Buying a dolls' house for an adult

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Christiane Berridge lists the options for an adult's dolls' house

The dolls' house hobby aimed at adults is very different from that aimed at children. A dolls' house owned by an adult will become a perfect replica of a period home, complete in all its tiny detail. Walls, flooring, furniture, accessories and any dolls will represent a particular historic period.

What historical period?

Deciding what historical period you want to opt for is one decision to make; the popular ones being Tudor, Georgian, and Victorian. But you will also find Edwardian, Art Deco and Modern as well as buildings like shops, pubs, cottages, barns and castles. And before making the final choice, take a good look at all of the options available.

Decide on the scale

You will need to decide what scale dolls' house that you want. The main scale is 1:12 where one inch in miniature represents one foot in real size. A great detail of detail is achievable at this scale. The majority of houses and accessories will be in this scale. But an increasing number are now available in 1:24 scale, where half an inch in miniature represents a foot in real life. A 1:24 scale dolls' house takes up half the space of a 1:12 scale one. You will also find 1:16 scale dolls' houses, 1:48 scale and 1:144 scales, which are smaller still.

How many rooms do you want?

Having decided on the scale you will also need to decide how many rooms that you want in your dolls' house. A basic house will often only have four - so potentially kitchen, sitting room, bedroom, bathroom. But you may want to include a dining room, study, nursery or servants' quarters. Adding a basement or making use of the rooms in the attic, will provide additional rooms. If you only have space in your real house to accommodate one dolls' house, buy the largest that you can afford, and enjoy the time that it takes to complete it. Take a note of the dolls' house footprint and decide where it is going to go. A large dolls' house when full is difficult to move! This is where it is important to chose wisely.

Plans, kit,  ready-built or commission?

You need to decide whether you want to make your own dolls' house from plans, buy a dolls' house kit, a built house, or one that is built, decorated and lit! You could commission a dolls' house to get exactly what you want, and a unique property. Many dolls' house makers are happy to discuss this option. There are also vintage dolls' houses available through specialist dealers. Dolls' house kits can be very straightforward to put together, and some dolls' house shops also offer this service. Dolls' house kits and built houses are often made from MDF or plywood.

Where to buy

Check out dolls' house shops, dolls' house fairs (such as Miniatura and the Kensington Dollshouse Festival), auction houses, and websites. You may even find bargains at your local car boot sale.

Finding out more about the hobby

Reading The Dolls' House magazine will show you just what is available and what can be achieved in the world of dolls' house and miniatures. Become familiar with the hobby and you'll be sure to find ideal miniature home!

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