Gretchen’s Dollhouse

We decided a long time ago that Gretchen’s big birthday gift when she turned 3 would be a dollhouse.  My friend Ashley and her husband built one and we figured we would do the same.  Life got away though and pretty soon we were a few weeks out from her birthday with no time to DIY, so on a whim I searched craigslist thinking maybe I could find a dollhouse that we could personalize when BOOM, there it was. The perfect dollhouse, made more perfect by the fact that it was fully furnished.  I wasted no time and picked it up within a couple of hours.  Here it is set up in my basement.

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I wanted a white dollhouse to fit in with the decor on our main floor and eventually Gretchen’s bedroom, so I got small sample cans of white paint at the hardware store.  I spent many many hours painting 2-3 coats on it and getting in all the nooks and crannies.  Painting the stairs took the most time (fortunately they detach!)  The balcony also had a lot of little notches that needed painting with a teenie tiny paintbrush.

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Here it is in progress.  I put all the furniture in it to determine which room would house which furniture so that I could make very important decorating decisions.  Then I hit up Michaels for scrapbooking paper and enlisted Tyler’s help in measuring, cutting, and installing it.  I’m not good with math or precise measurements.

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As you can see here the bottom level of the house is an add on to the top two floors.  This made painting and hanging paper so much easier.  I wish all 3 floors came apart, painting the inside of the roof was a PITA.

The surprise of the dollhouse was almost ruined, when 2 days before her birthday Gretchen and I had to take cover in the basement for a tornado warning.  The dollhouse was in plain sight, but maybe it was Daniel Tiger on the laptop or the thunder and sirens distracting her but she didn’t say a thing about the dollhouse.  Whew!

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So excited about her dollhouse!  (and her Daniel Tiger party!)

Ready for the full tour?  Here we go…IMG_6239

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Kitchen

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Living room.

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Dining/Piano Room

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Bathroom

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Master Bedroom

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Girl bedroom/nursery (furniture is Calico Critters)

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Roof Deck #1

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Boy bedroom/nursery

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Balcony

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Roof deck #2: playground!

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Notice the windows on the second floor open and shut. Gretchen was so excited when she figured this out.  She loves to shove a bunch of furniture in the master bedroom and then close the windows to hide the mess.

I will probably paint some of the furniture and I’d like to hang some things on the walls and sew some rugs and bedding but we’ll see when I get around to all of that.

Gretchen LOVES playing with it.  Her grandparents and aunts and uncles sent her the Calico Critters figurines and furniture and her favorite thing to do is feed the tiny bottles to the tiny bunnies.  She is really getting into pretend play so this dollhouse provides hours of entertainment for her.

We paid $150 cash for the house and all the furniture and accessories that came with it.  I added up what we would have spent if we bought all of that new on Amazon and it was $420!!  So I’d say we got a pretty good deal on Craigslist!  The only thing “wrong” with it was that it is missing the garage door, but that’s really not a big loss and we used that room for the dining room anyway.  I may get the add on garage some day but for now the dollhouse is taking up enough real estate in my dining room!

If you are wondering what brand the dollhouse is, it is Ryan’s Room, as is much of the furniture.  It is great quality and I’m hoping will hold up for many years of play!

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