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New Project: Dollhouse Rehab

2 Feb

In addition to the exciting news that I launched my Etsy art print shop, Miss Modern Studio, I’ve decided now is the perfect time to restore my childhood dollhouse to give to my daughter for her second birthday. My sister and I logged so much time playing with this thing — can you tell??— that I know it will be a hit with Emilia too.

It’s seen better days obviously so I’m excited to dive into the world of “miniatures” as they say in the dollhouse world and bring it back to its former glory. In my excitement to start I gave the exterior two coats of some leftover Benjamin Moore interior paint we’d tried on our front door before I turned online to look for inspiration and information about finishing, restoring, furnishing and decorating dollhouses. (In case you’re wondering, it’s called Spirit in the Sky and it’s part of Benjamin Moore’s Classic Color Collection.)

houseGorgeous dollhouse design via this amazing blogger

It was really difficult to find well-maintained, updated web resources for dollhouse stuff; there is definitely a gap in the market as far as online inspiration for the more modern decor style that I have in mind for this refurb, so I’ll share the resources I did land on that have been really helpful.

Best Dollhouse Miniature Website Resources

 |  Hands down, this has been my go-to for everything including learning about “miniature scale.” If I had to name a standard scale for dollhouses, it’s the 1-inch, or “1/12.” This is important so you buy the correct scale furniture depending on your dollhouse. Learn more on about scale of this page of their site. This is also one of the best resources I’ve found for miniatures (AKA: dollhouse furniture for newbies like me who just learned the lingo). I’m drooling over this stainless steel kitchen set and accessories like this copper pot rack. Prices seem reasonable based on what I’ve seen online.

|  I’ve relied on this site for dollhouse parts like replacement windows, doors and shingles and general education about miniatures. They’re a Vermont-based shop that produces heirloom quality dollhouses and components for true miniature aficionados which is obvious from the artistry and quality of everything featured. How gorgeous is their  traditional door with transom, pictured above? Hubba hubba.

Craftiness is Not Optional
 | This blog served up a massive dose of inspiration for me as I began my dollhouse refurb project. A lot of dollhouse decor styles are very dated with mahogany furniture pieces and chintz couches but this resourceful, creative, DIY-focused mom of four has an incredible eye for color and pattern. I especially love how she created her own DIY art throughout that reflected her own home’s style. The color scheme alone is giving me all the heart eyes.

#MaddiesDollHouseReno | After vintage-lover and all around creative, Linzi MacDonald renovated her daughter Maddie’s dollhouse, furnishing it with miniature versions of local designer pieces and sharing the journey on her Instagram account here, she amassed a cult following on Instagram that eventually led to a collaboration with West Elm. You know. As one does. While this minimalist, Scandinavian style isn’t quite to my own taste, I do appreciate it and often find myself drooling over all the bare white rooms with wall hangings and horse art because it just looks so dang clean and flow-y.

 Dollhouse Furniture “Lots” | Thanks to years of thrifting, yard sales and estate sales, I know that “lots” of goodies can be had on Ebay if you do your homework and research. My mom kept quite a bit of the dollhouse furniture we had as kids, but a few casual searches over the past week for miniature “furniture lots” revealed incredible deals. I actually just won a bid for an individually listed brass bed frame and an entire “lot” which included the same 3-piece nursery set I’d been eyeing on For the same price of that set, my lot (pictured above) included about 20 other miniature pieces I’ll rework to suit my needs as I trick out my daughter’s dollhouse for years of play. I can’t wait to get going!

I’ll share my progress as I work and post about this project here and on Instagram if you want to keep up. I’ll probably borrow the hashtag idea and use #EmiliasDollHouseReno to keep posts organized. With 8 weeks until her birthday, I’ve got some time, but want to wrap up as much as I can soon since this pregnant belly isn’t going to get any more manageable or comfortable as I near my final trimester.


Current project list

13 Nov

I recently read that having lots of unfinished projects can be a major energy drain … and I believe it. As much as I love creative expression, my endless “To Do” list is a drag. And it’s frustrating to stress out trying to find the time, and source supplies only to inevitably get inspired for other projects while I’m in the middle of current ones! Pinterest is my kryptonite.

Energy-draining list aside, I’m trying to be more mindful that it’s as much about the journey as the end result. When my determination falters, I peek at these projects I have completed.

And most of all, I remind myself of my latest mantra: Do it with joy or not at all.

Here is my working list of what’s up next:

Re-vive the wedding ivy topiaries
Plant paperwhites for Christmas
Instagram Coasters
Gallery Wall
Drop-zone entryway project
Wedding Photo Albums
Annual Shutterfly books
Shutterfly Calendars
Kitchen cookbook art
Cookbook holder project
Bow tie onesies
Wedding Scrapbook
Honeymoon Scrapbook
Birthday calendar project
“Quote” calendar project
Re-finish night stands
Re-finish Kid-Craft table and chair set
Quotes/Annual Baby Questions scrapbook printables
Graphic art of NYC, Italy, Boston
Sequin Table Runner
Gold polka dot burlap table runer
Baby receiving blankets
Lavender closet/drawer sachets
“Namaste, bitches” tote bag
“I like big books…” tote bag
Jewelery roll sewing project
Modern crosses quilt project – (1st quilt I’m attempting!)
Tabletop lighting studio
Memory journal for Skylar (on-going)
Summer 2013 photo album for Skylar
Pattern-making with Dores
Re-furb trash bin with “Recycle”
Baby details wall art
“C” photo art
Leaf art project
Instagram Print project
Fabric storage box project
“Love” pillow project
DIY sequin pillows
Gold leaf ampersand art
Re-furb head board
Re-furb desk
Re-upholster dining room set
Re-design wine-bar with wine glass holder
Magazine rack DIY
Distressed window-pane photo project
Quote chalk-board wine bottles
“Do it with Joy…” art print

Our House Rules

2 Oct

apartment34 houserules1

I love a list and anything that smacks of resolutions so when I saw this “Our House Rules” over on Apartment34 I was completely smitten. I love little visual reminders of what really matters. So I decided to create one for our place.

I’m still brainstorming ideas now and need Brian to weigh-in, but here is what I’ve got so far:

Always keep the cookie jar full.

Keep our place within 5-minutes of being entertaining-ready

Make the bed to start the day off right.

Holiday decor = holiday spirit.

Have nothing you don’t love or know to be useful.

There is always time for tea in a pretty tea pot.

Everything in it’s place and time.