I have a lot of historical dolls as you all know by now, but what I don’t share often is my modern dolls. I thoroughly love my historical dollhouses, but sometimes it’s fun to work with current styles and design. This summer my husband and I started a five-room dollhouse for the Truly Me dolls of my collection. In my post American Girl Place Chicago you all got to meet Ella and Emma. They are my two Truly Me 61’s that I dress as twins.
The modern dollhouse is to be Ella and Emma’s home and has two floors. The top floor consists of three rooms: Emma’s Bedroom, Ella’s Bedroom and a shared Walk-In Closet. This house is the first of my houses to feature real doorways leading into other rooms. All of my historical rooms are complete without any sort of pass through.
As I started designing the twin’s bedrooms, I wanted them to have very different themes and personalities. I chose to create a personality for Emma’s room as a girl who is trendy, smart and loves to read. Her room is simple and clean, but has her favorite things near. Emma’s bookshelves are filled with her favorite American Girl books, camera and a real working Etch A Sketch. In the corner sits her Julie doll and on the bed a giant chair pillow to relax on with a book.
I am completely hooked on buffalo plaid! I tend to choose it in my own home decor and my wardrobe. As we started the modern dollhouse, I knew one room must be designed around buffalo plaid. 😀 When I mentioned it to my husband, he suggested we do a feature wall in the room with shiplap and here we are! The house shell is an IKEA Pax cabinet, but larger than the usual one we use. This particular one is 93” tall, but it is laying on its side, so we get a house that is nearly 8 feet long. I bought two add-on shelves to be the rooms walls and they are nailed into place since the normal brackets aren’t made to hold them in this position. Before installing them, hubby cut doorways into them. The doorway leads into the walk-in closet and continues on to Ella’s room. Emma’s room is 28” tall x 29” wide x 22 1/2” deep.
The bed is the American Girl Canopy Bed. I painted it black and added Emma’s name to the foot board. I bought two buffalo plaid tea towels for the fabric. I couldn’t find what I wanted in the fabric section (imagine that), but these are perfect. One towel is the bedspread, the other towel I cut up and made two pillow cases and an accent pillow for the chair. The chair originally was blue and went with Girl of the Year 2008 Mia’s bedroom desk. I painted it with a gold metallic paint and really was impressed with the result.
On the wall I wanted to get the look of an old barn window. The “window” is an empty picture frame and the wreath is garland hung with twine. I bought three gold glitter picture frames and printed out pictures of animals wearing glasses for two of them 🤓 and used the third one on the nightstand. The nightstand is a craft box I painted and added pulls to. The working lamp is from the dollar store but I painted the ugly “shade” gold.
I used vinyl gray paper for the wall covering to mimic gray paint. The vinyl is very easy to work with and doesn’t run or puddle like paint would. Hubby cut lattice to be the shiplap and I painted it lightly with white craft paint. I didn’t want any form of gloss so it would keep a casual, rustic feeling. The wood is glued onto a piece of foam board that we cut to the appropriate size. We did this because it is much easier to keep the shiplap in straight lines and didn’t require as many nails. We used finishing nails to attach the shiplap wall to the back wall of the Pax.
I found the antelope head at Target. It was perfect just the way it was! The house shaped shelf was white and I painted it gray. The pineapple (which I decorate with in my own home) is a pepper shaker. The Rubiks Cube and Etch A Sketch are real working miniature toys. The succulent plant is from Target’s Dollar Spot. I painted the pot gold because the terracotta didn’t go with the theme.
The free-standing bookshelf is three cubes I found at Michael’s. I removed the drawers and painted them black. The light fixture is a locker light and the geometric shape works perfectly with the room. The E above the bed is a refrigerator magnet. (Ella has a matching one.) I wrapped twine and twinkle lights on the canopy. They give a nice soft glow.