“ Brand: The Doll House Emporium „
A dream for my grand daughters to treasure .
My very own Mornington mews dolls house, regency basement and Mornington Mews garden were bought for me for Christmas 2002, I had no real idea what my husband and son had bought me because all I said after many months of drooling over the Internet site of 'The Dolls House Emporium 'was that I wanted a big house with lots of rooms......... and boy oh boy did I get my wish.
All the dolls houses on site come in many forms there is:
Number 1: Flat packed, which is the cheapest, you will need just a few basic things to put it together such as: a hammer, a couple of screw drivers and some wood glue. Plus the patience of a saint, if this is not available then can I suggest lots of carpet tape to stick over your husbands mouth so you cant hear the language if things don't go quite as planned!
Number 2: The shell is ready built, but nothing is decorated, this way you can try out your interior design skills, but in miniature. If you are getting your daughter her first dolls house and need to get it sorted before Christmas then buy it like this , don't whatever you do think on Christmas eve you can put it together in a couple of hours, because on boxing day you will still be there and possibly still be there come new years eve.
Number 3: Fully built with all your rooms decorated, all you have to do is move in your miniature family , I think takes all the fun out of it, but if your DIY skills are rubbish and you cant even hang a picture without taking half a wall down .........go for this one and save fingers, temper and time.
My husband being a great DIY person ,who can do almost anything he sets his mind to ,even with one hand he make things that your average two handed person would not attempt . Well he bought mine in about eight boxes; and on Christmas morning I was greeted with what looked like half a ton of the local recycling warehouse, some boxes where so big I wondered just what they had bought me!
The main house construction consisted of two huge outer walls , a back panel and two front panels , the roof came in nine sections and I had eight front windows and five flooring panels.
In fact the main body boasts eight front windows and the basement has two side ones as well.
There are three sets of stairs, each floor has a set between the drawing room, first floor bedrooms and second floor rooms, the rooms have no doors with them and as yet as I have been so busy with all the rest of the house I haven't bought any, but these can be added later without a problem.
It took my husband and son about a week to very carefully build the main body of the house, they took this long because they wanted to make sure that everything was perfectly in place, matched well and was smooth and clean fitted, after all when something of this size cost in the region of £300 in kit form you really want to do it well, first time.
Next they worked on the basement which consisted of two large rooms with a single partition between them with a single door set in it.
Take a tip , if you are thinking of having a go at a dolls house in kit form always paint all doors and windows first , never attempt to do it after they are in it takes to long and its so messy because of the small size. The basement section took them just a day to complete and cost in the region of £100 to buy.
The basement section has no front to it and is completely open; this is done for a reason so that when you add the garden frontage to the two other sections, the back of the garden is the wall of the two rooms ( hope this makes sense)
With the main body of the house now standing on the basement, when the garden section is finished it is then hinged to the left side of the basement wall. When the house is set in a firm position such as on a special table just for its own use, the front garden section can then be opened to reveal the kitchen and utility room.
If you stand looking directly at the the house this is what you will see:
TOP FLOOR: Main nursery...............................Family bathroom.
MIDDLE FLOOR: Pink Single bedroom....................Lilac master bedroom.
GROUND FLOOR: Large drawing room....................Large dinning room.
BASEMENT SECTION: Huge kitchen...............................Huge utility room.
As I said much to my surprise they had also bought me the garden, which came with lots of tiny railings, banisters and very impressive curved staircases from the front to the archways below, this was a job for someone with small nibble fingers to do AKA.......... yours truly and took me ages to paint and set the stuff in place, but when done OMG does it look good, because you put it together it cost a snip of a price at about £95.00.
With the house sitting on the basement, the back wall of the garden section forms the front wall of the kitchen and utility making the house, basement and garden all together standing some 4foot 9 inches tall from the floor, as I stand just 5ft 2inches it really does take some working on.
The first thing I did was to paint all the window frames and door in a mahogany wood stain then add the clear thin plastic to the windows and got my husband to put them all in place for me .
Next came the electrics, this requires you to drill into the floor of each room so you come through into the ceiling of the below room, as well as this you then have to carefully cut a channel from the whole in the floor all the way to the back wall then another hole thought the back wall to the very back of the dolls house.
The lighting leads can then run from the ceilings up along the channel of the floor above then out behind the house to a small transformer which when all wired up will light the whole of the house and garden ( if you add out door lighting as well ) .
This really does look sensational at night or as I have done at Christmas with a tiny Christmas tree complete with its own real tiny working Christmas lights.
But please take note, when I way drill a hole I'm talking about one the size of a large darning needle not the normal cement drill used use on your own home. When all the lights have been put in you can fill the wire runs on the floors or as I did just carpet over them so if you do need to change a light fitment in the future, it's just a case of taking up the flooring in any room.
