Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Keystone of Boston Dollhouse Refurbish

I put together a quick video, about 4 1/2 minutes or so, of the refurbish of the 1949 Keystone of Boston Dollhouse. The video below shows the basic transformation and the finished product. I'm working on a better one that documents the step by step process of each room and the exterior, which I'll post later on. But for now, enjoy!

Thank you for viewing!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Whew, it's finally done! Keystone of Boston 1949 Dollhouse

After almost 2 years, it's finally done! My mother's 1949 Keystone of Boston Dollhouse, all grown up. In fairness to me, I've taken many breaks in between but I spent many many hours, days, weeks working on the inside, the outside, and the furniture and decorations.  This wasn't just a rehab project, I took special care to leave something original in every room. There is also something personal in every room too, even including the patio. It's been through three generations of little girls, this house was loved and played with by my mother, me and my sister, and our daughters.

Dollhouse Playtime, 1971

My goal was to make the house a realistic modern house, and since the kids are all grown, no longer a toy house. The exterior was an easy choice, as I wanted to stay with the Colonial style and also try to keep the same design as the original screening that was pre-printed on the outside. I used white clapboard siding for the upper half, with brick on the lower half. There were 3 original window frames, the two upstairs bedrooms and the kitchen. I left the remaining two windows open, just framed the exteriors. The roof is removable, and surprisingly in good shape, so I decided to leave it in it's original state.

Original Exterior - Roof On
Original Exterior - Roof Off

Completed Exterior - Roof Off

Completed Exterior - Roof On

The interior was a totally different story. Among the challenges was the fact that Keystone of Boston Dollhouses aren't exactly 1:12th scale. I have a mixture of scaled furniture in each room that helps to balance out the realistic look. I'll post a before and after shot of the front below, but I am currently working on a video and detailed photos of each room. There are so many tiny details, it was so much fun to complete!

Original Front

Completed Front

Original Living Room

Completed Living Room

Original Dining Room

Completed Dining Room

Original Kitchen

Completed Kitchen
Original Bedroom - Left Side

Completed Bedroom - Left Side (Master Bedroom)

Original Bedroom - Right Side

Completed Bedroom - Right Side (Guest Bedroom)
Original Bathroom

Completed Bathroom

Original Patio

Completed Patio

When I originally began working on the house I had it on an oversized piece of plywood that I had intended to create a yard out of. However, one of the special features of the Keystone's is that it sits on a rotating wheel so you can spin it around. In keeping with the original design, I decided to ditch the plywood and just set it up on a table.

This was a total labor of love. I enjoyed every minute of it, and I am kind of sad it's done. But as they say, is a dollhouse really ever done? I'm always on the lookout for mini's, and always thinking of what room I can update and put things in. For now, I will shift my focus to my new project, The Arthur. I've already kit-bashed it in my head, so this should be fun. I've made a chimney and bought a fireplace for the living room, and I intend to scrap the bedroom window and make a door out to a balcony instead.

Stay tuned!