Urban Loft Dollhouse Renovation

Mish Volonino
by Mish Volonino
3 Materials
1 Month
I need new projects like I need a hole in my head. But when I walked into Target and saw their exclusive Lori Doll line and all the accessories my OCD kicked in. I started obsessing about the dollhouse wondering how I could sneak it into my house without my hubby noticing. I kept looking at it online and imagining all the wonderful things I could do with it.
The Lori Dolls are 6" but all the accessories are perfect for 1:12 scale.
I opened the Target website one day and much to my surprise the "Loft to Love" Dollhouse was on sale. It originally is $49.99. It was marked down to $42.99 with a one day sale of 30% off. I immediately stopped what I was doing and ran to Target to buy it.
Look at how adorable this dollhouse is. For this price how could I resist? It has a working light and the kitchen furniture is great. You can't buy a decent basic dollhouse for this price.

As stated I knew immediately when I saw this what I wanted to do. I wanted to create an Urban Loft with an Industrial feel. My first start was taking it apart and using embossed brick dollhouse wallpaper. That alone changed the whole feel.
What a difference this wallpaper made. And this dollhouse is not glued together which makes taking it apart a breeze.

I decided to paint the ceilings black for that warehouse, Industrial look.
Next was the stairs. I sprayed painted the staircase with Krylon Oil Rubbed Bronze. Once that was dry I used gorilla glue to attach wood stair treads. I had stained them prior with Folkart wood stain (no bad fumes and quick dry times)
Next, I decided to paint the lighting fixture. I used Testers Silver paint. Testers paint is great for plastic. Once that was dry I used Folkart stain gel to age the lamps.

I also removed the little ledge that surround the loft so that the loft would feel more open and realistic.
I found these great, fun straws sets in the toy section of my grocery store. It came with connectors. As soon as I saw that I knew they would make great pipes. Every loft needs/has exposed piping.

I used the Tester's paint to paint the piping and when dry, I glued into place with Gorilla glue.
I decided to paint the door with the silver Testers paint, age it with the Folkart Gel Stain and add numbers for a realistic touch. In other photos you will see I created interior door hardware with polymer clay.
I really had no intention of spending tons of hours on this house but I was having so much fun with this makeover.

I couldn't get past the papered floors so I decided to use jumbo craft sticks to do wood flooring.

If you notice on the loft. I extended the floor just a bit with the side railing that I removed, just for a little more floor space.

I sanded the floors down and stained them. I'm glad I did because it looks so much better.
Here you can see the bottom floor done. The loft area, I decided to make a modern railing from wood and wire.

I also cut large doorways into the right wall. It is my intention to purchase a second Lor Dollhouse and attach. This way I can create a full kitchen and bathroom. So this structure I am working on now is the livingroom and upper bedroom.
Here are the finished floors and railing. I also started to frame out windows and add molding to base floor on first floor.
I decided I was going to try my best to use furniture from my stash. I chose these two Melissa and Doug chairs. They were originally brown and white stripped fabric. I painted them with chalk painted and finished it off with a coat of glow mod podge to give a leather feel and look.
I knew that I wanted to create a loft in Nashville centered around Music City. So I decided to scale and print out some country singers posters of artists who lived I. Tennessee. I build frames and used old cookies plastic boxes for the glass. I used card stock for the mat board.
This base console was from one of the Lori Dollhouse furniture sets. I wanted to create an Industrial wall unit so I decided to build one around the base plastic piece.

I built out the top from wood and finished off with paint and lots of shading.
I saw this great idea on Pinterest. It was a bed built with plumbing pipes. I used wood dowels and the plastic connectors from the straw set to build this bed. I used several paints to achieve a aged look which will be seen in photos.
Here is the finished Industrial Wall Unit. I am very happy with it
So here I am trying out the furniture for size. The piano is from the Lori Doll Ballet Studio. You can see the wall unit in back. And you can see the artwork upstairs ready to be hung.

Since I'm at my limit with pics I will continue and another post.
Suggested materials:
  • Wallpaper   (Ebay)
  • Wood   (Hobby Lobby)
  • Toy Straw Sets   (Kroger)
Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Rosa Rosa on Nov 17, 2019

    Hi there. Do you sell your work?

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2 of 11 comments
  • Renee Renee on Apr 08, 2020

    Several years ago, I followed your retro camper and created a similar one. I just love your ideas and instruction. The Nashville loft is crazy good and your creative talent phenomenal! Thank you for sharing!

  • Tat50663955 Tat50663955 on Feb 12, 2021

    I follow you on IG and TikTok. Your work is AMAZING. I'm at the beginning phases of my Vermontfarmhousejr reno and I plan to do a loft in the future. Thank you for sharing your wonderful gift with the world.