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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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Montclaire House & other laggards

Grumble, grumble, grumble …

Well, this year is too rapidly rushing into the holiday season and then it will be New Year’s Eve and there I will come face to face with the resolutions of 2013 that didn’t happen. For example, Montclaire House was supposed to be a one-year project! Unfortunately, with my “this way, that way life”, most things don’t make the deadline!

I did promise the Leaphorns that they could have a Christmas party—and they will—but it will be in a house under construction … oh well …. I will get the kitchen finished and the bar stocked so everyone can party on.

The other area that I was going to get done was to finish up all the loose ends in the houses that needed them. I did get some things moving along, but only for the Wells House: the Original Rowbottom Manse and the Rumford’s 2004 Oddjob Lane. Others still on the list are Sunnybrook Farm (started in spring 2001 no less!), La Malcontenta, MacPherson Farm, Abigail’s Teashop & Bakery, and Casa Lobo.

Fortunately, due to its size, only Sunnybrook needs the most things done—if I would just concentrate on doing one house at a time… The problem is that I get all these wonderful ideas for a different house and off I run hither, thither, and yon!

~~At least we had a wedding—
Max de Winter (Toad Hall) finally popped the question and he and his long-time girlfriend Emmeline di Pietro got married this summer. It was a beautiful wedding at Toad Hall amid the flower gardens. I cried and threw rice and had a wonderful time.

A summer wedding amid the flowers.
Finally, the happy day!!!

Montclaire House—
~~The addition
The addition is coming along and is much larger than the official RGT Montclair 2-story-with-attic addition. I finally decided on the roof line–sloping in front only, and a flat roof with a railing. Now that I could plan the attic room, I couldn’t come up with any room that I wanted, but since I had room, I should do something!

Finally, a FINAL decision for the addition attic!
The addition is taking forever and Joe is still trying to get a cup of coffee!
 ~~ Decision: Bathroom and an Office
The rooms will be simple and I won’t have to buy anything for them since there is still a ton of stuff that I inherited with the house. The back wall of the rooms will have clerestory windows; the bathroom will have a window on the exterior wall. The roof will have a wide front dormer window.

Narrow rooms, but I think it will work out. (Photo crooked, not house!)
~~The kitchen
The room is 12” x 18” X 9“.

The kitchen is finished except for the lights and the endless amount of small items that kitchens need.

This was my first experience with putting together the DIY cabinets sold by HBS—not my greatest accomplishment. At the end, they looked ok but what a job getting there. I have put together House of Miniatures furniture and was pleased with those experiences, but not with this brand. Fortunately, I only had to do the stove top with cabinet and the wall oven. The rest of the cabinets, appliances, and table and chairs came “put-together”! I think they are Concord but the sink looks like a custom-made item.
The flooring is a vinyl tile sheet from HBS. The wallpaper is Dutch Tile by Jackson Miniatures (UK). The window is made by the late, much lamented Timberbrook company. It really is a vertical window but I made it into a faux horizontal sliding window which fit perfectly over the sink. The trim and the “split” door are from HBS.

The kitchen with a window to look out to see the sunshine while doing the dishes!

~~The Guest Bedroom
The room is 12” x 18” X 9“.

I took the color scheme for the bedroom from the bed linens on the designated guest bedroom bed. The furniture is vintage Shackman except for the vintage Sonia Messer chair.

The carpet is Seafoam Green from Mini Graphics. I love the green wallpaper but the pattern just over-powered the room so I used white-on-white stripe wallpaper for the "wainscot”. I think the wallpapers are New Creations. The window is made by the late, much lamented Timberbrook company. The crown mouldings, the chair rail, and the door are from HBS.

Lighting is to be done.

The guest bedroom

We have another dollhouse video on YouTube:

....... 2004 Oddjob Lane .....


  1. Hi Iris,

    I just watched your video --what a great reno you did on that house! Sorry you didn't get as far on all your other projects but it seem you STILL got lots done. And tomorrow is another day, right? Weddings take so much time to plan and yours looks to have been the Event of the Season. Congratulations to the happy couple!


    1. The 2004 Oddjob Lane renovation was a lot of fun with no pressure. It was fun to see what could be done with even the most "commercial" and inexpensive of dollhouses. Glad you like it.

  2. I love what you did to this house. The kitchen is wonderful. I love the paper in the bedroom. I enjoyed your video. You have sooo many wonderful ideas.
    Hugs Maria

    1. Thank you. Montclaire House is turning out well, but I did have a number of "what do I do now" moments with it. Glad you like it and the video.

  3. Oh Iris, I feel your pain!!! Where did this year go??? I can't believe I have spent the entire year on only two rooms in my Tiny Tree House!!! You have accomplished a lot from the looks of it, even if it isn't everything on your list! (Darn those lists... they always seem to just get longer the more we work! LOL!) I sure hope you are going to be able to have that Christmas Party even if the house is not yet done! Parties are too much fun to skip!! And maybe next year you will get it all done! (Ha Ha!) Oh well, we can Dream, can't we?

    1. We will definitely have a Christmas Party! Then I will feel like I accomplished something--I always like to have a good time with my little people! This year sure did go by much to fast! Oh well, there's always next year--ha

  4. Thought you might be interested in this link for matching Bespaq club chairs for your sofa in Montclair library. House is looking wonderful!,5553.html

  5. Hi Iris,

    Well, I don't think you are the only one who has lots of unfinished projects this year, I know I have many myself. this year has been hard to keep a grip on for some reason, even my blog looks sadly neglected.

    However, I like what you have done with the houses above, hope the Christmas party is in full swing soon!!! ;)

    Andy xxx

  6. Hello Iris,
    You are in good company my friend. Yet another year and my mini goals were not reached. In the end it is not a race...but you will get there. Your transformation of the Monclair is amazing. I cannot wait to see it complete. I cannot comment anymore because I have to go re-watch your video...what an amazing and beautiful project!
    big hug,