Many, many, many (many) years ago, my mother built me a dollhouse, inspired by a house I used to live in.
Probably not the most inspiring photo, but the lighting was bad and she’s seen some stuff in her 45 or so years. Yeah, that long! I couldn’t have been younger than 9, but probably no older than… 12? Mom, chime in and remind me!
She’s had a number of … uh … “renovations” … over the years. A couple of different floors. Many different wallpapers, some of them still up, under the current wallpaper… which is probably just taped to itself because we didn’t have glue in the house when I was “remodeling.” I waffled for YEARS on how to decorate her, what kind of furniture style to use, should I make it Victorian (there were so many Victorian furniture kits out there even though it’s not a Victorian-era house)… should I make it Florida Cracker (which is what the original, real house was) because I guess that would be “country” decor….? It didn’t really matter because I didn’t have a lot of money to pour into it, and not a lot of time, either. A few years after I kind of put aside deciding how to decorate it, I shingled the roof – I knew I wanted shingles (even though the Bayport house roof was tin. Shingles were much easier, for all that you had to glue on each individual shingle. I think someone got me a glue gun for my birthday one year, or something.
The last few years, now that all of my hobbies have become my job (which I LOVE, don’t get me wrong!) I’ve been wondering if I need something that’s genuinely just a hobby. What would that be? Well… what if I got back to miniatures, and my dollhouse?
I started following a few miniature makers on Instagram (if you want to fall down a rabbit hole for a while check out the miniature dollhouse tag, or the dollhouseminiatures tag… I’ll wait, haha). All following them really did for me, though, was make me want about seventeen different ones I could decorate in seventeen different ways, sigh.
Then I discovered a thing that’s new to me, little rooms! They’re small, maybe ten by ten inches, and there’s a greenhouse, a book store, a bakery, and so on. What if I made a gazillion of those? Ugh, though, where would I keep them. Hang them on a wall? Then I found out they make some that are designed to go on bookshelves… and those look hella fun… but my bookshelves are stuffed full.
And I have this perfectly good, if dusty, dollhouse that I’ve always loved. After going back and forth a lot with how I’d decorate it, looking at kits and furniture styles and watching how other people modify those kits with paint and ephemera… I started to think… rather than pick a time frame, an era, how about I decorate it as if I lived there?
Right about the time I started to think, yes, I could do it that way – totally eclectic… I saw this on Etsy.
Obviously I had to get it.
I’m going to take it slow, I think; bones first. I got new flooring, and I’ll put that in first. Then decide on wall coverings (the original Bayport house was pine boards, all the way). After that, I want to work on the windows, framing them to make them look a little more finished. After that? I dunno, maybe I’ll see how many bookshelves I can put in there, haha.
I did wind up getting one of those little 10×10 ones, a book shop. I bought it for myself about eight months ago, but it’s just been sitting next to my dollhouse. After I do the floors, walls, and windows, I think I’ll put that together next. Not guaranteeing that I won’t put most of it in one of the rooms in my dollhouse, haha!
Big thanks to my mom for making me this dollhouse mumble-something years ago. And to my dad for taking me to the dollhouse store that used to be here in Gainesville, Minikins, whenever I wanted to go. I couldn’t always buy something, but he was always happy to let me look.