How My Collection Started
by Carol Boyett
I started to get interested in dolls houses after seeing my son-in-law’s mother’s 8 years ago. Feeling rather deprived as a child because I never had one, I embarked on my obsession.
DHE house: the interior of the main part of the house
The first one I started was a Dolls House Emporium, which I bought from a craft shop that was closing down. I was able to buy it flat packed and very basic, with no doors, windows, stairs etc at only £50. I came across a basement at a car boot sale and adapted it to fit, also not wanting to waste space I opened up the roof space with a flight of stairs and created 2 more rooms, a study and bedroom.
DHE house: the attic study and bedroom
The attic bedroom
The attic study
The basement I made into 2 rooms, a kitchen and a scullery. I added lots of features that I had not seen in Dolls House Emporium houses to make it more individual.
My husband made a stand for it because it was far too heavy to place on top of furniture and it now stands 5 and half feet high. It has lighting in all rooms and got lots of positive remarks that spurred me on to do another.
The second one. I went to buy 2 antique bedside tables and see 2 wooden boxes with doors of the right proportions and got thinking I could turn those into something, so purchased those also for next to nothing. I took them home looked at them for ages???? and thought !!!!!antique shop!!!!!!
I secured them on top of each other, formed a roof, put in 2 stair cases, cut a window and door into the bottom one, made a Rennie Mackintosh leaded light window which also incorporated the name Bethany Antiques with a balcony on the second floor, electrics, beams on the outside, lots of furniture/nic nacs and of course 2 old men as shop assistants.
I named it Bethany Antiques because 20 years ago we had an antique shop of that name and it was a bit of nostalgia. I am very pleased with the results.
I have also done another one which is almost an exact copy of a house that we bought when we got married 43 years ago.
In February I came across another on ebay which was very sad and dreadfully neglected. It was built for a child over 35 years ago. It has a Georgian style front which I am trying to keep as original as possible. I have got to make new windows and do lots of repairs to it, form rooms which were all out of proportion, the stairs were the wrong scale, door openings were far too small for the height of the rooms.
Joan Joyce presented me with a gift recently of quite a large house front with large garage that she had stored away in the shed, that screams out to become a house with a dress shop attached. So already I have the next project mulling over in my mind.