Monday, February 1, 2016

A wonderful Keystone available on Craig's List in St. Louis

Wouldn't you love to have this wonderful Keystone of Boston dollhouse made in the early 1950s?  Well, you can!! This house is listed on Craig's List in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Sheree was given  this little house around 1953 and it has been lovingly cared for. No longer having room to store it, she would like to find it a good home. After seeing my blog, she contacted me wondering if I knew of anyone in St. Louis who would be interested in buying it. 

I have many Keystone houses, but I have always thought this was one of the most attractive little houses Keystone made.

Looking at the interior one can tell this house was very well cared for.

A unique feature of this house are the two windows in the living area.  
You will see them later in a close-up interior shot.

The graphics on this house are some of Keystone's best.

Tall columns, a porch lite on chain and a door that opens!

On the bottom floor is the kitchen with bright blue and white walls.

The front door opens to this stately room that can be used as a 
living room or dining room...or whatever you choose.

This is my favorite room with windows on adjacent walls....and a staircase!

The top floor has a bedroom on the left side with two floor length windows...

...a bathroom in the middle with rose tile and sailboats...

and a pretty blue and white bedroom on the right side. 
I love it when a dollhouse has space for two bedrooms and a bathroom!

Two red "brick" chimneys, firmly attached.

I love the "hardwood" floors that were silk-screened 
on the floors of the Keystone houses.

Minor problems...the roof needs to be re-secured at the top...

...and a strip of shrubbery is missing on top of the porch. 
The original was constructed of heavy cardboard 
and Sheree has a pattern to help you replicate it.

Here is the link to the listing on Craig's List where you will find 
a more complete description of the condition of this lovely little house.

Shree has now listed this lovely Keystone house on Ebay....
See it here.....

And, feel free to contact Sheree at

Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Rich Toys bargain house from Craig's List !

I found this Rich Toys dollhouse on Craig's List a couple of years ago....$45 !
As you can see, it came with one window, no porch pediment, and a stained roof.

The interior was all original but it was missing the stairs.
I tried larger Strombecker furniture inside.

I was fascinated with the swing up-and-over garage door....still in working condition!

 I removed the interior walls and floor and discovered how warped the lower floor was.
I also "borrowed" a staircase from another Rich house from the same era.

I added the black L-shaped brackets to help level the warped floor. These brackets are from a 1960s Brumberger house and just the right size if you need to match original pre-drilled holes from missing brackets.

Here is the mechanism that works the garage door. Because I had to remove it to paint the interior, I took pics so I could remember how it was attached.

I had the bright idea to paint the interior before I returned the walls and floor to the house. Not so good an idea because when I started decorating, none of the colors coordinated with the fabric and furniture I was using.  Deciding to do that was a real senior moment. 

I  placed the stairs using the same screw holes on the exterior of the house....assuming the stairs would be in the correct position. Not so, as I ended up making a landing so they would reach the floor.  Senior moment #2.


When I purchased the house, I wasn't worried about the missing pediment....until I researched and found it would be more difficult to make than I thought. But it WAS a bargain house.

No longer having a router,  I ended up making it in layers and trying to sand it smooth. Senior moment #3....thinking I could do that. I couldn't have done it with a router either.

But it turned out ok....once it was attached to the house.  

Then I started on recreating the missing windows.   This is the method I use to make replacement windows. The original window insert on the left is for one of the upper swing outs. First step is to copy it.  

I tape transparent plastic over the copy, then use mapping tape to copy the design.  The whiteness of the mapping tape is bright, so to give them a vintage look to match the house, I paint the tape. Because the paint has  a tendency to peel , I place strips of mapping tape on a plastic sheet, paint them ivory, then run an exacto blade along the edges of the tape which allows me  to remove the strips from the plastic without the paint peeling off.
I place all the strips running in same direction first...

Then add the layer in the opposite direction.

If your house calls for black diamond panes you can use a permanent marker to create the lines for your windows....much easier!  The easiest way of all is to have JoAnn Belanger  silk-screen some for you. JoAnn makes many different replacement parts for Rich Toy and Keystone of Boston houses. Email her at .


 I used a thin brown paint and water wash on the roof to minimize the stained areas.
Because the house was wonky, I attached it to a support board.

                 Now a little Caco family of four lives here with room for nana and granddad!

              I totally over decorated this large Rich I am sharing a lot of pictures.
                                  I promise not to over decorate again...EVER!!

In the living room we find the cat trapping the fluffy little dog on the stairs, and dad, still in his
suit, catching a few ZZZzzz's.

There was an earthquake earlier and the mirror is katty-wampus....ok, actually it was just the dollhouse lady trying to move this big house.  Sofa is from Japan....tables are  Strombecker.

ZZZZZZZzzzzzz!  I notice dad went to work without socks again today.
To the left of the living room is the kitchen, and here we find mom sitting at the table with her cook book thinking about what she will prepare for the evening meal.

Wait! That's a rather dreamy look on her face.....I think she just might be fantasizing about the milkman!

I am beginning to think this family will not be fed on time this evening!
The appliances and table are often attributed to Lynnfield Blockhouse.  The high-chair is by Kilgore.


Right off the kitchen is the bathroom. How appropriate.

I'm hoping that rubber ducky belongs to the small boy and not to granddad.
The sink and tub or 1" scale Strombecker. The maker of the commode is unknown, but may have been sold at Marshall Fields and other hi-end stores.

Rich may have designed this small area to be used as a back porch since it is off the kitchen, backs up to the garage and has a step down coming out of the kitchen. I chose to have 3 bedrooms and make this area the bathroom....and it was the perfect size! 

 At the top of the stairs is the nursery....shared by a cute little boy who loves his nana and his sweet baby sister.

 This is nana's favorite place to a comfy chair watching her little grandchildren play.

Oops! Looks like baby sister has tossed her bottle out of her crib to get nana's attention! The picture over her crib is from my favorite childhood nursery rhyme book.

Next to the nursery is the parent's bedroom....not a master, no en suite, twin beds....and nana and granddad have to walk thru to get to their bedroom.

The bedroom furniture was made by Strombecker.

Earthquake excuse again for the falling picture.  The colorful vintage  mattresses were found on ebay....I cut material from the backside to make the matching curtains.

And here is the sanctuary for nana and granddad. Granddad is often found here taking little power naps.

More furniture made by Strombecker.... son.

Almost forgot......

.....the MAN CAVE!

Rich Toys made at least two models of this dollhouse they referred to as the Suburban...

 this one with a bay window and no gargage...
and the model I have....with a garage and no bay window!