This House Beautiful Reader Created an Insane Dollhouse in Quarantine

Mary Elizabeth Andriotis
·3 min read
Photo credit: Leah Kieffer
Photo credit: Leah Kieffer

From House Beautiful

At House Beautiful, we love anything home-related no matter the size—and that includes miniatures. Creating your own dollhouse might just be the best way to pass time during quarantine, and Leah Kieffer did just that. Inspired by House Beautiful’s own series of dollhouses⁠, Dollhouse Beautiful⁠, Kieffer used a dollhouse kit to design her dream [doll]house, complete with a purple Victorian-style exterior and wallpaper-swathed interior.

Kieffer originally had no plans to complete the dollhouse anytime soon, but stay-at-home orders and her recent retirement made it the perfect time to work on this project. She acquired the Lilliput Plum Pudding dollhouse kit several years ago from a friend, but at the time, she says, "life was hectic as I had just retired and the dollhouse was put on the back burner for a rainy day."

Photo credit: Leah Kieffer
Photo credit: Leah Kieffer

Like many of us have experienced firsthand, having to stay home for an extended period of time had Kieffer “starting to get bored,” but she found a solution: “The April/May 2020 issue of House Beautiful had the article 'Welcome to the Dollhouse' and the online videos. I watched these and other videos on Pinterest and YouTube showing lots of ideas. I have always been crafty and it inspired me to pull the dollhouse out and build it," Kieffer tells us.

Kieffer painted the exterior using a Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2x Ultra Cover Spray Paint and Primer Spray that she purchased at her local hardware store. "I liked the contrast of the dark purple (Aubergine), light purple (French lilac), and white," she explains of her choice.

As for the interiors, Kieffer tells us, “I simply utilized the different wallpapers for each room. For example, the bedroom had the gold comforter, so I chose blue and gold wallpaper, [the] kitchen was done in the red flower/green stripe pattern to match the hutch, and I cross stitched the chair cushions to match the wallpaper. The rooms would have been too plain without accessories, so I visualized what a real home would need to complete each room." All told, the project took nearly three months to complete (from late March to late June), but it was well worth the wait.

Photo credit: Leah Kieffer
Photo credit: Leah Kieffer

Kieffer’s friend who gifted her the dollhouse "had done multiple dollhouses over the years, so I not only acquired the dollhouse kit, but a treasure trove of several boxes of additional items to build dollhouses," she tells House Beautiful. Sadly, her friend passed away shortly after she acquired the dollhouse. But although, "he will never see how I was able to create the dollhouse, I now have something special to remember him," says Kieffer.

Photo credit: Leah Kieffer
Photo credit: Leah Kieffer

The dollhouse also provided Kieffer and her friends with a reason to stay in touch while sheltering in place and something to look forward to. “I was texting or emailing photos of the progress on a regular basis to my friends, so it also helped us during our time of physical separation to stay in touch," says Kieffer. "So thanks for the inspiration!"

It looks like we just found our next [miniature] home renovation project to complete during quarantine.

Photo credit: Leah Kieffer
Photo credit: Leah Kieffer

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