The Starter Dollhouse Dilemma

Hello, readers,

I’ve decided that I want to assemble and furnish a dollhouse over my two-week winter break. Both size and money restrictions dictate that I need to get a smaller dollhouse kit.

Here are the contenders and my thoughts about them.

Orchid

Image from hayneedle. Greenleaf/Corona – Orchid Dollhouse kit

Amazon listing for Greenleaf/Corona Orchid dollhouse kit

Look at this cute little thing! This is supposed to be a 1:12 or one inch scale dollhouse, but it’s really little. I’ve read a couple of reviews and comments, and it seems like normal 1:12 furniture looks proportionately too big, but 1:24 (half scale) furniture is noticeably too small. One person said that 1:16 furniture would be best, along with not putting too much furniture in the dollhouse to begin with. That’s a concern because I would have to get all my furniture online, and I won’t be able to tell how something really looked with this house until I receive it in the mail. That always makes me really nervous because I don’t want to waste my money and end up with a bunch of unsuitable furniture.

Still, this dollhouse is really precious. Here’s my favorite “house tour” video of the Orchid, by Elize Venter.

It has four rooms, which is what I want. At this point, I think I want a parlor/living room, a kitchen, a bedroom, and a bathroom, just like this house is set up. Then again, it would be nice to have a music/library room, maybe instead of a kitchen since it’s such a small house. I really want to put a spinning wheel in the attic, but maybe I should wait until I have a dollhouse with a turret and more space for that.

Diana

Greenleaf - half scale Diana dollhouse kit

Greenleaf – half scale Diana dollhouse kit

Greenleaf – half scale Diana dollhouse kit

Greenleaf - half scale Diana dollhouse kit

Greenleaf – half scale Diana dollhouse kit

This is a super-cute house, too, and it also has four rooms like I want. This one is half scale (1:24), so one inch of the doll house is two feet of a real-life house. I just don’t know if I like how ornate the front porch railings are. I could just not add them, but then I’d worry about the front being too plain, especially since the small front gable wouldn’t have any trim. I love everything else about this little house, though, including the little stairs.

With houses this little, I realized that I like the house more than the furniture inside. With that in mind, I plan on making the furniture out of a 1:24 furniture “puzzle” first, and maybe buying more specialized pieces afterward.

Image from Amazing Miniatures.

Unfortunately, I cannot find anyone who did a “house tour” on Youtube with this dollhouse kit, but there is a Facebook gallery here.

Arthur

Greenleaf – half scale Arthur dollhouse kit

Greenleaf – half scale Arthur dollhouse kit

Greenleaf – half scale Arthur dollhouse kit

This is also a half-scale house, so I’d still fill it up with that puzzle furniture. It also has four rooms, and a staircase like the Diana. I like the front porch of this house a lot more than the Diana house, but it is weird to me that there are no windows on the sides of the first story. I suppose I could cut out holes in the side and do my best to make windows, but then I know I would be getting into a much more time-consuming project.

Again, I couldn’t find anyone who did a cool “house tour” video of this little dollhouse, but there is an album on the Greenleaf community forums that’s pretty cute.

Summary

These are all little houses, but here are a couple of visuals I made to better see their differences.

To put it into better context, the Arthur (9.5″x6.5″) is about the same size as my iPad. While my extravagant whims are telling me that the Arthur dollhouse will be too small, it might be the best fit since it could fit on shelf of one of our crammed bookcases. (The Diana would also fit.) The Orchid house is too big to fit on one of our shelves without the front porch area sticking out past the shelf, and that seems like an unnecessarily dangerous situation.

Amusingly, if the Orchid was half scale instead of full scale, then it would be the shortest dollhouse of the three, and its footprint would be between the Diana and Arthur.

Right now, I’m leaning towards either the Orchid or the Diana. Size considerations should make my decision be between the two half scale houses, but I’m not 100% sold on either kit’s design. I love how the Orchid looks, but part of me worries about proportionality issues with the Orchid and finding inexpensive furniture for my little starter dollhouse. The other part of me just wants to use to puzzle furniture anyway.

Regardless of which dollhouse I choose, I’m not going to use wallpaper that’s to scale because the exaggerated look appeals to me. Maybe I should just embrace the Orchid’s “high ceilings” paired with the tiny furniture and make it a spacious gothic abode…

* * *

What do you think, readers? Which one of theses looks like it would be the most fun to customize and transform? Is there a clear compromise here that I’m just not seeing? Do you even like dollhouses? Let me know in the comments.

Stay miniature,

Raven

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6 thoughts on “The Starter Dollhouse Dilemma

  1. Oh gosh, The Orchid is beautiful!! Personally, I don’t recommend either of the other two houses. While I’ve never done them myself, I have made similar dollhouses using the “puzzle” method and I honestly dislike it very much. They feel very delicate and the furniture made to be put in them not only don’t feel to scale, but seem just as flimsy. It’s a shame as they have very pretty designs (I LOVE how intricate The Diana looks), but overall they might not be the quality you’re expecting.

    • Thanks for your advice!

      I really love how pretty the Orchid is, too. It’s a shame that I found a couple of different videos of people showing off their finished Orchid houses, but none that showed off either of the other two houses. It makes the comparison between their looks so much harder because the Orchid just feels so much fancier. I’ll definitely keep the iffy quality of the puzzle builds in mind.

  2. If I had to do my first one over, I would go with the smallest and least complicated dollhouse due to space and going into an unknown situation. I started with the Coventry Cottage as my first build in 1″ scale (it is 2x the size of the Orchid) and regret choosing that one as my first. I should have gone with something smaller with fewer frills because there were indeed unexpected issues that arose. I was super shocked at how big it was.

    Also, be wary of the non-laser cut kits. They are die cut on fairly poor quality wood, so there is a lot of prepping you may have to do just to have clean edges which would require more supplies and work (not the fun kind of work either) that would overextend your time frame.

    But since it looks like you’re leaning towards the laser cut halfscale, space is not as big an issue (see what I did there?), but complexity as a first-timer is something you should consider. At any rate, it is great fun! I’m sure you’ll enjoy them!

    • Hello there! Thanks for the advice. I really am hoping to have painting and assembling done in two weeks, so I might have to stick with the laser-cut models to avoid all that extra sanding. I’m super excited about the project, though. I can’t wait to get started!

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