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30+ years old DollHouse
So, I was nosing around on Market Place and I saw a pretty dollhouse that someone wanted $150 for. I didn't think the dollhouse was worth that, so I kept looking. I came back every day looking and then I saw this new one listed. The seller was asking $189 for it, and I thought it was worth a lot more. I contacted her and asked if it was still available. She indicated it was and said she had to get rid of it by Tuesday. Perfect, I said. I will come get it. THEN I had to figure out how we were going to bring this dollhouse home. We wound up renting a uHaul van and loading it up into the van and carefully driving it home. Once home, a furniture dolly helped to bring it inside the apartment and now, it sits in the middle of my living room. GO Team! we did it!
The house needs some restorative work, but is otherwise in good condition. The things that need to be done: repair the front porch rail, the stairway from second floor to attic needs to be repaired and reattached. Some of the rooms need to be finished wallpapering and the flooring needs to be done. Some of the windows need to be repaired. The trim around the turret needs some parts replaced. Some of the doors need to be reattached. Some of the shingles need to be replaced. Aside from that, the dollhouse looks awesome for being as old as it is.
I am going to try to upload some pics if I can. You all can tell me what you think.
My McKinley Restoration (and modification)
So, back in 2002, I bought a pre-built display McKinley from Country Store miniatures in Vancouver WA. That store is now closed. At the time, the McKinley was discontinued, so I was desperate to have it, in spite of not really having time or space for it. Fast forward 16 years and the dollhouse crossed the US twice, lived in a humid attic and was turned into a squat house for some Douglass squirrels. This past year, my husband built me a little 'she shed' for my authoring and for my crafting and minis business, and I was able to take the McKinley down from the attic, clean out the nests of foam and moss and whatever else the squirrels filled it with, and begin to restore this poor, dilapidated house.
I have a really specific idea what I am going to do to it, and it's going to no longer be a Victorian house. It will be a Georgian/Regency style townhouse. The gables will be taken off (most of the ply has delaminated anyway, and install a hip roof. All the trim was either destroyed or disappeared along the years, so I figured since I'm a regency nut anyway, why not? So this is my project so far. I will keep adding as I go along. To follow my other progress pages, you can also keep an eye on my Feffie's Cottage page on Facebook, or my Pinterest page. I will provide links below.
Some 'background' on what this McKinley will be: This McKinley will become "Huxley House". The home for a seer, sorceress and medium, Miss Violet Huxley. It will have all the proper Regency things going on, but will have a gaslampy, fantasy twist (because that is what I write as an author... Regency with a 'twist'. So, the house will eventually have some supernatural things going on, but it will still be pretty and inviting, and functional for a Regency sorceress.
So here is the poor thrashed McKinley in all her faded glory. But fear not. She will be lovely again!
As you can see, there are already some kitchen cabinets made up in there. I made those in 2003. They were pretty thrashed too, and needed to be restored. I'm a bit of a 'built-in' addict, and I love to make custom cabinetry for my dollhouses. My Feffie's Cottage miniature business will eventually offer up some kits custom made to fit particular houses. And since I pretty much only do Greenleaf, you can count on some of them being customized for the GL line. Anyhoo... Let me zoom in on the kitchen to start, since that room is the furthest along.
Hoping that our forum of educated dollhouse builders/rehabbers may be able to point me in the right direction here. I'm looking at possibly buying an incredibly old and to my eyes lovely dollhouse -- but I know it will need restoration. I do not want the value to depreciate b/c I've attempted to rectify problems with it's current condition. However, there are also no qualified rehab artisans of antique dollhouses anywhere near me. If nothing else I would at least like to find some books on restorations and the how to's of, and indeed the older houses like Bliss and Gottschalk dollhouses to educate myself more. I was amazed today that though my local library has literally no books on dollhouses or miniatures at all, the librarian called the district director and they bought the book "The Genius of Moritz Gottschalk" and are going to contact me when it's in. I know I was beyond surprised they would do so, but was incredibly grateful as that book is expensive! I've a few books on Bliss houses already, but again -- nothing in regards to the restoration of antique houses. So now I'm left wondering if there are actually any books, or if folks may be willing to share sources and/or tips on antique dollhouse restorations? My thanks in advance for any possible help!
Jumping in with a vengance
I am so happy to have found such a great place to connect with like-minded souls! I live in the Seattle area (by way of the Midwest and East Coast). I just bought dollhouse from the 1970s. It has been beaten and battered a bit, but it has so much potential. I am now on a mission to make it better than ever. I welcome any and all advice!
can yellowing vinyl flooring be fixed?
I've got a fixer upper. The kitchen floor is one of those black and white plastic (vinyl) flooring sheets.and about 1/2 of the floor is yellowing. The house was built in the mid 1970's so the floor might be brittle. Is there anything I can clean it with that won't wreck it?