I’ve made miniatures before. Most recently, I built a 1/6 scale tiki-themed room box just to house a vintage salesman’s sample set of Paul Frankl rattan furniture. But watch this space for a series on a 1950s dollhouse.
I want a 1950s house, preferably a storybook ranch house, and ideally a Cinderella ranch. At this point, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to make that happen (especially since I don’t live near any good postwar houses).
But if you can dream it, you can do it. And while I work on making that happen in real life, I can definitely make it happen in miniature with a 1950s dollhouse.
Although I enjoyed reading about Kate’s dollhouse construction (using a 1950s pattern) on Retro Renovation (okay, fine – I read each entry obsessively!), I’m not going to be using midcentury dollhouse plans or making over an existing house. This will be a scratch build, based on the floor plans and elevation drawings of a real house. (I have limited space, so I might make the house wall-mounted. We’ll see.)
This is going to be a very long project. I expect to spend at least a year building, decorating, and furnishing the house. 1950s-style miniatures are nowhere near as common as Victorian or even contemporary miniatures. And I’m very disciplined about only choosing pieces that will photograph realistically. When someone looks at a picture of my work and doesn’t realize it’s a miniature, I know I’ve done it right.
I haven’t made too many decisions about the house itself yet. It’ll definitely be a Cinderella ranch style (since real Cinderella ranches are wide enough to need 68-foot lots, I may have to eliminate the garage so the house will still fit on my work table!). There will be gingerbread trim, retro candy colors, possibly some red geraniums, tiny ceramic panthers and poodles (possibly in TV lamp form), and hopefully a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace (my grandma’s house had one and I loved it).
I should get started soon. As you can see, I’ve already accumulated some pretty good stuff!