Dolls' Houses Past & Present

A website and ezine about dolls' houses: antique, vintage and modern. Plus furniture and accessories.


Joined Oct 28 2009
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Dolls' Houses Past & Present

About Me

This pic is me with my dad.I have been making dolls houses for 10 yrs.I always wanted a really old one but could never afford the ones I liked.Then I looked at kits and didn't like them either,so I designed and made my own.Since then I have made about 30,mostly for family and friends.I have 4 of my own - no room for any more.I have made quite a few bits of furniture etc and customised lots more.Now I have found the internet I have bought a few vintage pieces,some of my houses are inspired by antique ones and the vintage pieces go very well!

I am at present working on an old dolls house for a friend that I found in a car boot sale for £4.It was missing its front,so I am making one.

What did I say about no room for more houses???? We now have 12 houses!!! :P

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Reply Maddy
9:09 AM on February 1, 2016 
Hello Joan,
I've just discovered you on site and I am dumbfounded by your achievements! I love everything you do and your family are so lucky to have you. I really like the way you furnish your rooms: not too full but with all that is needed. And, of course, such pretty needlework and materials. I don't think I have seen one dolls house paper in any of your houses, yet what you have chosen looks so right. Many congratulations.. I can learn from you, I'm sure.
Reply Jan
6:10 PM on December 8, 2015 
It was me Joan, thanks for your reply I'm unable to load a profile photo and Julie is unable to post one for me so having three Jans on here is a problem sorry about that. Your house has similar brickwork as my one and where the roof tile paper is missing on your house. the paint looks the same colour as on my house although they are different style of house and my one opens at the back. thanks again.
Reply chris g
3:28 PM on December 5, 2015 
Hi Joan , yes you did reply, but you had been busy making a dolls house for a friend if I remember rightly. However I am still eagerly looking forward to your transformation. I really enjoy your houses, you have a wonderful knack of getting everything looking so right.
Reply Kim W
10:42 AM on June 9, 2013 
Hi Joan, just having a go at using the reply button myself to see if it works from me to you :-)
Reply chris g
9:42 AM on April 15, 2013 
Hi Joan, I was wondering how the renovations were going on my namesake Greenhill. I can't help thinking about it and the lovely green bedroom furniture and wallpapers, that you bought to go with it, I can't wait to see it. Sorry I know I'm impatient ha ha :)
Reply lmgmay1955
4:00 PM on February 25, 2013 
I am enjoying the site - and I started work on my brand new dollhouse kit this past weekend. Wow! A bit overwhelming but manageable. I will certainly enjoy the decorating and furnishing more than the construction!
Reply Patty W
5:23 AM on January 18, 2013 
Thankyou!.. a very comprehensive guide, so glad it is going to be an article.

I had a modern lighting set from my mother in law at christmas, so have a plan to install that in my 6 room house- just for wall lights and lamps maybe??
Reply Patty W
12:38 PM on December 16, 2012 
Joan, i love your article for the december magazine, thankyou.
I think the things you make are brilliant and I DO find you an inspiration!
very much looking forward to the 2nd article.
Reply Joan Mc
6:08 PM on November 18, 2012 
Hi Joan, I've changed my profile name to Joan Mc.
Reply Joan Mc
2:50 PM on November 18, 2012 
Thanks Joan Cumbria, yes I thought it looked like a Triang type house but the windows confused me. It is in dire need of tlc. When I found it in a charity shop on Friday, the base was covered in sand or grit which was glued on. I spent most of yesterday chiseling it off and most of today sanding down the many layers of different coloured paint underneath the grit. It's going to take a while.
Reply CarolaGisela
5:28 PM on November 6, 2012 
Believe it is my first time and it took about 3 month to restore it. I tried to keep it almost original an left all my fingernails during this time. My husband helped mit a lot.
Nice you enjoy it.
Reply Patty W
5:46 PM on October 17, 2012 
ahh, yes Joan, you have proved that I am a good detective! I can see the tell tale sighns in all the lovely houses you have made. I have also been an art student in the past but sadly not good enough to earn a living at it so i've had to slave away as a nurse all my working life.
Reply Patty W
8:54 AM on October 6, 2012 
Have you studied art at some point in your life joan? you don't mention that you have, but i have my suspicions....
Reply Patty W
2:14 AM on October 5, 2012 
Thankyou, I had a look, and yes, the lights\are great. Have they all got these 'wheat bulbs' in then? do you get those from a model shop?- just one more thing, I know you are not a stickler for scale, but i recognise alot of what you have in your houses as being in a larger scale (1:12) would i be right in thinking this?
Promise not to ask you any more questions (for a while anyway).
Reply Jesro
3:48 PM on September 28, 2012 
Hi Joan

I have seen Charmaines GeeBee house and that's how I identified mine. Really like this site and forum - thanks for your help.
Reply Trudy
10:31 AM on September 26, 2012 
Thank you Joan, just got your post. Well I've not finished my Triang 45 yet but i've only gone a bought a bigger one, with six rooms, no roof again, or no yellow front door this time. I think it's a 55 but just going by the images on line. it's in a lot better condition than my first one and has all its floral stickers intact. hopefully both will keep me busy during the winter. regards trudy.
Reply Nick
3:36 PM on September 24, 2012 
Dear Joan
Not been on for a long time to leave messages but tonight made an effort. Have looked at your photos of your houses that you make, restore both antique and vintage and new and have to say how talented I think you are. I envy your inspiration you must be at it all the time. What I love about the ones that are not antique is when you have finished they look old. I dont know about you but new houses dont do very much for me as they have no soul. You have the knack of picking up a house that is still all but a kit and making it in to a home with a history and a personality as though it has been passed down by generations of a family, they are lovely please lets have more. I especially loved the recent one - cant remember the name but it had a lovely staircase in the middle and a little bathroom to the right I think. I think you made the front yourself and love spencer house. I think that was the name of it , made in 1912 am I right? Also loved your lights Id be happy to have some of those in my houses, lights are so expensive but so fiddly to make, you must have a lot of patience.
Anyway best wishes to you and your family
Reply chris g
3:54 AM on September 22, 2012 
Thanks, that would be great. Have not got a nursery planned yet, but you never know when it may come in handy
Reply Patty W
6:08 PM on September 20, 2012 
oh, i see. I didn't know that you could do that. I didn't realise that you could do things to other peoples albums. I don't fully understand how this site works yet. Thankyou.
Reply Patty W
3:50 PM on September 20, 2012 
hi joan, do you mind me asking you a question- when i look on the gallery, on the Teddies House it says updated by Joan, but its Lallyp's house?? i don't understand??