How's this? A miniature 1:12 scale television that actually works! - you can even play DVDs through it. Costs ninety nine quid (£99) from DollsHouseTvs You can even have your little darling's name put on the front.
There's dollshouses and there's dollshouses. You can make a simple one out of scrap cardboard, a more durable one from plywood or go the whole hog and buy the dollhouse already assembled, painted and furnished - like Grosvenor Hall shown here. Described as
"beautiful Palladian-style house exudes grandeur and timeless elegance with its magnificent entrance hall, impressive balcony and ionic columns. Inside, the elegance is reflected in the exquisite curved staircase, internal doors and working sash windows. The Grosvenor Hall kit includes all windows and doors pre-assembled including the finely detailed double doors leading to the salon, and is also available fully built and decorated inside and out with our carefully selected Decoration Packs and Lighting Sets. Enhance this superb residence with a Grosvenor Basement to gain a total of 12 rooms, or adjoin a Cotswold Conservatory, Garden or the Orangery to add a touch more splendour to this magnificent home."
It'll cost you a pretty penny though. With the added basement it comes to the price of a secondhand car - a whopping £4000 or $7,900.
If you want to save money and build your own - a lot more fun in my opinion - try this FREE Dollhouse Plan from MotherEarthNews. The plans and construction details are in the Image Gallery. Or this plywood one from Wayne of the woods
"farm-style dollhouse, using a sheathing-over-framing technique common to full-size structures. The framework is made of white pine, cut into strips of no more than 1" in width. The sheathing is corrugated cardboard covered on the outside with poster-board siding. Inside, pieces of fabric, wallpaper, or wood set off the different rooms. The result is an inexpensive (albeit a time-consuming) project with the accurate detail of the better kits. Those who simply follow the instructions will be well on their way to completing a duplicate of the house you see here; the more adventurous can use the techniques to modify this plan or even to design a whole new structure to suit their tastes. Because many of the raw materials are free, there's little reason not to experiment with the house's shape or its features."
Yes that's right - eight hundred and twenty four quid. Or $1608 at todays exchange rate. Flipping 'ell! I know some of those bankers and media types are on a good earn but who can afford to shell out that kind of dosh for a toy? A toy that's only 155mm x 120mm (6" × 4.5"). Well yeah I know it's a collectors item but still. That kind of money could probably feed a family of four for a year in the Third World.
They are beautifully made though. The £824 Georgian Decorative above left is described as Very much in the style of Adams, this fireplace is the pinnacle of contemporary Georgian design for the London townhouse. This would be a showpiece in a room such as a dining room where the principle entertainment of guests would take place.
It's made from Statuary marble with hearth and slips made from black slate (£15 extra). The craftsman is Gavin Poyner who has worked as an architectural stonemason since completing his apprenticeship twenty five years ago.
Apparently when Gav and his Missus were buying a dollshouse for their daughter they couldn't find real marble or stone fireplaces. So a lightbulb went off in the young stonemason's head - "I know - I'll make 'em - and sell 'em to all them rich fucks in The City". (I made that part up - couldn't help myself)
The fireplaces Gavin makes are the real McCoy. His catalogue includes Georgian, Victorian, 15th-18th Century and he accepts commissions (so the filthy rich banking type clients can no doubt try and outdo each other). They are made from the same raw materials used in full-scale fireplaces. But as beautiful as they are, I still can't come to grips with paying the price of a new Apple Mac for one. But maybe you're flush so Here's their website. Prices start from £187.
If you plan on building a doll house there are several free plans available in several scales on the net.
Free Online Plans
- Design Works Free do it yourself playscale (fashion doll scale) dollhouse plans.
- Free Dollhouse Castle Plans and instructions from Wayne of the Woods
- Better Homes and Gardens, Dollhouse From a Book case
- Fine scroll saw has some vintage Hobbies design sheets for dollhouse building patterns which are free to download. You will need to set a scale for these patterns.
- Bunnings Warehouse in Australia has a free How to make a Dollhouse plan in pdf form.
- Mother Earth News has free plans (see the gallery of photos) and instructions for building a 1:12 scale farmhouse.
And here is an interesting video someone has posted on YouTube. Pity it doesn't have commentary instead of the music bed.