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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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Montclaire House - Library update & other things

The Library - some new comments and photos

The Bespaq revolving library table—
I found this wonderful table on eBay. The only setback was that the room for the books on the shelves required books that were smaller than I had on hand. Thus I had to make a few dozen custom-sized books! I don't mind making books, just not a lot of them at once, but since I wanted to see table AND books, I had no choice.

A closer look at the "custom" bookcase
As I mentioned previously, this a combination of the best parts of two commercial bookcases from HBS. I turned the not-so-exciting bottom into a nicer piece of furniture by adding some narrow trim to "make" drawers and doors. The handles are just jewelry findings, the raised panels are wood wainscot panels #326 from HBS.

To light the books directly, I installed three wall sconces (#2541) from HBS. The room has a 3-Arm Inverted Tulip Chandelier (#78512) from HBS, also.

Finding chairs to complement the Bespaq sofa—
Bespaq did make club chairs to match the sofa, but the material has been discontinued and Bespaq had none, thus no matching chairs. (In retrospect, this was a good thing.) This was a setback because I had wanted that red brocade sofa and that red and gold wallpaper!

I looked at a lot of chairs and none looked right. I also insisted that the chairs look comfortable—the kind a person could fall into with a good book and read or daydream. Finally, I looked at the Bespaq Monticello Campeachy chairs (from HBS) once again and EUREKA— I don't know why I discarded them in the first place! The black upholstery and walnut wood go perfectly in that very distinctive room.


The Addition—

The addition is on the dining room side. It has one room per floor: kitchen, guest bedroom, and an unknown room, perhaps a bathroom.

The kitchen and guest bedroom are coming along nicely, albeit slowly as I have not been doing to much "mini-ing", but have been caught up in real life stuff.

Main house and addition

More on this next time.

We have added more videos on YOUTUBE
...............................Badger's Hollow...........................

..................................  Toad Hall ........................................

We hope you like them!


  1. The revolving libary table looks amazing. A beautiful addition to your collection. gr. AM

    1. Thanks, I was very excited to find it. For some reason, it is not very available.

  2. Hi Iris,

    I'm always excited to see new posts from you and you never disappoint. Red is simply the perfect color for a library! I almost chose that same wallpaper pattern for my library and seeing it in yours --I wish I had! What a great job you did enhancing your shelves. I especially like how you lit them with the sconces. That revolving bookcase is too cool. I wish I had room for one! I used quite a few Monticello Collection pieces in MP and settled on a different pair from that same line for my library. Your 'Campeachy' chairs are an elegant foil to the sofa --much better than a matching suite. It's such a comfy, elegant room, Iris, and beautifully executed. Well to watch you new videos!


    1. Thank you John--we aim to please you know! The library was such a trial to do, I even gave up on it for a while, but I did finally get it right! I wish I had a library like this. My little people get all the good stuff!

  3. Hi Iris! Your library is really developing nicely! I love the turnabout bookshelf! I also the color and pattern of the wall covering; such a bold choice but it really pays off in boyh style and impact!


    1. That wallpaper is gorgeous, but what a trial to put on the wall. Fortunately, the problems I had get lost in the past and I can just look at a wonderful room.

  4. The library is fabulous. I want to grab a book and curl up on one of those couches!

    1. Me too, I want a library like this, but without all the headaches of making it! Glad you like it.

  5. Hi Iris! Great job making books! I keep saying I am going to make a bunch... at least fill One bookshelf! One of these days I will finally get to it! Your Library is looking Amazing! That Red sofa is Sharp! I agree that the matching chairs might have been too much of one thing for a Library... it is supposed to be the "comfortable" room! Those lights over the shelves are a great idea! Someday I will make a Library in 1/12 scale.... somehow the 1:48 scale one doesn't quite count!!!

    1. I enjoy making books, but as with a lot of things, it can get to be a grudge after a while. Unfortunately, often I find that commercial books are just not the right size for one bookshelf or another. I agree about the chairs. Looking at the room now, I am glad I couldn't get the matching club chairs--to say nothing of the fact that I bought 2 Campeachy chairs for the cost of one Bespaq club chair!