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We bought this dolls house for christmas and it has been used every day since. I stupidly bought it because it was pink, but was a bit disappointed when I realised how plain it was on the inside-and how heavy the box was!
This dolls house was yet another product by chad valley, and cost us £34.99 in the sale. It's normal price is £39.99.
The chad valley dolls house has three storeys-two larger floors and a small attic. The front of the house opens up sideways, so that you can gain access. You can also remove the roof so that you can access the attic section of the house.
The house comes with furniture for each room. Each dolls house has a living room, kitchen, bathroom and two bedrooms (including a master bedroom), plus two flights of stairs. Each house comes with two wooden people, but there is also a set you can buy with additional people and furniture. Some of the furniture included with the house is: a bed, sofas, toilet, coffee table and cooker.
The chad valley dolls house is made of MDF wood, and is 50cm tall, 25.5cm width and a diameter of 57.5cm. It comes with a sheet of stickers to add a bit of personal touch to this otherwise plain design.
Although my daughters enjoy playing with this, I don't see it lasting a long time, due to the material it is made of, the amount of stickers (as my daughters have pulled lots off already) and the quality of the hinges supplied (far too small to keep the door on longterm).
I would not buy this again given the chance.
My daughter asked for a dolls house last Christmas, as we had already got her presents my parents offered to get it her, it retails at £44.99 in Argos although my dad managed to get in the half price sale right before Christmas so he paid £22 for it!! Bargain! Sometimes letting men wait until the last minute to buy presents does pay off!
Come Christmas morning and my daughter opens this all other presents are flung to one side... I promised to set it up after Christmas dinner after peeking inside and seeing there were quite a lot of screws and fixings inside the box and figured it would be a timely process.
Straight after dinner she asks for the dolls house so off i go to set it up, upon getting everything out of the box disaster strikes....we have too many of some pieces and not enough of others and its Christmas day, Argos isn't open!!!! needless to say we had a distraught 2 year old for a couple of hours until we managed to get her engrossed in all her other new toys!!
Thank god for shops being open boxing day, my dad exchanged it no problem and I set about building it again, all the pieces were present this time! Despite there being lots of pieces of wood, screws and hinges it is surprisingly easy to assemble, it took me about 30 minutes to complete it.
The finished very very pink house comprises of 3 floors, living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and loft space. It comes with all the furniture you would need (all made of wood) including a bed, sofa, TV, fridge, toilet, bath, sinks, tables, lamps and 2 people (one male and one female) it also has a set of stickers to decorate as you please plus fabric duvet, pillows and sofa cover. The front of the house on ours is one big door that opens fully to allow your child to play on the two lower floors of the house although in the Argos catalogue it states it is two doors, I'm unsure as to whether this is the luck of the draw or if we got yet another faulty model but it looks fine and works just the same. The roof piece comes off to allow play in the loft area. The two chimneys are just sat on the top of the house so fall off on a regular basis, especially when removing or replacing the roof piece but they go back on easy enough so its not a huge issue. Finished measurements are H50, W25.5, D57.5cm so it's not massive like it looks in the picture, but it is a good size, ours fits neatly into a corner next to my daughters toy box.
So far with this dolls house we have had two problems, firstly the front of the house has come off twice, the screws are incredibly small so I don't know if it's because they aren't long enough or if its due to it being opened and closed constantly but both times it has gone back on easy enough. Secondly the play fridge door came off, unfortunately the hinges on this snapped (they are only little pieces of wood, not actual metal hinges) so it cannot be fixed unless you are good with woodwork which I'm not! I had to glue it back on so now the fridge door doesn't open, luckily my daughter doesn't mind!
It is almost a year on from her getting this for Christmas and she still plays with it just as much, if not more, as the day she got it, for £22 this was an absolute bargain and definitely my daughters favourite toy! I would say it is worth the £44 full price, we have paid more for things that are forgotten about within a month! It's a classic toy that can stay in the family for years if it is looked after, unlike some of the plastic toys that break within a few days!
Getting on the property ladder
We bought this dolls house for my daughter about six months ago - partly because I felt that a toy like this would really help aid her fine motor skills, speech patterns and general development ... but mainly because I wanted to play with it! I had actually seen this online on the Argos website a while back and tagged it in my favourites and forgot about it. Then, when I next looked at, it was selling for half price. It must have been a sign - so off we went to pick it up!
At full price it retails for £44.99, and there are also various accessory sets you can buy - although to be honest you don't really don't need them.
