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Hello everyone, from a Scot in England!


elfprincess
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After decades away from my childhood passion for doll's houses and miniatures I am back (since July 2013) and raring to go. I've gone a little crazy, buying used doll's houses/fittings/craft materials/tools/furniture/dolls, etc on eBay. Now I am ready to 'get stuck in'. Two of my as-yet untouched houses are the Corona Willow and the Artply Worthington.

My particular passion at present is for Art Deco. The few houses I've seen that are available to buy, new, are ridiculously expensive. I could never afford one. Even used Art Deco houses are out of my price range. I adore the Streamline Moderne style; houses I've tracked down on google, Pinterest, etc are so beautiful I could cry! Limited funds means I must make one, or (my hope) modify an existing house. The Willow would not be suitable for this but the Worthington, might. I have a Dartmouth Georgian house in blue (pre-painted and assembled, bought used). Not long after buying the Dartmouth, at a very good price, I realised that I am not particularly interested in the Georgian/Regency period. So I've been trying to advice on how to convert the Dartmouth from Georgian to 1930s. It would be a major undertaking.

I love the Worthington. I know it is Colonial in style. The seller had only assembled and glued-together the basic shell, and had painted the exterior, white. I need to modify the front (windows, doors, etc) and of course the roof, which should be flat. If anyone can help me work-out how to even begin this conversion - or perhaps provide a link to a blog or photographs of a similar modification, I'd be very grateful.

I haven't decorated a doll's house since I was little, but I love crafts (although seriously out of practice!) and I've already bought a bewildering amount of equipment - doors, windows, railings, tiles, polymer clay, paints, etc.

I yearn for a lovely, spacious Streamline Moderne house, or as close to one as I can get. If anyone can offer tips on how to make this happen, please do x

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Welcome to the little family, Pauline. Have you Googled images of the kinds of houses you're thinking about? I've found that's often the best way to find a compatible bash. I would love to get my paws on a Worthington to turn into a Southern plantation house. Have you gone into terminal drool over Greenleaf's Brookwood? There are several bashable designs amongst the recent Spring Fling kits: http://shop.greenleafdollhouses.com/Greenleaf.html Whatever you decide on, when you have made five posts you can share pictures of your build/ bash coming into being for our eyes to feast on.

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Hello to you both,and thank you for the welcome.

Havanaholly, I've spent five months researching and searching online. I've followed every conceivable link to Art Deco doll's houses. The best-known ones are sky-high expensive and, from what I can see, would prove supremely difficult to try to craft out of a Worthington or a Georgian Dartmouth! LOL.

I've thought for months that I will probably have to make a Streamline Moderne from scratch - perhaps with light ply or even foamboard. But that so-and-so Dartmouth haunts me LOL. Funnily enough I originally wanted to make a GONE WITH THE WIND-type plantation out of my Worthington! (Ashley, I love you, I do!). My late mother and I, and friends who watched the film in more recent times, could not and cannot understand what Scarlett saw in Ashley Wilkes that she did not at first see in Rhett Butler! LOL. Poor Ashley. Poor Mellie...

Okay! Enough of that. Yes I love films, too. And books.

The Worthington is huge. I paid £21 for it - which is very little - on UK eBay. BUT it cost me a fortune for a courier to deliver it - and when it arrived both side 'wings' had been broken off and demolished. The top room dividers were broken, the base had lost one corner... I was horrified and dismayed. I managed to claim back a wee bit on insurance but I now have the repairs to sort out, also.

I forgot to mention (cough) that in July - Newbie Fever - I became enchanted with Sylvanian Families' (Calico Critters?) hotels. Regency and Grand. I don't want a hotel-full of tubby wee woodland creatures, much as I adore animals (!) but I really fancied decorating and fitting-out a hotel. So naturally, in first flush of fever, I ended up buying two...

Even now I have to struggle to not buy. But I have spent so much on my credit card, I dare not buy another house. I don't have room, for one thing! The Worthington is HUGE. So are my other houses. The Willow is very large, too. And so cute!

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Hey Scratch!

Any tips on how to build an Art Deco Streamline Moderne house? LOL.

Those 1937 plans that are all over the net - originally in a UK magazine - are fiendishly difficult to decipher, let alone to build. I printed them out, myself, and was baffled. No plans as such, just tiny diagrams with tiny measurements. An American gal on Etsy was selling them for a few dollars so I thought, why not? She might have turned them into real plans... I paid up and downloaded - the same plans as before. Ah, never mind.

I am no carpenter, let me tell you, because I've never tackled anything like that. The house in those plans is gorgeous but the instructions scarily vague!

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Havanaholly - the chalet I bought is wonderful. Traditional, solid, two floors, four rooms, with the wee brown fencing verandah on the upper floor front. Red roof, 'charming' detail. It's 1970s, I would guess from the hideous wallpaper that used to grace the walls (LOL). And on eBay I paid... £3. Yes, £3. I felt kinda bad about that, to be honest. But the seller said she was delighted a real lover of doll's houses had bought it because she was going to throw it out or give it away if it hadn't sold. I paid £12 to have it delivered by courier. Worth every penny!