Having drilled all the holes you then need to buy the lights, and OMG are they expensive, a set of candelabras for the dinning room with six tiny weenie candles set me back £25.00 almost as much as a set for a life size set.
The individual light fitments for the house costs between £6.00 and up to £70 each depending on the style and the make of the lights. I have plain single bulbs with shades on in most of the upstairs rooms, a bathroom wall light and in the kitchen I have a round strip light and another almost the same in the utility room, the nursery one I made from plain white shade (costing about £3.00) which I then painted the same colour as the walls.
Decorating the whole house was just absolutely wonderful, wall papers cost from between £1 an A4 sheet to upwards of £10.00 a A4 sheet and you can buy almost any design you want including designs such as Laura Ashley to your bog standard strips, spots and OMG such wonderful nursery papers I really have had a whale of a time and do you know what was the best of it ........you can decorate a whole room in just 5 minutes!
The ceilings of the house needed to be painted , although you can also put a ceiling paper on them I didn't like the idea of this , then I had a thought and turning the whole of the main house upside down so the ceilings now became the floors I mixed up a load of poly filler and working quickly so that the stuff didn't set in the bowl and armed with a fine toothed comb, a cocktail stick and a tiny cocktail fork I set about 'artexing ' all of the ceilings of the whole house .
I must admit I did some interesting designs with my little fork and comb going around the light fitments in the ceiling or ceiling rose.
After all eight of the ceilings had dried (the basement ones as well) I then painted on a coat of white silk vinyl then left them all to completely dry out, do you know what, they look rather good if I say so myself, and yes I know they are not in keeping with a Georgian house but hey, this is for my grandchildren and its to be played with so its case of how it looks for them rather than how it looks as a collectors item OK.
Stocking the house with furniture and accessories has taken me in all five years because with so many rooms ,the garden to sort out , electrics and the roof ,believe me its not cheap and I think in all I've spent around £500 on the houses interiors ranging from :
Tiny knives, forks and spoons in the cutlery drawers of the kitchen units, individual carrots in the sink, a baby doll that not only sits but lays down and has moving limbs and head as well as hand made cloths including knitted white cotton bootees on in the nursery, she set me back £55.00 and is so small you could sit her in an egg shell.
The house has pictures of us on the walls in many rooms taken from photographs of us brought down to size via the computer then framed and glazed.
I have made tiny flower arraignments for the dinning room table and the drawing room mantle piece over the fireplace, these I made from tiny silk flowers bought from a haberdashery store, these are normally used to sew around the neck of dress or add onto bags etc.
I still have a long way to go to finish the house, recently whilst on the site I printed off a set of house deeds for free, if you shop with The Dolls House Emporium every month they do a free collectors plate, if you shop every month spending £25.00 not only will you receive the free plate but also free P & P and after 12 months they will then send you the dresser to store all your plates on.
I have four plates which I have stuck onto the walls of the kitchen with blu tack, although I do shop with them online I also attend Dolls House fairs and look for other shops online or in towns, one of the charity shops sell some very good dolls house furniture and accessories at absolutely brilliant prices and this is where I bought my lighting from.
When my house, basement and garden where bought for me in 2002 flat packed and ready to be made little did any of us know just how much time, effort and money it would take to finish off the place, and here I am in 2009 and I'm buying REAL welsh slate tiles at £25.00 per 100 to do the roof with and with around 10 packs needed this is one of my real long-haul tasks.
The cost of the House , basement and garden in 2002 according to husband's memory was ;
Mornington Mews Dolls house £300.00
Regency Basement £100.00
Mornington Garden £95.00
When everything is finished and the house is fully furnished and all the lights work etc the place will be worth in excess of : £2500, which is what I have it insured for at this time .
The enjoyment I have had from working on the place, the love that has gone onto it and the time spent on working out colour schemes, what to buy for each room, well its taken me now seven years and I think I have another three to go, by this time I expect it will have increased in value again and the question I keep being asked by friends and neighbours is:
'Do I really want so grubby little child playing with an item that worth so much?'
And the answer is quite simply 'Yes, because for all of my own childhood I longed for a dolls house such as this , And I'm sure that any little girl would love to be able to play knowing that its alright its not just for show its for playing with as well .
And so Mornington Mews with its family of mummy, daddy , little sister and its tiny baby are almost ready for the day that one of my granddaughters comes up to the small bedroom and finds a whole little world of fun and laughter waiting just for her.
From its tiny garden with grass ,flowers , fish pond and beautiful white garden furniture..........to the magnificent floral dinning room complete with a 104 piece bone china dinner set and tiny cutlery '
'Welcome to Mornington Mews, the wish I made a thousand times each christmas has come true for you ...................with all my love Granny.
A spacious six room doll house. The house come flat packed for you to build and decorate to your own specifications. Overall dimensions are 26 x 14 x 35.