Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Old Fashioned Fun!

I bought a house for my god daughter!

Ah, ok...it's as small as she is.

A while back, I had an interior designer-friend in New York City who showed me her marvelous, chic condominium apartment that overlooked the Statue of Liberty and the Harbor. It was as fashionable and formidable as she was. She designed the modern interiors in all white, the walls, the carpeting, her modular, lux furniture, giant potted plants at the corners of the squarish-studio floorplan; with fanciful modern artwork and wall-to-ceiling windows affording a magnificent water-and-city skyscape.

She had a giant pull-down screen to watch television in 5 foot by 8 foot dimensions, and touches of black laquer, red chinese details and modern splashy colorful prints.

And displayed behind the couch near the dining area, she had a gorgeous Plantation dollhouse encased in glass....

It was fully furnished. It had small asian dolls representing her parents and her three sisters. She said she had it since she was a child, a large cupola'd confection that reminded me (a little frighteningly) of the Overlook Hotel from the Shining. She opened up the magnificent display and showed me the interior, how she changed the rooms every year so that the detailed furnishings were fresh and original - one year modern, another year Americana, five years ago - Classical Victorian.

It was the most fun gift from her (admitted wealthy) childhood, and she cherished it still.

It's a great toy. You have a lot of options. There are Chateaus, and Plantations, Modern Bungalos, and yes, my dear C, even Hello Kitty has one.

You can change the flooring, install cabinets, hang curtains and update the wallpaper, or cover the wood walls in flourescent green.

I picture myself each year buying my goddaughter the tiny furniture for each 1 inch scaled room, maybe a miniature dish-set, or bathroom arrangement....

And I imagine her grasping the beautiful furnishings and people and playing little fantasy family games and dramas, where they eat dinner, or sit near the fireplace.

The one I got her is called the Willow House.

The plain wood dollhouse has six spacious rooms on three floors. It's entirely open in the back and has a first floor fireplace centered between two built-in bookcases. The master bedroom features a fireplace and shutters to compliment the 18th-century architecture. Other features include the ornate front door, gracious stairway and double hung windows.
From Greenleaf Dollhouses, a New England Miniature Dollhouse maker.

Best of all, my friend says it directly lead to her career choice in being a fashion and interiors designer, a rewarding and artistic career.


C said...

D, lovely!!! There is a shop somewhere on 2d/3d Ave. in the low 20s where they sell miniature furniture. I've never ventured inside, lest I start a new obsession (you know, I’ve purchased a Hello Kitty dollhouse -- for a friend's daughter – and you know I really wanted it for myself!). I'm in a strange state of mind, because reading this has brought to mind Frances Glessner Lee. A few years ago, there was a show featuring photographs of her fascinating dollhouses: www.bellwethergallery.com/archive_01.cfm?fid=32

D said...


Oy. That was scary. A dollhouse with dead bodies in it?????

Yikes, you have to write commentary on that one!!

Check it out:

C said...

That's the exhibit I viewed. Maybe it was your reference to The Shining that made my mind go there. I'm impressionable like that.