Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Modernisation for the Victorian House

After two years of deliberation I have made the decision to modernise my Victorian dollshouse.
There are two voices to be heard here, 'No don't do it!!' and 'Why not, it isn't genuine Victorian'.
It is a sad thought that 25 years of work and love are to be destroyed but I wasn't enjoying it as much as I did. It is dull to look at, has very dark rooms, the furniture is dark and drab and the rooms too small, especially the kitchen.
My real life changes meant I had to part with several dollshouses so finding space for a new one isn't an option, so I'm sticking with this well made, strong George Parker house and revamping.

I'd never been happy with the shop because it was too dark to see into and the kitchen so small it was impossible to make it look interesting.
I began ripping off wallpaper and realised how dirty and stained it had become, just like the real thing. I started pulling down the decorative ceiling and they practically fell down. Ten years in the hot climate of Spain had dried up the glues. Most of the glass fibre parquet floors pulled up easily. Now that the walls and floors are uncovered you can see the copper tape wiring exposed. I hope it still works, I haven't plugged in the lights for a few years but now I have access to it all and can rewire where necessary and add or change light positions.

Many of the interior walls felt loose due to the drying out of glue and with a bit of wiggling and then brute force I was able to get most of the interior walls out.

Now that I've started I've got to keep going with the knowledge that I can make it look beautiful again.
This was my first house and was Victorian because that was the style that was largely available in 1990. The inexpensive, imported furniture was all dark wood and perfectly suited but in my heart I wanted modern and started making modern miniatures. I began filling room boxes and selling my modern miniatures at Dolly's Daydreams fairs whilst continuing to buy Victorian for my house. The response to the modern was amazing, I had duvets and carpets, cushions and decorations in styles from the 50s, 60's and 70's and 80s as well as current styles. The feedback from customers was encouraging as I realised many collectors were stuck in the past with Victorian, Georgian and Tudor. Naturally I had to have a modern house as I was making so much and had become really keen to keep a record of current styles and not just replicate history. I ended up with eight dollshouses, one a 1960s beach house which I still have but I have parted with all the others.
I was never brave enough before to change the Victorian house but now my space is limited I feel justified in doing it.
Watch this space, it can only get better!



  1. I think that you are doing a wise thing! Space IS at a premium for many miniaturists, and just as re-decorating our Real Life existing homes is more practical than buying another, so also is re-decorating an existing miniature home, especially if it has the good bones that yours appears to pocess. I am looking forward to seeing all of the changes and the up-dating as you bring your solid Victorian into the 21st century! :))


  2. Tienes un gran trabajo por hacer,pero también una gran diversión!!!!

  3. Hi Gill
    much work that you 've made . But I think with the finished result you'll be very satisfied .
    If you like , watch it over on our blog . Lauter enthusiastic miniaturist .

    LG Alexandra

    1. Hello Alexandera, I?ve read some of your blog, really interesting and I like your little miniatures group especially getting together to make things!

  4. I say go for it! Even though it was once obviously beautiful, you can revamp it, and make it even better. More to your liking, and you will get more joy from both creating it, and loving it afterward! So nice to see a post from you Gill! fairy hugs, Christel

  5. Renovations are a lot of fun. A lot of before and after pics to look at.

  6. Although it may have been sad to strip away your original decoration I think you have made a wise decision. You can always enjoy the photographs. I'm now looking forward to seeing what you do with your revamp.

  7. I never saw this house, I like the layout, with the stairs in the back, now I see that you have walls removed..... 'm Very curious what you will make of it and wish you a lot of fun. :)
    * marlies

  8. Hard to part company with all the work of the past but in the long run it will look so nice. hugs, LJ

  9. Demolition squad in action - brave but necessary! Would love to see how it looks now?

    1. Rosie, most of the demolishing, stripping and rubbing down of the inside is done but noting to the outside yet. Moving home yet again stopped work for quite a while! I will post photos soon. Gill x