I recently purchased a Dura-Craft dollhouse from 1985, the kit was complete and as dated as it is, I just knew it had potential.
I had the idea to turn into a sort of French Farmhouse style, but I took some creative liberties with the architecture and design. I mean, if you can't take creative liberties with a dollhouse, when can you?
My first plan was to ditch the hearts and weird planter boxes, there's no room for those bad boys in 2020. Frankly, there shouldn't have been room for those in 1985. I left the basic shutter shape on all the windows but added details so that they were a little more authentic. Now they all look like they're individual wood slats versus that plain slab of wood as they came out of the box. I added some faux capstones above the upper windows and the most dramatic difference is the front porch.
What kind of farmhouse doesn't have a front porch? The porch is built from scratch and features a faux metal roof, a trellis, and hanging planter. I would have loved to make the porch double in size but thinking of portability and shipping, I thought it best to stick to a cozy space.
Because The Sweetheart dollhouse is on the smaller side, it only has four rooms and messing with the layout wouldn't have left functional rooms. So, I left the rooms as they were. That slanted back roof upstairs was tricky to design around but I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out. The dollhouse features a bedroom and bathroom upstairs and a living room and kitchen/dining room downstairs.
Some of my favorite details are the octopus wallpaper in the bathroom, the colorful wood slat wall in the bedroom, the wall hook in the living room and the retro built in refrigerator in the kitchen. The tiny house number plaque on the front porch is pretty darn cute too. All in all this was a fun dollhouse kit to build and modify and I'd build it again. One of the best parts of dollhouse building is that you can design a complete scheme, so even if I only ever built the Sweetheart kit, there are a million interior design or architectural designs I could come up with.