It All Starts Here

Sometimes our ideas flow from an existing kit to bash, a house style to scratch (aka custom) build, or from an interesting doll who needs a place to live. Our settings are always modern-day (ca. 2001 when we started this hobby). We try to create things that will make people smile and feel good.

We think that if we had to build the same house twice, we literally could not do it! Fortunately, we have very unique little people who have definite opinions and so far, no one has wanted a house “like so-and-so” has.

We work as a family unit: my wonderful husband, my beautiful sister, and I. We don't always agree as to the direction of the build, but I think that we end up with a better dollhouse because of all our grumblings -- and we do have a lot of fun!

The Purpose of this Blog

We needed a place for all we wanted to say about the background of the build and the nuts and bolts of the design and build process. Thus this blog.

All our dolls' homes have families living in them and a story is built around their personalities and lifestyles. This story is an integral part of our building process. We would like to share these stories -- actually, the little people insist upon it!

Many of our houses are located in Fredericksburg, Virginia because that is my sister's favorite place.

Also, we have started a Rouges' Gallery with photos of our little people and information about the dolls.

If you would like to start with the dollhouse that "started it all", it is the Original Rowbottom Manse; if you would like to see the scratch-built Georgian that our first build gave us the confidence (or fool-hardiness) to do, it is Sunnybrook Farm.

Let the stories begin!

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Behind the Build: 2004 Odd Job Lane (Store-bought)

(For a complete pictorial chronicle, see the Webshots album listed on the left.)

Strictly speaking, this house has no "behind the build" type of story that my other houses have. The house was a kit with completely finished rooms and came with wonderful furniture. I bought it Christmas 2004 from Odd Job Stores (a discount store) in my town. It was displayed at the entrance of the store and looked so welcoming that even I (who only "roll my own") could not resist. The house just captured my fancy. I make no excuses! I had to have it! It is a front-opening, six-room house, and is made of 3/8" MDF.

Soon, I was at home putting it together. It was a very easy build -- the pieces just slid into one another. The doors had to be hinged but all hardware was supplied and pilot holes were already drilled.

I like all the wallpaper patterns but I do not like that the wallpaper is glossy. (Perhaps I should spray it with a clear matt spray.) The floors are paper covered, also. These papers are usually damaged when I move something put in place with "sticky wax". So far, I am living with those drawbacks. The other thing is that while the dining room and kitchen are a nice size (11 1/2" x 13"), the other rooms are only about 11 1/2" by 11". The walls are 10" high.

Dorothea and Edmond (Ned) Rumford live in this Queen Anne style townhouse located in Alexandria, Virginia.

I did make some changes to the house as directed by the new home owners:
1. I replaced original dark wood kitchen cabinets with white.....
2. I changed the dining room solid door to a French door.....
3. I removed the doors from the living room and den and added faux, open pocket doors since the rooms are small.
4. I added a fireplace in the living room and den. I cut through the walls to make a slight firebox for them.
5. I kept the living room furniture but added some nice pieces including a vintage piece by Fantastic Miniatures, a pre-Bespaq company........
6. The den was originally a nursery. I added all new furniture including some nice Shackman pieces.....
7. The bedroom furniture was replaced by wonderful Sonia Messer pieces.....
8. The bathroom set was perfect and included a separate shower.....
9. The stairs were painted white. I repainted the treads and banister a wood-tone brown.....
10. I hung curtains, added rugs, curios, pictures, etc.

At one point, I considered making the living room and den deeper but decided against it. I think the house has considerable charm as is. I may add crown moulding, though.

I am planning to put some landscaping around the house. Since it is a townhouse and quite close to its neighbors, I will do something charming but small. I have a lovely white (wire) gazebo for their yard.

Well, that is about it for the "build"!


  1. You got a good deal on this house, and you did just the right things with it.

  2. What a terrific "make-over" for the exterior. I like the idea about changing the roof to a hip roof with an attic room.