Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Dollhouse Renovation ~ Part III, The Upper Floors

I was going to do a slow reveal on the rest of the dollhouse, one room per post, but then I decided that might be a bit much, so here goes, the upper floors of the dollhouse, starting with the Yellow Bedroom. This was my favorite room when I was a kid, because yellow was my favorite color, and because I thought bunk beds looked like fun (that was before I actually had to sleep in a bunk bed).

I kept the original, macaroni-and-cheese colored wallpaper, replaced the carpet with a similar color, painted the furniture a creamy yellow, and added bedding: yellow gingham mattresses and bright orange and green afghans.

I drew drawers and knobs onto the dresser, but did an even worse job than I had with the kitchen cabinets. I might paint it again and try redoing the lines, but I kind of like the childish look for this child's room. The rocking horse was mine as a kid (you can tell by the repaired break in one rocker), the red dala horse is an ornament that lost its string, the blocks on the dresser are beads, the tiny wooden owl I was something I had, the Mickey Mouse book came from a friend, the butterfly art is a cancelled postage stamp, and the bunting is cut from decorative paper and glued onto embroidery floss.

The bathroom cracks me up--for the realism it offers, both in its mere existence in a house for dolls and its long, narrow design, like all 20th-century bathrooms.

It's complete with all the basic fixtures: sink, tub, toilet, which I painted the same cream as the bedroom furniture. For faucet handles, I added map pins, for the white porcelain look.

The painted fixtures brightened it up, but it could use some artwork, and maybe a bath mat. 

The Blue Bedroom was the only room where the wallpaper was in too rough of shape to salvage. I replaced it with origami paper in a similar color, which, at 6x6 inches, exactly matched the height of the room's walls and the width of the inner right-hand wall (hot tip for dollhouse builders).

The furniture in this room was in pretty good shape, so I left it the original brown-stained color, adding a mattress and afghan to the bed, and C and I built a little desk.

The map on the wall came from a National Geographic magazine order form, the sailboat picture is a sticker my mom sent, the globe and dictionary on the desk and the old-timey camera, rock collection, and rock hammer (all of which you can barely see) on the dresser came from a friend, the car I had since I was a kid, the cat my dad made (along with the cat in the kitchen and the dog in the living room), and the skateboard, which is a tad on the large side, was my kids' toy.

When C and I were planning our house, we for a time considered a design very like this dollhouse, tall, wide, and only one room deep, to maximize southern exposure. It would have included an attic room like this one, which I'd envisioned as my yoga/sewing/writing/art studio. Now I just have to pretend this mini attic is my all-purpose studio.

The original bed for this room didn't survive, so C and I built a new one, and I painted it green, with a little attempt at tole painting on the footboard, and added a green gingham mattress and a striped afghan.

We also built a little sewing table (the tiny Singer came from C's grandmother's house many years ago). The art in the back corner, original to the house, is a picture of a sampler that says "Love Spoken Here."

The remaining furniture in this room includes two dressers (original) and a funky plexiglass table my dad made for me a long time ago. I added two bird postage stamps to the back wall (I hope I'm not overdoing stamps as artwork, but I love them so) and, after several aborted attempts at weaving or knitting a basket, I made a little tote bag for knitting projects. After I post this, I'm going to make a tiny yoga mat from leftover felt.

And now, except for little additions to be made here and there, it's done! Here are the upstairs rooms:

And here's the whole house, all snowy and decorated for Christmas:


  1. I love it all. Thanks for sharing and inspiring me!

    1. Thanks! Can't wait to see how yours turns out!


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