to me! Check out eBay for " lots " of dollhouse furniture in plastic. I have a specific one in mind. I bought their harry potter sets for my son and they are perfect. Of course though, mommy brain is keeping me from recalling the name. I'll look through my eBay history and find the name of the dolls for you. There were huge lots available and the size would be perfect for a little mind to be blown by. Ugh! I can't believe the name is escaping me!! Lol

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POLLY POCKET!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lol yes that hurt my brain...

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Well now my mind is split in two directions!!! Dang it Morgansmith!!!! Im pretty settled that we are going with Calico Critters to start, but I really wanted to do walls and floors! Now you have me thinking that I should save the paper and my other brain says that it would be awesome to put it in. I was going to seal the floors, but now im thinking maybe temporary floors from swatches/samples???? I cant even think about future houses lol. The wallpapers are sooooo cute. Great now im way more confused.

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KariW I had thought about taking out the middle shelves but am worried about my skills at removing them, and also not sure how I feel about changing it around. And not sure about how to smooth out what is left on the walls after removal!

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...I had thought about taking out the middle shelves but am worried about my skills at removing them...not sure how I feel about changing it around...not sure about how to smooth out what is left on the walls after removal!

When in doubt, don't. Let your little princess show and tell you how she wants to play with it. The Calico/ Sylvanians and Polly Pickets are a nice size for the scale. Since it's basically furniture, it should still be around for using your wallpapers and floor coverings and for cutting doors and windows into later, when she wants them. As for removing the shelves for Barbies later, a mouse sander and spackling compound will do the job nicely.

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Dang it again, then, because I have a new suggestion :) The collectible type papers for later, SCRAPBOOK PAPER now :) You can find limitless styles of scrapbook paper, cheap, even as low as 6/$1 on sale. 12" x 12" squares. Any craft store. That would be perfect for now. Especially glued to poster board, sealed, then double sided tape to mount to the walls and easily removable later. No windows to work around is a good deal. You can get tons of great styles. I got my daughter Ariel paper, Hello Kitty, rainbows...

And as for removing pieces to accommodate Barbie. Is the 'floor' space going to be big enough?

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