This 1920s Lines Bros DH/D dolls house had been sitting on the floor by my desk for quite some time. Inside it had four rooms instead of two, with no original interior decor, roofing, etc. To be honest, I had been left pondering on what to do, as one of my little granddaughters was drawn to it each time she came to visit. So dilemma...do I restore and sell as a collector's item, or do I renovate and let my granddaughter have it?
Now, I'm usually all for restoration and preservation with regards to these old treasures, rather than renovation. But on weighing up the fact that this had already been greatly devalued due to its loss of original features and the changes in construction, I felt on this occasion it was ok to make an exception. Plus it was coming up to my granddaughter's 3rd birthday, so yep...I chose the renovation route, and it was to be for her.
Although the original roofing paper was long gone, having been replaced by some unusual thick embossed tile covering...I didn't dislike it and it had been done nicely, so decided to keep it.
The original metal windows were there but as often the case, had been considerably overpainted, were bent in places and badly encased with flimsy plastic glazing. My original intention had been to remove the metal windows for safety purposes and create simple wooden ones, but once all the internal mess had been removed and the windows cleaned down, it was quite an easy job using pliers to bend struts back into shape and paint in bright yellow enamel paint. (Yep, I know some of you out there will be horrified that I painted them yellow, but then I was doing this for a 3 year old). I then glazed each window with 2mm thick perspex that was cut to fit using craft knife, metal ruler and brute force! The new glazing was kept in place with fresh internal beading and painted cream.
The back still had old brick paper, and although a little tatty, it was not too bad so I decided to leave it, as a nod to its past.
The bathroom was given white emulsion walls and a blue patterned craft paper flooring. A pair of vintage lace curtains were set in place by using tiny metal eye hooks and picture string.
The lounge floor was covered with a remnant of antique pink wallpaper ( I literally had one small rectangle of this left and it is so pretty). The two side walls were given a pink acrylic painted finish and the back wall covered in a heavily pink pattered craft paper.
The kitchen walls were painted all over in a pale yellow acrylic, the flooring was craft paper and the paper frieze was another replica I used to create, based on a 1920s design.
The base was freshened up with two coats of dark green enamel paint. Finally, I created a simple name plaque out of a small offcut of wood and acrylic paint, sealed with PVA glue, then fixed to the front. Job done!