Big House Remodel

Way back in the dark ages, my father and I built a dollhouse following the plans of Windflower Manor by Jackie Kerr Deiber.

windflowerplans1

I was fourteen. I loved that dollhouse. I floored it, wallpapered it, electrified it, and furnished it on my shoestring budget.

Over the years some of my shoestring decorating has deteriorated, and I’ve decided to update and renovate it.

The dollhouse is solidly built of 1/2″ plywood. It’s front opening and has 11 rooms on four floors (the original plans have 12, but I took out a wall because I wanted a bigger room).

The rooms have a depth of 16 inches–room heights on the first two floors are 12 inches, and ten inches on the upper floors. The whole house is 36″ wide and about four and a half feet high.

In other words, big. (Hence its name: The Big House)

bighousefacade1

This is the facade–you can see where I’ve already dismantled the porch. The siding is bowing and cracking and will be replaced with stucco.

bighousefacadeopen

Here’s the interior. I’ve already started on the bottom floor.

Since this is a cabinet-style house, I plan to treat each room as though it was a room box, and try to do something innovative with each one.

I’ve decided not to go with a period interior, or go for one style–it will be a fantasy house where the rooms don’t have to make sense in relation to one another. Each will be its own picture (though I want to strive for a pleasing effect when the room are looked at all at once). I want to experiment with lighting, false walls, and fool-the-eye techniques.

In other words, have fun and see what happens.

See the following pages to follow the room-by-room remodel:

Front Hall

Music Room

Kitchen (former dining room)

Upstairs Hall

Utilities Room (former Kitchen)

Third-floor hall

Bathroom

Third-floor Bedroom

Library (Fourth Floor)

Artist Studio (Fourth Floor)

Game Room (Fourth Floor)

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Luz Romero
    Feb 27, 2017 @ 06:27:24

    Morning, just reading your information, I bought a huge miniature house at an antique store my very first one a project for me and my 12 year old daughter trying to find out how to take the wallpaper off. Thank you first time owner lol beautiful job with yours.

    Reply

    • Jennifer
      Feb 27, 2017 @ 09:08:21

      Taking off wallpaper can be a major pain. You can try wetting the wallpaper with a spray bottle and then scraping it off. If the house is an antique itself and you want to restore it, you might ask someone more expert than me how to preserve things.

      One thing I did when remodeling the big house, when wallpaper just wouldn’t come off, is built false walls over the old ones. I papered or painted the false walls (made out of matte board) before I glued them over the old walls. Sometimes the original wall gets ruined from paper and paint, and you can’t get a smooth finish again, no matter how much you sand. Another benefit of false walls is you can run wiring behind them or do special effects, like make a closet or a “window” overlooking a scene.

      Good luck and have fun with it!

      Reply

      • Luz
        Apr 01, 2017 @ 11:45:42

        Thank you so much for your advice was able to take the wallpaper off all nine rooms, walls look good and ready for new wallpaper.

  2. dubhouse190
    Dec 27, 2015 @ 01:37:40

    I’ve come across one of these. I’m looking to sell it but have no idea about dollhouse sales. Would you know a general price I could expect to get for selling this? It’s not completed but it’s started. It’s a complete set with the construction plans. I would appreciate any help you can give. Thank you

    Reply

    • Jennifer
      Dec 29, 2015 @ 16:47:17

      I’m no expert at dollhouse pricing, and I have to say I have no idea. However, you might try asking at the Greenleaf Forum. You can list things for sale there (read the rules first so the moderators don’t delete your post) and if nothing else, ask others what they think would be a fair price or where you could sell. You might find someone willing to talk to you privately about it. You can look around as a guest and sign up for free if you want to post. The forum is here:
      http://www.greenleafdollhouses.com/forum/ It’s a fun place with all kinds of discussions and photos, and helpful hints (not just about Greenleaf).

      Reply

  3. Dany
    May 22, 2014 @ 10:46:52

    Hi, you’re doing a really great job remodelling the big house …… I took the time to go through all the rooms, some pics are sooo great you gotta look twice before you realize this is miniature ….. Congrats, you’re a true artist

    Reply

  4. S.C. Chalmers
    Jan 08, 2014 @ 13:33:48

    Great to see someone else remodeling their house – and actually finishing it. 😉 I’ve started doing that to a couple of my houses (similar backstory to yours), and they’ve sort of stalled as I’ve raced onto different projects. I particularly like the details and vignettes you create in the rooms. I hope to do the same, and like you, use up some of those excess minis before I get new ones. 🙂

    Reply

  5. Dany
    Dec 23, 2013 @ 01:03:12

    Hi, you did a great job remodelling the Big House. I thought about giving one of my dollhouses a new look too and you gave me plenty of ideas there, thanks a lot
    Merry xmas
    Dany

    Reply

  6. Themagicaldollhouse
    Oct 25, 2013 @ 01:27:45

    Very Nice Blog, I like it.

    Reply

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