Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Art of the Miniature, or Top 10 Unique Doll Houses

I am a lover of all things miniature, and have been as long as I can recall. It brings to mind thoughts of childhood, the joy I felt upon discovering something "my size" to play with, which is still a rare treat. I remember reading Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit books, marveling at the tiny shoes and perfect jacket that Peter wore, and his mother's  perfect little china set, imagining holding them in my own small hands, if ever invited for tea. When I was a bit older, it was The Indian in the Cupboard, a book about a boy who brought a tiny toy Indian to life, and then had to help construct a home and provide food for him, a task more complex than he at first grasped. I often thought about what I would build for a tiny person, how I would construct the furniture, what I would do for plumbing and heat, and how I would make the home comfortable. I toyed with the idea of getting a pet mouse and building him a home, but realized that Squeaks would probably chew through the walls and crap in the bed, handily destroying my romantic thoughts of a real life Beatrix Potter character. Instead, I indulge these dreams in terms of doll houses, fantasizing about the history of the home, the doll's design aesthetic, functionality, and how to improve upon the design. Because you never know, maybe someday magic will build up like electricity in the air, and will strike like lightening on my little pretend world, and voila, my doll will come to life and will REALLY need a place to live... Hey, it could happen.

On that note, here are 10 of the most unique doll houses I've seen. Enjoy the fantasy. 

#1 An ultra modern design, great for  those dolls who work as architects or doctors and want to live somewhere interesting that makes a statement.

#2 A "green" doll house, designed for low impact on the environment.

#3 A castle, for those more aristocratic dolls who can trace their ancestry back hundreds of years.

#4 New York City inspired doll houses for those dolls who are city-dwellers at heart.

#5 A rustic cabin made from all natural materials, for those who want to feel as if they have just stepped out of a fairy tale.

#6 A camper, for the doll who wants to get away from it all. The simple life can be found here, and you can take it with you wherever you want to travel.

#7 The haunted house, complete with popsicle-stick fenced in yard. This handyman's special can be had for a surprisingly low price, provided your dolls don't mind room mates of the supernatural variety.

#8 This was described as both ultra-modern and green, a real architectural feat. Imagine the tiny designer furniture your doll would have, living in such a place.

#9 Ahhh, the old snail-shell cottage. Perfect for dolls who can boast some fairy in their lineage. Complete with toadstool dinette set.

#10 Haunted house, interior. Okay, I'll admit, this one was mine, but I had to sneak it in there. A little bio-hazard clean-up, and this place is move-in ready!

I hope you enjoyed this little trip of the imagination with me. Which doll house was your favorite, and what does it make you think of? Comments are welcome.


  1. I would really like to see inside the first one. Does it have ultra-modern furniture? I think my favorite is the camper. Of course, yours is pretty nifty. Did you do some kind of photo editing to that photo?

  2. I didn't find an interior view of the first one, but I bet it's as neat as the other "modern" one. And yeah, I did do some photo editing... The picture wasn't a very good angle, I had to take it fast because the girls were sneaking into my sewing room/studio behind me, so I tried to make it more visually interesting.

  3. I think everyone who reads Beatrix Potter stories automatically wants to be that tiny and English. She just makes it seem so real! I've in fact, always been partial to the story about the 2 dolls whose house is ravaged by two mice, because it talks about all those tiny doll- house things, like the tiny, tiny forks, and the ham that won't burn up in the fake fire.

    That snail- shell house is amazing. Reminds me of what the snail in "The Neverending story" might carry around on his back. The fantasy of it is just astounding.

  4. I liked that book too! The snail house was one of my favorites, along with the little cottage that was made from all natural materials. They just capture my imagination, much more than the "modern" doll houses, but I included them because they were unique.

  5. love it .p.s. so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so cute !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. i love that book too! the cardboard crafter

  7. I agree with you about the wonderful idea of a miniature life in Beatrix Potter, but does anyone remember "Darby O'Gill and the Little People"? I remember when I was a little girl and 1st saw this movie. So sweet! Maybe this movie, Pooh Bear and all his friends in the Hundred Acre Woods, and my first doll house which was the Tree Tots Family Treehouse by Kenner. ;)

  8. Where can I buy a castle doll house? I'm wanting to have a midevil doll house