Thursday, May 31, 2012

Contemporary Dollhouse by Doll Domiciles


Just because I have absolutely no room for another doll house probably means I should commission a 1:1 scale house instead of a 1:12 one. Unfortunately, this is not practical in the least! On somewhat of a whim, I asked some carpenters to build the Contemporary Dollhouse by Doll Domiciles using an original copy of the plans. (I actually have two copies of the plans -- one bought on eBay after searching for a long while, and one purchased at a dolls house store, found under a pile of dusty plans for $7.50!)


I expected them to laugh me out of their shop, but they were intrigued by the design and offered to take it on at a leisurely pace. The house has been in their shop for over a year now. I know, crazy. They work on it when they can using scraps. So it's totally green project! ;) 

I wanted to share some photos of this wacky house as it is coming along. These first photos show it in the very early stages. I was quite surprised when I saw it because it was closed off on the sides and did not match the plans. Lots was wrong with it. 

That roof trim has no place here, guys

The doors to nowhere...??

HELP!

I pointed out all the problems and then left them alone for a while. Nothing like a crazed doll house lady and her house ideas!

I visited the house again last weekend and it is now coming along in the right direction.









The roof raises on each side for additional access

Here's the other side!


I want to do different flourishes on the front balcony as in the plans, and of course none of the finishing elements are there yet. I'd love to use actual stone for the bottom portion, too. Certainly a ways to go, but it's been a fun ride so far! I'll be sure to post additional updates and photos when I can. Maybe next time I'll bring some furniture for a test drive.

I'd love to hear your advice, feedback, and comments! Also, please let me know if you have ever seen a completed house, or if you know any more about the plans, the company, etc. I've done lots of web searching and have not turned up much.

34 comments:

  1. Friggin AWESOME! Glad you got rid of the trim, i can't imagine that roof line for real in a snowy climate but as a mini it looks really cool.

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    1. Hi, Loreen! Yes, that trim just had to go. Not a good scrap to use there. This house is *definitely* impractical in most climates! I am thinking Palm Springs might work. It's a desert house :)

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  2. I have admired those plans for years, but never dared to attempt to build. Their first attempt is heart breaking. I'm so surprised they were able to take your feedback and come up with this beauty. What a makeover. I like the direction its going. I've never seen photos outside the plans, so I can't wait to see what you do with it. Good luck! Hopefully it won't be another year. :P

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    1. Hey, Mini Dork! They were extremely understanding, especially once we went through the plans again. I think to some degree they were interpreting them rather than following them, and trying to make the facade more traditional. I've never seen photos either of a finished house, which I find really unusual. I'd love to get a hold of a past Doll Domiciles company rep or someone who can shed some light on use of the plans, etc.

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  3. I haven't found much about them either, but searching on Google books shows ads and listings from 1976 into the 1990s. They seem to have produced quite a few designs - Cape Cod, Victorian Gingerbread, Victorian Second Empire, American Farmhouse, even a Firehouse! Would be nice to know who is/was behind it.
    I love how yours is shaping up - what a great idea to ask professional carpenters to make it!

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    1. I didn't find much, either. There are other plans that you mention, but I haven't seen many of those houses built either. I am wondering if their plans were not digestible/clear enough, or too ambitious? I would LOVE to know who was behind designing this. I might try to see if I can locate a Doll Domiciles employee from when the company was in business.

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  4. This house looks pretty darn awesome, and you're totally right... that trim was way out of place! Much better looking now, and I can't wait to see how it changes when you get your hands on it! XD It will be amazing!

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    1. Hiya, Heather! I am looking forward to seeing this house through, although this is shaping up to be a glacial build!

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  5. This is looking great. I can't wait to see the finished product!

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  6. WOW! Out of this world Googie! Where can I get those plans? hehe
    Cannot wait to see what you do with this and good for you for making them take off that hideous trim!

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    1. Thanks, Daphne! At some point I would like to scan and post the plans, perhaps after the carpenters are done with them. The photo of the plans in this post is still sealed, so I'd like to keep them that way :)

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  7. Oh! Call Small, it is looking great!! I remember you telling me about the first visit not going so well, but it is now coming along quite nicely, man. The style is perfectly you. I have these plans, but have never thought about building it---err, having it built. At this stage, I can only suggest that IF possible, you get some custom Plexiglas windows for the peekaboo windows and some removable Plexiglas windows for the accessible sides. You already know the benefits of keeping the dust out--shrug. But I'm thinking that with removable windows on the side access, you can designate enclosed and open-air spaces at will. I hope I'm explaining this well... Also, I hope you entice others who might have this built dollhouse to come out of the woodwork and show us their version of the lovely structure.

