Dollhouse Remodel Bashing Part 1

Mish Volonino
by Mish Volonino
Did you ever want to build a dollhouse but were too intimidated? What about that adorable dollhouse at the garage sale, or thrift store?
It's not as hard as you think. Dollhouse remodel in is big. It saves you the time of building. It's just a matter of being creative and having a vision. It doesn't have to be done overnight. As a matter of fact, Dollhouse Rehabilitation/remodel is very popular among dollhouse enthusiasts and miniaturists.
I had just finished my little cottage and was itching to start a larger dollhouse. I didn't know if I wanted to build or rehab a house.

I was searching through local sites, Craigslist, eBay.........looking for that perfect house.

I kept coming back to the Melissa and Doug Victorian Dollhouse. It was listed on a local site for $45 and was filled with furniture. I loved the layout of the rooms. I had never done Dollhouse Bashing before but I wanted to try it. I saw such potential in this house.

I decided to take the plunge. If I couldn't work with it at least I had a house full of miniature furniture.
I started to work on the house immediately. I sanded down all the decals so primer would adhere to it. I loved the layout of the house but the kitchen was way too small for my tastes. I knew I was going to add an extension. That's where bashing comes in. Dollhouse Bashing is when you change the original structure. You can change Windows, doors, room layouts, or add more room. I was dying to do this, especially because most dollhouses have very small kitchen spaces that are dark and closed in. I wanted an open concept.

I started with the outside but quickly moved to the inside. I sanded all walls and flooring inside and primed the house. What a difference that made.
My next step was to determine my opening to extend the kitchen. I also had to build a base that matched up to existing floor height.

I purchased a sheet of MDF and a real cheap jigsaw. I measured and cut my opening and built out the floor. I also started to paint each room in the color theme I wanted.
Building out floor extension. Next was the make the cuts to create a room. I also cut a whole and added a window
That extension made the kitchen so roomy. The possibilities of decorating were now limitless. Please keep in mind this was the first time I have used and electric tool and made something/anything, so it is possible for you to do it too.
Extension from exterior view.

This house was a first for me. I decided I was going to electrify this house. That whole process really held up my progress because I could decided if I wanted to hardware it or use electrical taping. I ultimately decided to hardware. I researched the heck out of that topic and spoke with many dollhouse enthusiasts. I chose hardware because I wanted to make most of my lighting. I had decided early in the process that the decor of this house was going to be and eclectic blend of Reatoration Hardware inspired decor with rustic and shabby chic. I wanted to create a realistic house with today's interior design decor and elements.

I did purchase a few lights but also made a large majority of the lights. Some of the lights I purchased I did a complete overhaul with spray paint, crystals, changing the shade, etc... I wanted everything to be unique. I'm frugal too so I like to save where I can so when I see that one item I gotta have, well, you know how that goes.
I used tongue depressors for the wood planked floors. I wanted a distressed finish so I went with Annie Sloan Dark wax with a heavy hand. The first floor was easy enough to cut and lay but the lighting is what held up the next two floors. When you hardware a house you do all the wiring before you lay down your floors. This is because you create grooves in the flooring to tuck your wires. This way when you go to lay your floor there are no bumps to lift your tile or planks. So of course is means you need all your lights in place when you are ready to lay your floor. I didn't realize that until I started my floors. So this kind of held me up since I didn't have all my lighting. I needed to make a lot of lights. Is is also when I realized I could put outlets into the baseboard molding for lamps.
This was my first light fixture I made. It was a simple $5 dome light. I spray painted it an antique bronze and created the crystal hangings from mini crystals threaded through jewelry finding pins. I made a wire circle that fit inside the dome and thread those crystal drops onto the circle. I crazy glued the circle under the inner rim of the dome light. This was inspired from Restoration Hardware lighting, which I love. I may not be able to afford it for my home but my dollhouse can have it. Below is a picture of where I hung it above the main stairway on the first floor.
Next, I swiped this little sphere light I had made for my cottage. I never electrified it but that is a simple process. I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased wired light bulbs that have the plug. I spray painted the bulb recepticle and the wire and strung it through the sphere. I used this light for the second landing hallway. I just added a little hanging crystal on the bottom
I also purchased the white industrial shade in the upper left room (bathroom). It was inexpensive and worked great with my theme.

So this project is pretty huge. I am going to have to post in several parts. So I'm going to end part 1 here. If you would like to see updates on this house, please come join me on Instagram. My name there is "MLIdesigns".

I'm still working on this and will probably be working on it for a least 6-8 months.

Hope my posts inspire you to play with your dollhouse and become creative
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  • Dawn Kruise Dawn Kruise on Feb 08, 2021

    What did you use to remove the laminate on the exterior walls?

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