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, January 2, 2012

Behind the Build (#2): Abner Raleigh House, Williamsburg, Virginia.

Well, one thing about thinking and gathering info Fall, 2008, is that, depending on the calmness of ones life, one may or may not find all the notes -- to say nothing of being able to remember what no longer can be found (as yet). For one, I had elevation drawings of the house. A lot of the "missing" are not very important since I am not making an exact scale model -- but just an anoyance.

I did find some notes:

The Lightfoot House is 28' - 6" in width (east to west) by 31' - 3" in depth (north to south).

The exterior colors and the numbers used to designate them in the color files of Colonial Williamsburg: the exterior -off-white (#696); the outside surface to the exterior doors, the blinds, and basement windows are a dark blue green (#187); porch floors and the treads of the steps are light brown (#25).

The floors throughout the house are face grain, yellow pine boards, varying in width from four to eight or nine inches.

The wall heights from finished floor to fininshed ceiling height of the first floor is approximately 9' - 9"; the second floor is approximately 7' - 10 1/2 ".

As I mentioned, the Abner Raleigh House will be 28" x 28". I will try to replicate to exterior colors (I am a liitle leary of duplicating the dark blue green color). I will use yellow pine random-width flooring boards.

There is always a big debate about ceiling heights in our dollhouses. For the Original Rowbottom Manse and the 1/8" plywood kits, I kept the approximate 8 - 8 1/2" ceiling height. I really dislike having such low ceilings in a dollhouse. Somehow, it looks lower than actual 8' ceilings in a real house. Also, it is hard to work with low ceilings--for me anyway.

So.....The first floor ceiling height will be 10" as in the real house; the second 8 or 9". At first, I was thinking of 9" first-floor ceilings, but then I decided to go for 10". I think that 9" ceilings should be the minimum, at least on the non-basement, second, and attic floors--just for good looks and ease of decorating. Of course, all this is a personal decision. Of course, it also makes planning easier if all the ceiling heights are the same--just one height to remember!

The new floor plans:

Abner Raleigh House. First floor plan, living and dining room to have corner fireplaces.
Abner Raleigh House. Second floor plan, both bedrooms room to have corner fireplaces.
Right now, I am thinking of corner fireplaces in all the rooms, or not. I am not sure if the kitchen is large enough--the house will not be made larger, just a two-story bump-out for more room.

I am about to begin a very basic floor layout on a 28 x 28-inch piece of cardboard. I have some furniture for the house (thanks to my sister) to place on the board. At some point in the near future (I hope), I will buy the plywood and have the woodworker's shop cut most of the pieces. Then I will start a mock-up using plywood. I still have to work out the angle of the Mansard since I want a decent amount of room on the second floor. The little people hate it when they hit their heads on the ceilings! I also have to work out exactly where I want the interior doors. And then on to laying out where the tape wire will go, and if I will need more than one transformer.

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