I've removed the wallpaper and ancient carpets and all the stickers and stuff the seller had put there as a wee girl. The windows need acetate, the doors are long gone. There are wee holes here and there that need filling. The usual ravages of time.

I'm thinking, just thinking, of decorating it in a similar fashion to the Austrian Chalet in which KIng Edward the VIII (later, after abdication, The Duke of Windsor) and his three-times divorced bride, Wallis Simpson, stayed in 1936. Either that, or a very glam GSTAAD-style lodge, Burton and Taylor-style! I prefer 1936, of course.

I peeked at the chalet you mentioned. Gorgeous! Oh wow, I want ten, twenty doll's houses.... If only I had the room, and could afford to renovate and decorate them all!

By the way, all Greenleaf and Corona kits - and other US and Canadian ones - cost at least DOUBLE in the UK. If a kit costs, say, $149 where you are, it will cost (retail IF we can actually find a stockist) a minimum of £149 over here - a lot more. Before adding the shipping costs!

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Hi Pauline and welcome to the forum! You might want to contact Greenleaf to find out about ordering directly from them and what shipping would cost you. I order my kits from them and don't buy through 3rd parties. Just a thought. :)

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Welcome! Lots of us are on rationed spending, and it just makes the getting something so much more fun. Why not try a posterboard mock up to see how you like the plan? Cheap, disposable, and solves a lot of issues before you spend for wood or foamboard.

(From one ancestral Scot to another--we DO know how to stretch a penny or twa.)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Awww you're all so lovely and welcoming!

Thank you Holly for that link. I've been on Pinterest a lot, and I've googled TONS of Art Deco doll's houses. I've also checked-out countless real-life Art Deco homes in my preferred style. Bit by bit I have been forming a mental picture of the kind of house I hope to realise. To further this dream (!) I've just bought two 1930s style Tri-ang houses (as I've mentioned on other threads) which I intend to join to create a convincing Streamline Moderne house. Both houses are in a poor state of repair but all walls, etc are sound. I intend to replace the windows and doors, anyway!

(LOL I speak as a madly enthusiastic beginner!). Since July 2013 I've been buying windows, doors, and other period fittings so I have the means to create a decent exterior, at least. Art Deco doll's house furniture, etc is horribly expensive.but by careful research and even more careful eBay 'watching' I've found many suitable pieces at low cost. I've also sourced items that can easily be converted to suit my purposes!

I plan to make things from scratch, too. It's funny, isn't it, how one can buy a house in a certain style and appreciate how gorgeous it is only to find, once it has been deliverered and is sitting, awaiting loving attention, that it does not speak to one AT ALL. This happened to me with the huge, sturdy and very popular Dartmouth. I felt terrible at first - like I was rejecting it! - but I realised belatedly that the Georgian period does not interest me. To be honest, the Victorian era bores me too - but the Edwardian era - specifically the Art Nouveau movement, is another story! Even so Art Deco has emerged, seemingly from 'left field', as my favourite.

One feature of doll's houses I have come to truly dislike is the staircase-that-forms-part-of-each-room. Grrr! In the Dartmouth the staircases are very pretty and chunky and they take up a lot of room. This means that for all four stories (including the attic) all rooms on the right side are BLIGHTED by the intrusive presence of a huge staircase. The remaining rooms are gratifyingly large but what a waste!

I've decided that, henceforth, I will simply remove staircases, block up the 'holes' on each floor and add fake doors, false walls etc to give the impression that stairs, etc are in ANOTHER part of the house!

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Hi Pauline and welcome to the group ! The Brookwood is waiting in my stash , along with a bunch of others . :D Looking forward to seeing pictures of your mini projects. So glad you've joined us ! :banana:

Hi again Stacey. I forgot to tell you that I just adore the Brookwood. Truly beautiful. And it lets in so much light! I must watch out for it on eBay. New it;s way out of my price range (but then, so are 90% of new doll's house kits!). My sons would contribute as part of a birthday or Christmas gift, so it may be affordable at some point. However! I have a box-room full of bargain doll's houses and shops that have yet to be restored - and I've just bought two triAng house shells I hope to combine into an Art Deco dream. Where would I put another? LOL.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Keep watching Ebay Pauline , I got mine there for just under $40 including the shipping. There's always room for one more - under the bed maybe ? :D

My Allison is sitting under the dining room table, waiting for me to begin working on her...The Garfield is sitting atop the dining room table, as I apply primer to her... :) I could probably sneak one or two more kits in, and my Beloved wouldn't know the difference. :D

And WELCOME!!!!! to the forums Lady!

~morningstar~

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Pauline,

I'm new to the forum, and like you, I love art deco and want to build an art deco dollhouse. I've put my building on hold for awhile (arrivals of several grandnieces have had me busy knitting over the last couple of years). I did a bunch of hunting around on line for links, and even started a blog (that I haven't updated in a very long time!). You might find a new idea or two: http://bigbashtheory.blogspot.com/ I found a Harrison kit on sale cheap in a local ad, and I'm hoping its general lines will convert well to art deco style.

I'd love to know what ideas you or others out there are finding!

Deb

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Deb, it's OK to post your own intro. I think the Harrison would translate very well into an art deco style house. Sections of the cores carpeting come rolled on can be cut down into one, two and three or more story sections to add on.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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