Yes, You Can Finally Have The Dollhouse Of Your Dreams, Courtesy Of This Local Designer & Thrifter
Having grown up in a household where Architectural Digest was always lying around, renderings splayed across the dining room table and watercolors left on the drafting table, it’s no surprise that I’ve always loved interior design. My father is an architectural illustrator by trade, so we were constantly seeing what wasn’t yet created being envisioned in a beautiful watercolor work of art for clients. As an avid DIY’er (out of necessity since my champagne taste has to rely on a Target budget), my husband and I have renovated three homes together, and we’re always in the midst of some home project or another. But the time and funds it takes to do full home renovations leave me desiring that instant gratification. Enter dollhouse remodels, which have allowed me to truly redo an entire house - albeit on a miniature 1/12 scale - in just a few weeks!
I never set out to remodel dollhouses, yet after one was dropped off at our former shop in Barrington just over a year ago, the rest, as they say, is history. In its original state, I knew others might have a hard time envisioning what it could be and the price would also be much lower for consignment. Thankfully, the consignor allowed me to remake it before listing for sale. A few weeks later, it was displayed at a Hampden Meadows Tough Tiger event that we helped sponsor and PlayDate, the indoor play space in Seekonk, purchased it as it matched perfectly with the beautiful, upscale Joanna Gaines style that Nicole, the owner of PlayDate, had designed. The reactions of children and adults alike sealed the deal and the dollhouse been enjoyed there ever since.
Designing for spaces, following color palettes and patterns and styles and designs that make sense to each house that comes along - all of that has been a great creative outlet and has allowed me to do more with each dollhouse that comes in. When I’m purchasing or giving an estimate for a remodel, I look at the structure of the house, checking to see if it’s sturdy, well built, et cetera. Kits can be tricky in that some are crafted from MDF or thin Balsam wood that really does’t hold up well in the long run. Looking beyond the dated wallpaper, paneling, curtains, and decor and seeing what could be is all part of the process. When I have free reign, I design as I go. There’s usually a color scheme or pattern that develops right from the beginning, but the individual pieces and elements evolve as I complete each step. It’s been an intense learning curve seeing what works and what doesn’t, finding better quality products, and getting more custom made items from Etsy and other miniature makers or building pieces from scratch (something I plan to do more of as we move forward with more remodels).
Dollhouse remodels start at $400 and up for basic paint/paper and updated flooring, depending on house size and what’s required with demolition. Additional features, like crown and base molding, furnishings, fixtures, custom pieces, electricity, etc. are add-ons that vary by job.
More About Carolyn
Carolyn Gloster is the owner of The Golden Sparrow, a home décor shop that began in Barrington, RI and has since moved to an online shop with items available to purchase via Instagram @thegoldensparrow_ri or the shop’s website www.thegoldensparrowri.com. The Golden Sparrow also sells their vintage, handcrafted and upcycled furniture, home décor, art work, and locally created pieces at Four Echoes at Grist Mill Pond, (formerly Vinny’s Antiques) in Seekonk, MA. Custom furnishings, repainted and refinished furniture, and one-of-a-kind hand crafted items such as vintage map trays, hand-stamped kitchen items, and more can also be requested by contacting Carolyn.