Saturday, August 13, 2011


One thing I really enjoy and is a rare item in the world of dollhouses is the dollhouse apartment. Even as a kid with my Barbie dolls, the dream house had it's three sections strictly divided so that all the residents could decorate their own way. I never cared for Victorian monstrosities (I'd had so much exposure to Victorian furniture and culture that I developed a well educated loathing of it.) and while I love modern dollhouses, it's always been the dream to have an apartment.

Oh, nothing elaborate, maybe 5 or 6 units maybe 20. Simple. And discovering the Toadstool Studios pattern (yet never finding it) I've made it my mission to find out about apartment dollhouses as much and as many as I can.

I'm currently waiting on a book written sometime in the 80's the promises a "skyscraper" plan but until I have it in my hands, you'll have to be happy with that I have.

The concept of an apartment dollhouse is hardly new. But they are so rare, I've only seen a few. The Henry Ford Museum has one, a duplex that is really charming. Dark green on one building, and tan on the other, it is probably a labor of love to a little girl who lived in the exact type of house the dollhouse is. Perhaps her cousins lived next door and this was a way to replicate her world. I hope she appreciated it, and didn't long for a Victorian mansion.

I've debated recreating this house a few times. It's a very simple house and a roof garden or what have you would look great. Wonderful as the Ford duplex is, it's rather simplistic for my taste but then, it's over 80 years old and they just didn't have the wonderful stuff for dollhouses that they do.

The other day however, I discovered this one.

I had mentioned how I had seen a plan for a stacking dollhouse but couldn't recall where. This is not it, but this is along the same lines as the one I had seen on Facebook, Elizabeth has recently purchased a stacking, 1970's era handmade house. This picture shows three sections, stacked to complete an apartment in the finest of Edwardian styles (I'm a lot more patient with Edwardian, after all, they gave us Art Nouveau and Art Deco)

The layout is simple yet elegant. All the rooms a dollhouse should have, in a way that allows for multiple dwellers in the micro world. The dining and master bedroom have wonderful bow windows. A kitchen AND a pantry! A pantry! Something neglected in this day and age in all homes. Even though we spend billions on storage solutions! The reception hall is also a nice Edwardian addition. Ladies would meet here and have informal meetings, guests would be received here. This is the height of elegance, much like the elegant Dakota which was one of the first in elegant apartment living when apartments were thought cheap nasty places for tenement dwellers. This dollhouse was the height of fashion for some little girl who saw the Dakota being built and probably heard her father harumph about the way the world was going to hell. I think this building is newer than the Dakota, but I'm still researching the book. (update! This is the book, Home-Made Toys for Boys and Girls take that eBay)

This shows how the units are placed, and how they would stack. I need to get a hold of this plan and really go over it. This might be just the elegant apartment solution I've been searching for.

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