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the new house


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I thought of all sorts of ways to do the Franklin, but kept tossing each one aside as unsatisfactory. The door is in the wrong place as it relates to the stairs to my way of thinking, and if you add a wall and make a hallway for the stairs the rooms get so tiny. That, BTW is one reason I like to scratch build. I can make the rooms as big as I like.

I considered adding a basement kitchen with a dining room on the first floor, then a parlor and a bedroom, but then was faced with doing a treatment with a high front stoop and area and all that and decided I didn't feel like doing that much construction.

Next I thought about adding a kitchen wing, but decided the rooms would be too small to my liking anyway. I thought about having the house set in the 1920's with a mix of 20's furniture and Victorian, but nixed it too. I thought about doing it as a Victorian or turn of the century house belonging to a widow and her grown son or maybe a boarder on the 3rd floor instead with a little workroom,but in the end I said...nah.

Then I thought about the front, how the windows are sort of large, and the ones on the top floor are extra wide. I had just been looking at a library book about dollhouses through history and recalled one with a Colonial parlor with a mural. I'm an old hand at murals.....

So, I'm thinking of ignoring the fact that the front door is smack in the middle of the front facade and there fore opens right into the middle of the front room. After all, there is a long dollhouse tradition of ignoring the fact that the outside doesn't always mesh with the floorplan. I'm thinking of embellishing the facade with stonework ledges or dentil work, etc. sort of like an old brownstone, but not brownstone. More like stucco and stonework, maybe sort of late Federal early Victorian period. I'll find out when I start working on it.

I'm also planning on ditching the stairs. The steps are too narrow for my taste anyway, and this way I have bigger rooms. I'll either make an archway in the corner of the parlor with a darkened hallway to be seen beyond, or a false door leading to a false stairhall. I'll know which as I start working on it.

I think the parlor will have an early 19th c style mural.

For the second floor I'm thinking a lady's bedchamber. I bought some dollhouse wallpaper a while ago that had flowering trees on it. It reminded me of Chinoiserie (not sure if I spelled it right) wallpaper. It's very feminine.

To balance the feminine bedchamber, I'm thinking of doing the master's chamber on the 3rd floor. I've got some very masculine looking dark wallpaper that might do. I'll have to go look at it again. Recently I got a nice Gothic style dresser from Glenowen for New England Miniatures. It would look good in a Victorian man's bedchamber.

So, it looks like I'll have a late Federal, early Victorian townhouse, for an upper middleclass family, furnished as it might have been in the 1850's or so, with a mix of modern Victorian and Georgian antiques.

I have just one dilemma right now. I can't decide where I'll put the fireplace.

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Don't you hate that, you buy it only to find one you get it that it's not quite like you thought it was....

What would it look like if you did the bottom 2 stairs going intothe side wall. then on the next floor up have either a door way so it looked like the steps came out there, or the top stair rail showing so that it looks like the stairs are behind the wall.....at bit like the McKinley, would also maybe work if you needed to hid a bathroom or something, that door going no where..

Only other sugustion would be do you bash the back and put the stairway along the back of the dollhouse and maybe a room on the other side, that way the house would be deeper and give the ability to have more rooms, but have the front look standard....and if you only did the first 2 floors the roof would still fit.

Myself I hate things that are not real, but not being able to figure it out more.....like I've been told on another post if you do not do it how you want you will not be happy! I agree with that!

Let us know what you decide.

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Is this the Franklin Artply or Franklin Street RGT? I'm guessing the RGT one cause I found the Artply rooms are good sized. Your plans sound very interesting, I like the archway with darkend hall behind idea.

Muriel :flowers:

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I wish I had more time to reply!! (I should be working right now.) Your plans sound great; I personally take stairs out to have bigger rooms and just pretend that the stairs are in the foreground of what you can't see.

As for the exterior, I thought you might be inspired by the older homes of Chester, Berks, and Lancaster counties in PA. Many were built during the period you are talking about with great Federal details. I'll send links when I have more time.

Happy planning!

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