Cue the estate agent speak...
This a deceptively spacious, traditional style three storey property with two rooms on each of the first and second floors, and a nice open-plan loft room. It is a wooden structure and comes complete with white goods, two beds and various other items of furniture including a TV, so it's kitted out with all mod cons. There are also a range of handy stickers that you can use to decorate the walls of the property as you see fit, so it has bags of potential. You will need to put together the property yourself, but this is quite a simple process - you will need a few screws and a screwdriver but this is a good project for a DIY enthusiast - and even amateur builders should be able to put this together with little difficulty.
A pretty property
Once constructed, this really is a lovely looking, quite classic dolls house. There is a lot of pink, including on the exterior, so if you do find that too much girlie pink stuff makes you nauseous, then this may not be ideal for you. But it does look very pretty and my daughter was really delighted with it. The front of the house "closes" fully with two hinged "doors", and there is a roof that comes on and off, so when not in use you can close up the whole house. But it's very easy to open the front, which is secured with two small magnets, or lift off the roof. There are also two small (pink!) chimney pots that sit on the top - these tend to drop off as they are loose, especially once the roof is lifted on and off, which can be a little annoying but they do make the house look good when it is all closed.
There is a lot of furniture included with the dolls house - all of it is wooden and it includes items for each room in the house, so you can fully furnish the place without having to make any additional purchases. Items include a bathroom suite, a double and single bed (with little cloth blankets and pillows) a washing machine, oven and fridge, and a range of chairs and small tables with little wooden lamps. There are also two dolls - quite old fashioned looking wooden dolls with white, woollen hair and some slightly shabby clothes, with bendy limbs! They are really nice dolls, I think, although they are quite old-fashioned looking - not that this has bothered my daughter! In fact it's quite nice to have something a bit more traditional in the house other than the usual brightly coloured plastic stuff!
All the furniture that's included is designed for the two dolls so they fit nicely on the chairs, in the beds and so on. There is enough included to fill the house up nicely, which is great I think as I have seen lots of other toys like this where you have to buy stuff separately. With this, you really don't need anything else.
However, you can of course add to the house yourself with other bits and pieces you may have lying about, and I am sure you can paint the furniture if you want to. And the stickers that are included allow you to brighten up the property as well.
To get from floor to floor, there are two wooden staircases. These are loose so you have to slot them into the holes in the floors, but they tend to sit there quite comfortably. My little girl seems to love making the dolls go up and down the stairs for some reason!
And in general my little girl really likes playing with this. She was about two and a half when we first bought it and I am noticing that now she has just turned three she is asking to play with it a lot more. It is great for role play and there is a lot of using the bathroom, going to bed and cooking breakfast. There is a lot to do in the house, so when she does play with it, it keeps her going for a good while, which is not always the case with other toys! She also likes talking to (aka bossing about) the two dolls and she seems to love interacting with them. The latest fad is to play hide and seek in the house with the two dolls, which the little one loves but mummy finds quite boring in all honesty...!
A few issues ...
We did have a few small problems with some items. The fridge has a door that opens, and one of the "hinges" has broken. The knob for the front door has also come loose. These just need a bit of glue to fix so they are not major problems, and in a way quite inevitable for small wooden items - especially ones that I've bought relatively cheaply! Our male doll also lost a foot at one point - again a bit of glue has solved the problem.
I usually hate having loads of toys sitting around - once my daughter goes to bed in the evening I tend to tidy everything away so it's all out of sight and the room becomes an adult-zone again! But actually I don't mind this being on show so much. Yes, it is very pink and girlie but it is pretty and it has a nice classic look to it. It all shuts away nicely so you can't see any clutter or mess inside the house (wish it was so easy to hide my own!) and it is nice and refreshing to see something wooden and more old-fashioned looking as just about everything else we seem to have is plastic and garish! My daughter enjoys playing with this and, I hope, will keep using it for years to come. It isn't perfect - we have had a few small breakages as described above, but for the price I really can't complain and I would highly recommend this item to anyone with a young girl who likes to play house.
The house is designed for 3-7 year olds, but as stated my little girl had this from around 2 and a half years. Let's hope she is still playing with it at the ripe old age of 7!
At half price this was an absolute steal and I am delighted with the purchase. And even at full price I think this is good value as everything is included. But do keep an eye out for special offers!
So to conclude, I obviously highly recommend this house. We have already had a lot of use out of it and it is a really nice, classic toy for a young girl.
I do hope this review has been useful to any prospective house buyers!