Thank you for visiting!

The Dollhouse

P. Marlin November 2022


My childhood plantation dollhouse had spent nearly a century in a storage unit - and then my garage - before I finally decided to restore it. The dollhouse was in fairly good shape after its years of neglect, however, the roof had partially collapsed and needed to be rebuilt. Once the roof was replaced, I cleaned and primed the dollhouse exterior. In keeping with the tradition of a plantation house, I painted the exterior white and only added color to the shutters and trim. While determining the trim color, I moved the dollhouse inside to continue the renovation work.

The dollhouse's interior revealed its age as 1970's era wallpaper covered the walls. As I began to research new wallpaper and floor covering options, I was amazed at the number of dollhouse miniature products available. I lacked patience for the meticulous work involved in replacing the wallpaper and flooring, however, I persevered, knowing that soon I would be able to furnish and decorate the dollhouse (the fun part!).

The biggest challenge of working on my 'fixer upper' was fitting what seemed like my enormous hands into such a small space. As the dollhouse's new appearance took shape, however, I became immensely pleased with the near finished product. As last, it was time to decorate! Shopping for new "furniture" was a thoroughly enjoyable as plenty of adorable chairs, beds, tables, shelves and rugs were available to fill my miniature space (mostly on Etsy!). Today the dollhouse is affectionately known as "Marlin Manor." The photos below document the dollhouse's year long renovation and decoration.

Dollhouse in original condition.


Replacing the roof and repairing the front door (though the latter was eventually replaced).


New roof.


New roof and repaired front door (the latter was eventually replaced).


Primed and ready.


New trim color.


Getting ready to replace the original wallpaper.


Replacing the living room wallpaper.


Original dollhouse interior.


Updated dollhouse interior. The second floor wallpaper designs are Colonial Williamsburg (right) and Peter Rabbit (left).


Original kitchen detail.


Updated kitchen detail (still keeping with the stripe theme).


Dollhouse with a new front door and decorated for fall.


A nearly completed kitchen.


A nearly completed kitchen.


Christmas decor for the living room.


A bedroom table decorated for Christmas with the Colonial Williamsburg wallpaper in the background.


Kitchen table.


Bedroom table.


The little girl's bedroom with Peter Rabbit wallpaper. I printed the Peter Rabbit wallpaper myself after purchasing a high resolution image of the scene on Etsy.


The main bedroom decorated for Christmas with a better view of the Colonial Williamsburg wallpaper.


Little girl bedroom details.


Little desk details details.


Bedroom desk with a handwritten letter.