My childhood nightmare..Found!

Yesterday my husband and I went antiquing. I found thisSAM_2570


and this. Enameled tin dollhouses. I had one when I was a child. I believe that we had the ranch house, but not the one pictured. The dollhouse came with molded plastic furniture.

I loved the idea of a dollhouse when I was a kid..

I hated this one.


See the metal tabs that attach the roof to the house? They are perfect for slicing  the tips of little children’s fingers.

I found the interior design of the rooms to be hugely depressing. This is the entire layout of the Colonial home.


The grey living room rug always seemed to me a particularly depressing decorating choice. Were they worried about dirt on the fake rug?



I worried because this house had no staircase. How did the residents go up and down stairs? Perhaps you would have to live your life either entirely downstairs deprived of a bed or a bathroom, or perhaps you would have a place to bathe and sleep but no way to eat. SAM_2575

Once you put the plastic furniture in the rooms there wasn’t a whole lot one could do with the houseSAM_2576

Such things worried me. SAM_2578SAM_2579


  1. In my 30s, I really wanted a doll house. I'd given up the notion of ever having a real house to call my own, and my then-BF gave me a Victorian DH kit. I assembled it with wood glue, applied the shingles and trim, and labored over it for many months. I made a needlepoint Chinese carpet, and assembled several kits of Colonial-era furniture. I bought dollhouse wallpaper and installed a black & white tile floor in the kitchen, cut from 2 vinyl tiles I'd bought at the local home improvement store. I made a cast-iron stove, an icebox, and bathroom fixtures from kits. I enjoyed every moment of the time I worked on the furnishings, and haunted the Tiny Dollhouse store, then in the east 50s in NYC, looking for more things to add to my obsession.

    I am tremendously grateful that I was never exposed to a stamped tin DH, such as you have shown here. That would have utterly destroyed any interest I might have had in having a dollhouse, even without the nasty sharp metal tabs. What on Earth were they thinking when they made these kits?

  2. I bought my daughter a wooden dollhouse as a reward for giving up her bottle. It was a Victorian house, very much the sort of house I would have wanted to own. I built it from a kit. It was never completed- we gave it away to a neighbor. But we worked on it in fits and starts over the years.In the last phase of my daughter playing with the house she decorated the house with cut outs of oriental rugs and art from fancy interiors magazines. i hope that I managed to stay on the right side of the line. Too often these sort of projects are too much owned by the parent with too little input from the child...


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