I think a little background is in order about my process. Initially I jumped in and began to do the work and though I did not begin with such a formal and concrete plan, I did keep the following questions loosely in mind. In general, how would I go about restoring my dollhouse?
I asked myself:
1. What style of home is this dollhouse? What kind of furniture did they use? What colors were common for walls, trim, fabric, etc? What were common features of this type of home? Would I adhere to this design and these features?
My dollhouse is a colonial. I went to the library and checked out books on colonial homes. I looked through the pictures to learn about the elements of this type of home. I decided I would use the information I learned about colonial homes as inspiration. I wanted to stay true to some elements and at the same time allow some flexibility. If I wanted to include something that was not considered colonial, simply because I liked it, because I had it on hand, or because it helped tell my story, then I would do so. My favorite resource for inspiration was the book, American Colonial; Puritan Simplicity to Georgian Grace.
2. Who lives here and in what time? Has this house remained in its time period or is it a historic home in modern times? Has the family restored the home to its original condition, modernized it or included a mixture of both? What is the family like? What are their interests?
I imagined the family that lives here as a modern family, mostly my own. My husband, myself, my son, and perhaps one or two more fictitious children; a young child, a baby. From the pictures I found in the books, many colonial homes had children’s rooms with beautiful simplicity, handsome furniture and sweet little cribs. I wanted to include those elements. The family who lived here would be like myself and my family; appreciating historic homes and wanting to honor them and yet including some of their own style in there as well. Of course they would want running water, a stove and oven, but they would want the classic elements too. I probably leaned a little more on the side of restoring it to a colonial look than I might in real life, but this is a fantasy house and I don’t actually have to live in it.
3. What do I like? Who am I? What things are important and unique to me? What tells my story? What special things do I remember about my family and the places of my past? If I lived in this home, how would I design it?
My hope is that I can articulate this in detail through my posts.
4. What is the home asking for?
Sometimes homes, or art we create, speak to us and we have to honor it through the work.
5. How much money am I willing to spend on this?
I enjoy making things from leftover scraps, using one thing for another purpose, and getting creative, just like my mom used to do (see my post, With Gratitude and a Happy Birthday). For me, designing and making the items is where I get my pleasure. I also am on a strict budget and decided that whenever possible, I would either make the things I wanted, use what I had on hand or use what I could get for free. I put a post on Freecycle for dollhouse furniture and received several beautiful items from generous freecyclers. Sometimes, when necessary, I will spend a few dollars to get some glue, make a copy of something on paper, or purchase some paint. Santa also brought me a few items I had put on my Christmas list. Thanks Santa!
Now, it’s time to get down to business!