My Vintage Dollhouses

Schoenhut Beverly Hills 1939

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Remodeling a remodeled dollhouse

My favorite Rich Toys doll houses are the yellow and brown Tudor houses from the 1930s. They range in colors from bright, medium, and pale yellow to pale green trimmed with  brown "timbering".  I knew this was a Rich Toys house when I first saw it, but I didn't remember seeing this model with an extension with the ranch style window.  I loved the curved opening on the exterior rear wall....and even though it was missing the door and windows, I thought it would be a fairly easy fix.
 
 
 This is how it looked when I found it on ebay....
 
 
 
...and the interior.
 
Luckily I won it, and the seller took the house apart for shipping.  When it arrived and I was reassembling it, I realized the wall with the curved opening was  similar to a garage opening in a  Rich Toys house in a Zillner doll house book. I looked, and there it was on page 151 of Zillner's Antique and Collectible Dollhouses and Their Furnishings.
 
 
 
 A former owner had remodeled the garage, making it an additional room. He/she raised the floor of the garage to make it level with the other rooms on the bottom floor and cut a door into the new room that had formerly been a garage.   A ranch style window was created in the solid back wall of the garage and placed on the front of the house.  The wall with the curved opening (that at one time had garage doors attached) was used as the back wall. 
 
I liked the additional room they created, but I also liked the look of the garage doors on the front. So I decided to keep the additional room but also try to reclaim the original look....and here is how it looks now.
 
 

I made....
  • a new front door and garage doors,
  • new windows,
  • replaced the dark shutters,
  • added original flowers to the window box,
  • cut a small roof for over the front door and added a similar light fixture,
  • cut a porch from an old Rich Toys chimney I bought on Ebay for $5,
  • and painted a flagstone driveway on the board that a previous owner had attached as a base. 

 
I loved the vintage wallpaper in this house and was able to salvage two rooms.  Because the window frames were glued in place, I had to make new frames to hold the plastic windows. I left the wood-toned contact paper on the floor and added a period linoleum paper flooring to the kitchen area.  I took the liberty of creating two rooms on the second floor and a small attic at the peak of the house.
 
 
 
My house is now furnished....mostly with Kage furniture  produced between 1938-48. Kage is known for its adorable upholstered pieces. The wood pieces are non-functioning....and  a bath set was never produced.
 

 
All the furniture in the kitchen is Kage; and, when the lady of the house is washing dishes at her little Kage sink, she can look out her window and see the lovely house across the street.
 
 
 
With the exception of the red table lamp, all the living area is furnished with Kage. Several models of chairs and sofas were produced by Kage.
 
 
 
The chest-on-chest, the bed, and the vanity and chair are the Kage pieces in the bedroom. Kage dressed their beds with a snug fabric over the "mattress" and matching pillow. I have other beds that include a matching coverlet but I'm not sure if they are original. The vanity and chair also came with matching skirts. This fabric is not original....all the pieces were bare when I purchased them, but the fabric is vintage 1953 found in my mom's scrap bag!  The lamps are not Kage products',nor are the chaise, the bedside table and the beds in the boy's room. They came with my latest doll house and I am unaware of the brand name.
When I removed the soiled fabric from the chaise, I found it had been padded with folded newspaper from The Enquirer of Cincinnati, Ohio, March 8, 1942. The pieces resemble Strombecker furniture of the same era, but it is a slightly smaller scale and not the same quality.

 
 
 
I think the toilet is part of the Nancy Forbes 3/4-1" scale furniture, the sink and shower look like the smaller scale Schoenhut. I have not identified the tub....it has a lovely curved end which is not totally visible. The shower was missing a side...I installed  a "glass" wall.  These pieces were either off white or natural wood....I gave them a uniform color.
 
 
 
The little Caco boys share a room next to the bath. The beds, toy chest and chair are an unknown brand. The dressers are Kage....with added wooden knobs for deco.
 
Here is a closer look at the Kage furniture found in this remodeled Rich Tudor...
 



 
 The floor lamp may or may not be Kage.  A piano bench is being used as a table in front of the sofa...Kage did make a coffee table.
  
 
 
 ....and a pretty blue motor car now lives in the garage! 
  
 

18 comments:

  1. Florine,
    you did a great job restoring this house! I love the furniture it looks so sweet and innocent, kinda makes you wish you could move right in, doesn't it?
    Teresa
    sugar, spice and whatever's nice

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    1. Thank you Teresa! When I start furnishing a house, it seems like I always reach for the Kage first...I love the cozy look in these old houses. :)

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  2. LOVE the house and furniture. So glad you could make it look original on the outside.Yet keep the extra room!!! It is one of my favorite Riches that you own. I think all the fabric is what gives it such a homey and inviting decor. If you get tired of it you can pack it up and send it to me! :) It looks FANTASTIC!

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    1. Thank you Myrtle! Don't think I will be getting tired of it soon!

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  3. The house is lovely and you decorated it perfectly! It's very inviting, and the car is a great addition. For me it's very interesting to learn the names of the furniture makers, I still have to start with my very first dollhouse (it even needs to be built yet), so it's exciting to see everything that is made and still on the market :-).

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    1. Thank you Nymphaea. Warning: little houses tend to multiply like rabbits!

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  4. Fun post, as always! I enjoyed learning about the house and furniture. Thanks! xo Jennifer

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! I am working on another post with more Kage furniture....love it!

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  5. WOW - you did a fantastic job and I love the Kage furniture. I have most of those pieces in my collection! The house looks great - you have truly increased the property value of that neighborhood.

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    1. Thanks Troy....don't you love the coziness of the Kage furniture line?

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  6. Love what you have done to the house and the Kage furniture. I am not familiar with Kage so, as always, I am learning something new. I also love the Valentines Postcard - how gorgeous.

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    1. Another house with Kage furniture is next on my posting list....it is so perfect for these old houses from the 1930s-40s. Cheers!

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  7. I love this house. You have done a great job on it! Well done.

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    1. Thanks....if you only knew how long it takes me to finish these little houses....good think I am retired!

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  8. Florine, I love that you have restored your houses and furniture. You have certainly brought this house back to life! I want to move in and curl up in one of those Kage chairs. (Unfortunately, your home owner would be startled to find me there.). What a fabulous job you have done with this house!
    Cheers, Neen

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  9. Hi Neen! Just might be a tight fit if you curled up in one of the Kage chairs! I love this little furniture....so 1940s to me.

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  10. Hi Florine. I love how you brought this house back to it's original look. It is a gorgeous little house. I have been avoiding fixer-uppers for a while now, but seeing how well you and Troy do with making them look great again, maybe I should be looking for some.
    Keep posting!
    Susan

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  11. A beautiful restoration. Love it! Lizzie

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