Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Once Upon a Time, There Was a Very Beautiful Doll's-House

I was a very girly little girl (imagine that!)  I loved anything to do with dolls and was especially crazy for barbies!  I never had a barbie dreamhouse, but I did have an endless supply of Avon boxes and the imagination necessary to stack them into glamorous mansions!  I've just finished a project for the shop which is probably my favorite piece I've ever painted and put together and it has taken me back to my doll obsessed's a huge, vintage handmade wooden doll house!  I bought it at our neighbor's garage sale...her father had built it for her when she was little but never got around to finishing it.  They said they had actually tried to sell it at previous garage sales with no luck...did I really pass by this treasure before without a second glance?  Well, here is what it looked like when my husband rolled it up the street on a dollie (oh how I wish I had a picture of that!)

I started by painting the whole house, inside and out my favorite vintage cream.  Next, I found the palest of pink paints for the roof and stairs leading up to the front door.  I did a bit of light sanding after the paint had dried to add some vintage charm.  I happened to have this cute little table that was THE perfect height, width and depth to add as a base to the house and basically transform it from a doll house into a unique piece of furniture and raise it up to the appropriate level for play!  I added a ruffly skirt to make it ultra-feminine and chic!  I am really happy with how it turned out and I hope it goes to a loving home :)

I used the last of my discontinued Rachel Ashwell stripey "Amanda" fabric for this was just too perfect and I felt the house was worthy of it!

My favorite Potter story!
The first sentence of Beatrix Potter's "The Tale of Two Bad Mice" is:  "Once upon a time there was a very beautiful doll's-house."  It goes on to describe the house and the dolls who live there.  One day when the dolls are out, two mice named Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca explore the house and cause all kinds of trouble.  I love all Beatrix Potter stories but this one is my all-time favorite.  The idea of little mice scurrying around in a pretty doll house gathering up items to decorate their own nest with is just so fun.  My doll house project had me thinking of that story and I had to find a way to incorporate it somehow.  I happened to have an extra copy of the book to add to my display at the shop!
If I had a little girl, this house would not be leaving my house...I tried very hard to think of a reason to keep it.  I could see it in a feminine crafting studio, in fact if you are familiar with Rachel Ashwell's newest book you've seen that she has a vintage doll house in her own studio!  Well, if you read my last post about my "mom cave" you know that my crafting studio is our formal living/dining area.  My husband puts up with a lot of pink, feminine decor in our house but he drew the line at doll houses in the living room!  I also thought about it as Christmas decor...if I painted it just right and added some glitter and snowflakes, it could be a giant addition to my Christmas village!  Hubby said no to that idea too.  So...I enjoyed having it here during it's "restoration" and decided to set it up at the shop so that it could make the Christmas of some lucky little girly girl very special.

I am linking this post up with The Shabby Chic Cottage for Transformation Thursday,  Savvy Southern Style for Before and After, Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday and Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday.  Thanks for stopping by!  Best Wishes and God Bless!  -Amanda


  1. Oh my word!! I am in love! Mom will you buy this for me?! I know your reading this :) Sorry I just felt like a little girl again after seeing this. LOL. I would have done anything for a dollhouse. Knowing how I always wanted to be an interior designer can you imagine how much fun it would have/would be! The first thing I want Jeremy to build, if we have a girl, is a dollhouse. She will have one right out of the womb. I can imagine how hard it was for you to let that go! You did such a great job making it so beautiful, and I love the story. I wish I could buy it for my niece. Thanks for sharing!

  2. What a great job you did on that doll house, the detail is wonderful. Florence

  3. Hi Amanda! Thanks for the link to your blog. I love the transformation of the vintage dollhouse. I really wish you could keep it! I too have all boys (4) which is why my husband let's me keep mine. :-) I'm certain this will find some little girl very happy come Christmas morning. Off to catch up on more of your posts.

  4. Wow, that is gorgeous. Hmm, and your hubby doesn't want it in the living room. I currently have a huge dinosaur in my living room that I sort of ignore and decorate around. I'm sure your house will find a new home.

  5. Great job on the doll house. Makes me want to work on mine again - well sorta. :D

  6. There is always something special about a hand-crafted doll house. I am so glad you rescued this one! ♥O

  7. Very cute and thanks for linking to my first party.

  8. If you would ever like to be featured than please come check us out! All we ask is that you become a follower than email us on what you would like us to feature..We love to to feature people and their great finds,recipes. Thanks for letting us stop by!

    This is so cute

  9. You did a terrific job on the doll house it looks gorgeous!!! I can see why you would want to keep it!

  10. Hi. Just found you from Debra's inspiration. Such a sweet house! I'll have to come check out your stuff in Camas. It's a nice antique mall. I just live in Brush Prairie.
    ~ Julie

  11. Beautiful Doll House ~ Perfect Display, some little girl is going to be Mighty Happy this Christmas....

  12. pretty!

    I think I used to have the same dollhouse as you growing up!

  13. This is just a precious dollhouse, and you can tell that you lovingly finished it. What a wonderful gift for some sweetheart. So glad you linked to VIF.

  14. Love your doll house! I have a fully furnished Victorian Doll House! It is my dream house!!

    Debbie @ A Debbie- Dabble Christmas


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