I know why American Girl doesn’t sell doll houses… They would have to be huge! The dolls are 18″ tall. Leah tried using bookshelves, but they’re all too short. She tried making a dollhouse out of moving boxes, but the cardboard couldn’t support the weight of the dolls and furnishings. I have looked online for years but never found anything very appealing. A couple different companies sell a $300 fiberboard kit which doesn’t look very sturdy. (We are not gentle people.) I did see this very cute wooden kit for $150 but it’s only two rooms.
So I thought, Hey, I can design a really good one and build it myself! How hard could it be?!? This is where my brother Steve comes in. I asked if he wanted to help me. He was aghast that I was actually thinking I’d do this without his help. (I totally could.) Granted, my version would not include hardwood floors, wainscoting, a custom fireplace, etc.
Steve has gotten a little carried away! By the time he is done, I will want to move in with Beatrice!
What I lack in carpentry skills, I make up for in vision. I created an 11-page PDF pack for Steve with a client profile, architectural rendering, measurements, supply list, etc.
The design is a two-story townhouse with a rooftop pergola. It’s over 4 feet wide and nearly 6 feet tall!! Steve is scared Leah will decide she is too old for dolls about 10 minutes after he finishes building it. I really don’t think so… mostly because I got my doll house in the 4th grade and played with it for years. (Having it possibly helps extend the window of interest.) Plus, I want to play with Beatrice’s townhouse! And I am 44! So 10 is not too old… but yes, I’d love to travel back in time and have this genius idea when Leah first discovered AG.
From the minute Steve got involved, he’s been saying things like, “Of course it needs to be caulked! Otherwise, Beatrice will have to spray for bugs.” He calls me and says, “I think Beatrice needs a remote control for her TV… I think Beatrice would prefer hardwood floors…” He is cracking me up!!! I’ve finally convinced him that the pergola design will be sturdy. He’s making some tweaks to give it authentic architectural details. Leah picked out paint colors yesterday and provided Steve her swatches.
The project has been a lot of fun! We hope to finish it up around Thanksgiving-ish. Turns out, you can’t build it in 2 hours (not my actual estimate, despite Steve’s claims) or even one day (my actual estimate). Leah and I are both very excited!!!
Beatrice’s recent photo shoot.
Uncle Stevie testing stain colors for Beatrice’s hardwood floors.