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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~~Derek Rowbottom - My Inspiration~~

Derek Rowbottom is the author of a number of wonderful dollhouse "how-to" books.
The book that gave me courage!

Unfortunately, I believe they are all out of print, but if you can find them, I heartily recommend them.

For myself, without his book Making Georgian Dolls' Houses (yes, he's a Brit) I never would have had to courage to scratch build or even kit-bash, a dollhouse. In gratitude, I have named my first Little People family "The Rowbottoms" and the father "Derek". My first dollhouse build ( a Petite Dreams kit bash) was named "The Original Rowbottom Manse". My Rowbottoms live in Virginia in the current day (actually 2001 when I started this hobby).

The Rowbottoms of Virginia

Original Rowbottom Manse
Fortified with the success of my first bash-build, I started to think of what I would like to build next. I have always liked Georgian/Palladian houses and started to cruise the internet for real world examples. I also started to look for kits that could be easily adapted. I settled on the RGT Montclare and the Foxhall Manor. Then I found a picture of Whitewebbs, a late eighteenth century Georgian on the outskirts of London. That settled it -- Foxhall Manor was it!

Whitewebbs (outskirts of London) photo  from Georgian House Style by Ingrid Cranfield
Unfortunately, the kit would have to be bashed-- I wanted Palladian windows, balconies, a larger foyer, and wider rooms. I contacted a dollhouse shop and asked if they would make me a customized Foxhall. Well, they could but they didn't like my design and wanted to change it, and they would only build the house and put it together and then ship it to me. I didn't want their design--it was MY house (and my money!) and I wanted it shipped flat, so if necessary, I could make any other changes that appealed to me. To top it off, they said that they were so busy that they couldn't do it for six months. Well, we got into a big brouhaha, and finally my husband said "we'll build it ourselves"! Besides, we had Derek's book to help us!

Dolls' House World magazine ~2001,
built by Anthony Wright
  Well, once again as life would have it, things changed. I saw a dollhouse in the British magazine Dolls' House World that I absolutely knew was my dream house; and thus, Sunnybrook Farm, my Georgian (/Classic Revival), came about. This would definitely have to be a complete scratch build--but we had Derek!

I have reread Making Georgian Dolls' Houses many, many times; sometimes to learn something, sometimes just for the pleasure of this book.

SunnyBrook Farm (aka The Big "G"[eorgian])
Through the years, I have bought many dollhouse books, all wonderful, but none hold the place in my heart that Making Georgian Dolls' Houses has with its author Derek Rowbottom.


  1. What a wonderful start to your hobby! You have done well!


  2. Thanks-- it's a great hobby and we really did get so much confidence from this book.