You may or may not have read a post about a Marx tin dollhouse we decorated recently. Well, during another visit to the antique store, we ran into another dollhouse we simply couldn’t pass up. (To be honest, it ran into us, not the other way around. Dollhouses are infamous for not looking where they’re going.) This one was huge, about four feet tall, with ten rooms, a charming weathervane, and it was painted to look like a Victorian house. Plus, it had doors, so we could keep it closed to protect it from our dastardly kitty, Elsa. Surprisingly enough, it was about the same price as the smaller dollhouse. After some careful consideration as to whether or not we should take on a second dollhouse, we decided to go for it. This one was bigger than the previous dollhouse, plus it would give us a lot more freedom to be creative, so it looked like a fun challenge. The weathervane broke off on the way home, but a little bit of super glue was enough to fix it right up. It’s settled. I’m obviously great at carpentry.
Like last time, we really wanted to learn about our new dollhouse, so we got to work researching it. Finding any information about this particular dollhouse, however, proved most difficult indeed. The tag at the store had said that this was a “Fairmont” dollhouse, and on the back of the dollhouse, it said that it was part of the Victorian Ladies Collection, painted by Domestications. Strangely enough, looking up these search terms online found us next to nothing. It was not until another dollhouse of a similar style was sold at the antique store a couple months later that we were able to find out a bit more. This one was tan and a bit larger, with more doors to open and rooms with bay windows. It also came with a certificate that called this model “Mission Hill”. Hmm, all right, let’s check it out.
With this small bit of extra information, we found that Domestications is a company that went out of business, but at some undefined point in time, they made a set of cabinets painted like dollhouses that were part of the Victoria Ladies Collection. These dollhouses were Mission Hill, Fairmont, and Golden Gate (that last one is pretty cool; I’ve seen images of it online, and it has a yard painted on the front), though there may have been a fourth for which I can find no information. They are limited edition, and varying amounts were made of each. I think, in general, 1500 or so were made of each model, and the number was included on the front as the house’s address. Ours is 459. I still wish I knew what year these were made, but that’s the best we could do.
Well, whether or not this was a true dollhouse mattered not. It looked like one (it even had cute things painted in the windows, like a lamp and two kitties!), and darn it, we were going to use it however we saw fit! The first thing we did was plan out what each room would be used for, then, we got an assortment of furniture to get us started. Before we progressed much further into the decorating, however, we decided it would be best to take care of the floors and wallpaper before too many items were placed in each room.
Carpets were made out of felt or fuzzy scrapbook paper. Hard floors and walls were made out of regular scrapbook paper. And a few rooms even have fancy ceilings made out of some interesting textured scrapbook paper. All of the walls and ceilings were held in place with “removable mounting putty”, as we didn’t want to attach anything to the dollhouse (ahem, cabinet misleadingly painted to look like a dollhouse) permanently, in case we wanted to change something later. We also divided two rooms with cardboard covered in scrapbook paper to create two extra walls.
Long story short, after a lot of decorating (based on the height of the ceiling, we decided that 1:24 scale furniture would work best for this dollhouse), we had done pretty much everything we could, and it was time to share our efforts on the grand, old Internet. Since this dollhouse is rather large, though, I’m going to break this tour into two parts. Today, you shall witness the outside and the first five rooms! Behold, the dollhouse in all its mighty glory!
Inside, we shall start with the entryway. This is the first room that got the textured ceiling, and the floor is supposed to look like tile. Thanks to all the lovely plants we found at various craft stores, this room also kind of serves as a conservatory. The porcelain bench was something cool we found at the antique store, and on the left is a mirror originally intended for the master bedroom. It didn’t really show up in the photo, but I assure you, it’s there.
Through the entryway, you shall find yourself in the living room. You can already tell that this house is much fancier than the tin dollhouse. These are rich doll people. Interestingly enough, we actually found a lamp just like the one painted on the outside to place in here. We also painted the fireplace and added some twigs from outside to act as firewood. A few more things worth noting is that this house, like the last one, is also equipped with a rather large Bible, plus a Thomas Kinkade painting. (Mr. Kinkade, you are a talented dude.) And the wooden flowers on the table, according to the antique store at which we bought them, were apparently carved in Germany. If that’s true, that’s cool. Oh, and that vase came from a set of tableware. You will be seeing items from two different tableware sets all throughout both dollhouses.
On the next floor up is a kitchen on the left and a dining room on the right. Miniature ovens are strangely hard to come by, so this house shares the same type of oven as the other dollhouse, though this kitchen has a much nicer sink, which we decorated with various items, including two jars filled with tea leaves and tiny beads, respectively. The beads were supposed to be for Vanille’s cosplay, but I made a slight miscalculation and realized they wouldn’t work for her costume after I bought them. Woops. I thought the pineapple wallpaper was quite fun for a kitchen.
The dining room features seating for six, another painted fireplace, and a grandfather clock. (The table is actually a coffee table intended for larger dollhouses.) I rather like the blue we used throughout to contrast the red and gold. We also have another lovely painting on the left, and on the right, there is a small vase, though it’s not so small when placed in a dollhouse. We searched all over for a small vase at the antique store, and we literally found this within minutes of giving up. (At the same time, we also found the little blue cups featured in the tin dollhouse’s kitchen.) What a lucky several minutes those were!
The last room I’ll be covering today is the guest room. This room was actually split into two, as you can see. The left side used to be a sewing room, complete with a sewing machine on a table we had made using an old wooden Christmas ornament as the base and a piece of cardboard covered in cloth for the top. We also had a basket with little scraps of cloth inside to make it look like a laundry basket. We decided this room wasn’t all that great, however, so we replaced it with a guest room. The bed was found at the antique store, though we made a sheet and pillows for it because it was rather plain before. The material used for the bed was actually the same material used for the carpet of the tin dollhouse’s master bedroom. The tables were wooden tables we painted.
On the right is a pantry for the kitchen downstairs. In here, there are cans of strangely misspelled foot, I mean, food. (See what I mean?) Such suspicious vittles included “cut greer beans” and “breen peas”. Seriously? Honestly? Really? To help wash this questionable food down, we also have cans of delicious “fizzy pop” and “cola cool”, among other things. Which of the above would you feel safe trying? I agree. None of it.
And that is where my tour ends. You’ll just have to wait for another post to explore the other five rooms of this tiny mansion of fun. While we have no more incorrectly spelled items to look forward to, there should still be some rather interesting things, including a peek at the true master of this house…. ‘Til next time, dear readers.
Victorian Ducks Collection: A Set of Cabinets Painted to Look Like Ducks Wearing Victorian Era Clothing