Today’s post is about something near and dear to my heart: a dollhouse. I love dollhouses. Ever since I began collecting dolls I’ve been buying plastic house play sets, which are great. I can set them up, do some photo shoots, and put them away. I never thought of buying a large dollhouse for my fashion dolls–until I saw the house of my dreams. The Imaginarium City Studio dollhouse, from Toys R Us, was beckoning to me. It was on display in the dollhouse section, furnished, and placed behind glass to protect it from grabby hands. When Ghouliette and I first saw it, Ghouliette said to me, “Monster High dolls would fit in that!” I stood there and admired it for a while, but decided buying it would be impractical. But from time to time I would walk past the display so I could stare at it.
Finally, I broke down. Because it was so cool. And because my sister was right, Monster high dolls could fit in it. Unlike the often flimsy plastic play sets, this was a large, sturdy house. Barbie could also fit in it. With fancy photo shoots in mind, I gave in to temptation and bought the house. And I love it!
The City Studio dollhouse is a heavy wooden dollhouse that has four rooms and an outdoor patio. It comes with 11 pieces of 1/6 scale furniture. (the fridge in the kitchen did not come with the house.) An elevator runs along the left side of the house. The high ceilings make it perfect for 11.5″ – 12″ fashion dolls such as Barbie and Momoko. Even Blythe and her big head can fit in here comfortably!
The design is clean and bright, with lots of color, clever details, and some neat “views” of the cityscape out of the windows. My favorite detail is the hardwood flooring and area rugs in the living room and bedroom.
The house comes unassembled, with clear step-by-step diagrams. I had no trouble understanding the diagrams, but it did take me three hours to put this house together, mostly because the pieces are very heavy. One side of the house has heavy wooden walls, while the other side of the house is supported by thin wood and plastic poles for the elevator. Because of the uneven weight distribution, shifting the house from side to side during assembly a little difficult. The one complaint I have about this house is that two of the three drill holes on the elevator side do not line up with the corresponding drill holes on the wall side. I had to leave them undrilled because lifting the floor up to the holes put the floor at quite an angle. I left them undrilled, and I have to say the house is still very strong and sturdy.
Are you ready for the house tour? Let’s start on the first floor. The furniture you see in each room comes with the house.
The Kitchen The City Studio kitchen takes up most of the first floor. It contains this asymmetrical dining room table and two diner stools. The table has a built-in (i.e., painted on) cooktop that’s flush with the table surface. Like Penny has in the Bg Bang Theory! As you can see, glaring pink is the main theme here. I love doll kitchens, and the counter. refrigerator, oven and sink that are painted on are adorable. Nicely done, with highlighting “shine” on the chrome sink and fridge. But I like doll kitchen furniture more than anything. The nice thing about this house is there is plenty of room to add other pieces of 1/6 scale furniture, such as the Barbie refrigerator seen in the first picture of the house. Personally I don’t like the table in here; it’s weird. I’m going to put my Re-Ment dining table and china hutch in here. Because what’s more fun than decorating a house? Redecorating a house until it suits your tastes! Next up:
The Bathroom There’s more bright pink in the bathroom, which is just off the kitchen. What can I say about the bathroom? The tub is cool… I don’t see myself using the toilet in photo shoots. Personally I’d rather have a separate dining room or a den in the house than a bathroom. The lime green floor mat is a nice touch. Now let’s move on to the second floor.
The Living Room This is my favorite room in the house. The living room takes up the entire second floor. It comes with the retro-inspired furniture here. The couch comes with one long cushion and two throw pillows.I have to admit the furniture in this room is what caught my eye when I saw the house displayed in Toys R Us. I’m a fool for retro stuff!
In the left hand corner of the photo is a ballet bar. It’s perfect for all the Made To Move Barbies out there! Flex and stretch! Reach!
The wall details include two floor-to-ceiling picture windows, a cozy fireplace, and built-in bookshelves. There’s a cut-out window behind the sofa.
This room will be excellent for staging photos of parties and special events. There’s plenty of room to add more furniture in here. Now let’s move to the top floor.
The Bedroom I like how the house carries the pink/blue/lime green color scheme from room to room. The modern platform bed comes with fabric and pillows that match the ones on the living room couch. It came unassembled but the pieces slot together easily. In this photo the “wicker” chair in the back almost looks three-dimensional, but it’s painted on the wall. Beyond the doorway on the right is the outdoor patio.
The Patio The patio is pretty simple, a little small, with a chunky wooden fence. The outside wall detail continues up the entire side of the house from bottom to top. I added the Barbie Grill. Because it’s summer time, and Barbie and her friends can grill some hot dogs and burgers out here.
Like I said earlier, redecorating a dollhouse is more fun than setting it up. I’ve added some Barbie furniture in here, so Barbie and her friends can relax.
One sister is doing homework, and one sister is playing games. Guess which is which?
Mandy loves to gossip. Francesca is stunned!
Ronnie and Francesca catch up over a cup of coffee.
I love when a dollhouse comes alive. I give the Imaginarium City Studio Dollhouse two thumbs up for being a chic yet cozy place where friends can get together.
Do you have any dollhouses you’re fond of? What is your favorite? Tell us in the comments!