When my best friend's mother-in-law asked me to design a dollhouse for her daughter, I had to take a moment and pinch myself.
Not only did Ashley and I grow up playing with dollhouses, but she is also the artist behind the amazing tiny paintings you'll find for sale on this site. So I couldn't be more thrilled to create something for her. And the cherry on top was that we would plan on surprising everyone at the big yearly family vacation.
I set to work finding the perfect home to refurbish and came across one that fit the bill perfectly being sold on Facebook Marketplace. Merritt is a fan of pink and all things girly, but she is only three so it had to be durable. Although it had some years of love on it, it was still in great shape. The house was originally fabricated by Le Toy Van and this version is no longer in production, but they still offer similar ones on their website.
The interior of Merritt's House was decked out with designer finishes, specific dollhouse prints, and a big dose of whimsy.
The Living Room features designer wallpaper on almost every surface - a metallic basket weave on the floor, a watery abstract on the feature wall, and a vinyl with a tiny pink print became a rug.
In the Kitchen, I couldn't help but use a super fun scrapbook paper with donuts on it in bright icing colors. If this was on all of the walls it would be too over-powering for the room, so instead it was used just above a white wood wainscoting. The table was a cake stand and the stools were repurposed from the plastic spacers that come in pizza boxes with vinyl pink cushions made from more wallpaper. Pretty perfect for a Kitchen, don't ya think?!
The stairs that lead to the second floor are clad in white washed oak treads and stringer and the risers have real mother of pearl tiles on them. I love the subtle sparkle of the shell and the natural glam vibe it brings to the space.
The Master Bedroom has a plush aqua carpet and pink heart wallpaper. The bed was jazzed up by raising the height slightly with wooden blocks and with bedding in designer fabrics. A photo taken from the family's recent New Year's card was the finishing touch.
In the Bathroom, the walls were tiled in a specifically scaled dollhouse wallpaper and dollhouse vinyl tile with tiny hexagons was used on the floor. The ceiling also got a designer wallpaper treatment to add an unexpected pop and to also tie in the aqua tone from the rest of the rooms. Merritt is an avid dancer so artwork of a ballerina only seemed fitting.
One of the biggest wow-moments comes from lifting the roof and revealing the designer butterfly wallpaper in the kid's bedroom. The wings of the butterflies incorporate all the shades used throughout the house and the silver metallic background works perfectly with the chunky metallic wallpaper on the sides. The room is prepped for play, but also calming enough for afternoon naps.
The house was furnished with enough to entice hours of play, but also allowed lots of room to grow, add, and make it truly her own.
It was so hard to keep this project a secret for months, but their reaction at the grand reveal was so worth it. Merritt's squeals of delight say it all and watching her light up over her first dollhouse is a moment I will always treasure. Being able to make it for my best friend definitely got me choked up and it all ended the way it started - with me pinching myself.
THE EXTERIOR (UNCHANGED)
Nothing says it better than her squeals of delight!