I’m a lifelong miniature enthusiast, although I’ve taken a 10 year leave of absence from larger projects primarily due to workspace and time commitment issues. Over the past decade, I’ve done the occasional small project such as room boxes, but I’ve been itching to get back into actual houses. Big, beautiful houses. I LOVE large projects.
I got into miniatures when I was a little girl. My dad’s hobby was woodworking and we built a dollhouse together as a project. It was great father/daughter bonding time, and he taught me so many techniques, how to use various tools safely, etc.
My dream since childhood has been to have an enormous, fancy, over-the-top Victorian dolls house. (Sadly, the house I built with my father was more of a colonial farmhouse — not what I wanted and not what I picked out, although I do cherish the memories.) I was a history major and I’ve always been fascinated by so many aspects of the Victorian era.
I’ve had this concept in my head for the past 7-8 years to build a late-Victorian era hotel that secretly operates as a high-class and very discreet brothel. It’ll be PG, but due to being a brother there will be so many glorious possibilities for over-the-top decor. Everything will be gilded, beaded, fringed, or otherwise blinged out. And this is great justification to have multiple fancy bedrooms, decorated in different themes! I’m envisioning London, circa 1887.
I’ve been looking for the right house for the past few years. Obviously, I wanted something big. And I have a strong preference for something front-opening, due to a couple of overly-inquisitive cats. I also like the visual link the doors give with the Dutch baby house cabinets.
I came close to buying the Cottesmore (Barbara’s Mouldings) a few times. Love the house, but with the basement it was just a little deeper than I have space for in my living room. I am also really inspired by the Featherstore Hall Hotel that Julie Jackson did with the Cottesmore, and I wanted to do a different house to make sure I didn’t inadvertently copy her amazing creation.
I also considered the Darlington (by Majestic Mansions) which is open on both sides but could easily have hinged panels attached.
But ultimately, I finally settled on the Buckingham (by Dolls House Direct). Gorgeous, enormous house. I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. It’s more Georgian in design than my vision, but has lots of nice big rooms, a fabulous grand staircase, and it’s front opening. And it’s certainly not unheard of for a Georgian-era building to have had some renovations and remodeling/redecorating done to “modernize” it for more Victorian tastes! There may be a bit of kit-bashing in my future, I’m still playing with sketches and ideas. I’m still a little horrified with how much I spent on the kit + shipping, but I’m really excited about the possibilities.
The kit is sitting in my front room, and I’m itching to get to it. I’m hoping I can make a good start over Thanksgiving, taking advantage of having time off from work. In the meantime, I’m happily puttering around with wallpaper designs and paint chips, needlepointing rugs, and daydreaming about themed bedrooms… Marie Antoinette/Versailles? Tudor?
I’m looking forward to sharing and learning from everyone!