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    1. Now you can see what I was talking about with that first visit! It was a bit discouraging and I didn't return for a *l o n g* while. I LOVE your idea about the plexi windows for the cutouts and removable panels! That make so much sense and will give me some flexibility. AND, yes, I would really love to see other structures out there. Isn't it odd that none have turned up? I might put out feelers on the Greenleaf forum and others to try to find some owners of this house, or even connect with a former Doll Domiciles employee.

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  8. I missed the various blogging about this house the first time around. That is a major cool house!

    I am curious about the size. It looks really big, is it?

    My other thought on seeing the house is that it is kind of too bad that the carpenters didn't cut the trim pieces and let you glue them on. Sinking all those finish nails seems like it's going to be a bear. But, I could be wrong?

    I can't wait to see what you do with this. Hopefully, it will be before 2013. ;-)

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    1. Hi, Sandra! Others have blogged here and there about the plans on eBay, but thus far no one has blogged about any built structures. It is an elusive house! It is a sprawling 1:12 scale, quite large. Next time, I'll try to get a person in there for scale ;) One of the challenges of this project is letting go of some of the control. I am trying to minimize the carpenter's role in doing any finishing, but they have made decisions on the new trim that they think work best. I might see if they can add more 3-D flourishes to the front balcony, as in the plans. I cannot guarantee that I will finish things before the year is out, but that is certainly a goal!

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  9. Wow that is some house. It looks like it will be amazing. Have fun with it :)
    Hugs Maria

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    1. Thanks, Maria! I hope the end result is a good one!

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  10. Love the roof line on this house. It's coming along great! The balcony looks good too. The best part are those windows. Love the shape of them! I like how the roof can be raised for access to the second floor.
    Great design. Can't wait to see more!

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    1. The roof line makes the house, for sure. I wonder if the design is based on an existing 1:1 house out there...

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  11. Wow, that is going to be one cool house. I ditto the idea about plexi glass. I find most houses don't have A) enough access and B) enough light passing through for good photos.I would love to see some of the outside fascias veneered in a modern wood and left to age. I think the ground floor would look great as an extension of the upstairs living area. Man, I would love to get my hands on it.
    LED's and up-lighting, slate and gravel...drools.
    Looking forward to seeing more.

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    1. Any chance you want to come to New Jersey and live with a very nice family for a little bit? Ya see, I have this house...Boy, would I be jazzed for you to get your hands on this. Please send on any ideas should you be inspired. I feel like the possibilities are pretty endless, and I don't want to get lost in them and not do anything!!! :)

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  12. I knew that house looked familiar, its from Hawaii http://www.homedesignfind.com/green/zero-energy-houses-creating-a-new-design-vernacular/

    I think it's called a butterfly roof, if you google butterfly roofs it has some great photos on images


    marisa :)

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    1. Thanks, Marisa! Now I will have to google for a few hours! I am sure the designer must have been intrigued by that roof line.

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  13. Wow! I am so excited to see this house in any stage. I have been looking for the plans for the last 3 years and have had no luck. I don't suppose you'd like to make copies and sell me a set? I am so thrilled for you. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Hi, terrterr! I am planning to scan the plans at some point for others to use. I have two copies, but one is sealed and the other is being used by the carpenters. I will try to scan them soon and post them to Flickr so that they are easy to see and hopefully print.

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  14. Thank you, that would be awesome. I look forward to seeing plans. I am pretty much new to minis and I am totally hooked. I am so thankful to bloggers like you, Pepper and many others for your all you share.
    Regards, Terry

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  15. That looks great! 1:12 scale is my favorite. I can't wait to see it painted and furnished. I think it's great that you found some carpenters willing to do the job.

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  16. Exciting project!
    I can remember drooling over their dollhouse plans. I think that I still have a catalogue of theirs somewhere. How wonderful to one of them realized here.

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  17. Hi CallSmall,
    I was just looking through a Miniature and Dollhouse Catalog from 1987, from Dee's Delights, actually looking for Craft Patterns (A Neely Hall) dolls house plans. What did I spot but the plans for this house, listed as DOL130 Contemporary Dollhouse Plans, by Jack E Cavender!! So I searched on Ancestry for Jack E Cavender - could probably have googled just as well, as I found this: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/atlanta/obituary.aspx?n=jack-cavender&pid=153971267#sthash.b5i9c8mo.dpbs
    So there you are, the designer at last! Unfortunately, he died just two years ago :-(

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    1. Wow, thanks sooo much, Rebecca! What a gift to know the designer of those plans! It's weird, that house, still unfinished, has been on my mind a lot lately. Perhaps it is time to turn back to it! Thank you.

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  18. Very, very nice, I like this one the most, I think, but I quite like a few just as much :D You have an amazing collection, thanks for sharing them. :)

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