Posted by: christinelaennec | April 8, 2011

The dolls’ house

My father, bless him, made The Dafter a beautiful dolls’ house.  He shipped parts of it over from the States when she was quite small, and it made a small dolls’ house.  He then shipped other parts later on, and a few years ago he came himself during a beautiful April to assemble it into its final form.  Michael and I did some of the wallpapering and finishing, and The Dafter has made many things for it as well.  An extended family of dolls lives here:

The Doll's House - front view (I see the front steps have been moved - sorry, dolls!)

Here is the other side:

The back of the dolls' house - Tilly is allowed to take refuge in the attic when she needs a place to hide.

As you see, it’s nap-time for the dolls (as well as Tilly) in this photo.  Two of them are under blankets knit by the Dafter in the bedroom on the left, one is sleeping in the bathtub, and one on her bunkbed (top right).  The dolls even have dolls’ houses of their own!

Here is the front entryway, with a rug made by the Dafter:

Welcome to the doll's house - rug by the Dafter.

And here’s a closeup of the angel on top of the house:

Angel playing the flute, carved by my father, atop the dolls' house.

This dolls’ house is much more than a childhood toy – it will be a part of our house for many years to come!



  1. wow! that is such a beautiful house. it reminds me of the doll houses we used to play with as a child. i remember going to my friend’s house and she had a huge doll’s house … if you stood up beside it as a child, it was as tall as us. we had hours of fun playing in both hers and mine at my house. simple pleasures … no electronic toys for us. it makes me feel a bit old but they were very sweet times.

    • Wow that does sound like an amazingly big dolls’ house. I think people of our generation were very lucky to grow up making the most of our imaginations. I remember that my Etch-a-Sketch seemed like an astounding piece of technology to me!

  2. What a beautiful, lasting gift, and so much scope for The Dafter’s creative talents. I love the bathtub bed!
    And I notice you’ve cast off your native ‘dollhouse’ for the British version. Not meaning to be derogatory, but ‘dollhouse’ always strikes me as…not tripping off the tongue easily. I wonder why American English lost the possessive ‘s’ that we have. Or perhaps we added it? (Yet another thesis possibility in there!)

    • Linda, that’s such an interesting question. I think the reason that I say “dolls’ house” is because of Rumer Godden’s book The Dolls’ House, which made a huge impression on me as a child. I re-read it rather recently and found that it had stood the test of time. It’s a great children’s story about a family of dolls, who of course live in a dolls’ house.

  3. There’s nothing quite like a gift, hand-made and given with love. What a splendid doll’s house, and what a clever and loving grandfather.

    • Martin, all you say is so true! The house speaks volumes about my father’s own character.

  4. I know exactly what you mean, we have one similar, it’s one of those beautiful heirloom pieces that reminds us of days gone by.

    • Lucky you! The thing I notice about the dolls’ house is that visiting children stay busy with it for hours and all more modern gadgets are abandoned. So it’s a heirloom that is very much alive.

  5. Puzzled by how the cat gets in and out! Reminds me of the children’s book “My Cat Likes to Sleep in Boxes”! But that is one very fancy box!
    A real heirloom.

    • Roobeedoo, your comment about the cat getting into the dolls’ house made me laugh out loud. And yes, I’d forgotten that book but you’re quite right.

  6. What a beautiful dollhouse !!

  7. What an amazing doll’s house! You can almost feel the love that your father put into it. I thought I’d seen a cat in that picture… wait, I did see a cat! How cute is it that she hides there. I’m sure it is all the love!

  8. Dear Carin and Luciana,
    Thanks for coming by and for commenting. Yes, Luciana you did see Tilly the cat tucked inside the attic. I think it is indeed a peaceful and loving place for her to hide out.

  9. Beautiful! I look forward to building a dolls’ house together with my daughter.

    Have to check out Godden’s book. I’ve read only This House of Brede. Loved it.

  10. What a beautiful gift. Your girl’s rugs are so beautiful and she certainly knows how to tuck in little ones for a nap.

    I didn’t know your father was an artist, Christine. That angel has so much life!

  11. I had a dollhouse when I was growing up. It was one of my very favorite things. I liked being in charge of creating the life within – pure escape and fantasy.

  12. Oh, what a beautiful house, I love the bead garlands. Also love the cat sleeping in it!

  13. That’s absolutely wonderful and I love the carved angel, what a talented chap. It’s so nice that members of the family have contributed to it, too.

  14. […] past six weeks, been doing a steady sort-through of her bedroom.  We also decided to get out her doll’s house, (click on the link to read about its history), just to make sure it wasn’t mouldering in the […]

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