Rooms In The Dollhouse
The dollhouse has three levels. The bottom floor consists of three rooms, with the entrance is via a side door off of a small porch. The room that has the entrance is a living room. It has a separate area that I think was the original dining room; in this area is a nice built-in breakfast nook. The next room was most likely the original kitchen; after the large kitchen was added, this may have become a larger dining room, as a large set of dining room furniture did come with the house. The second floor has three rooms; the first two (on the side of the living room) were most likely the master bedroom and a nursery; the smaller room was likely the bathroom (there is also a set of bathroom furniture).
Kitchen Added Later
The top floor was added later—it provides a large kitchen, with several built-in features for play. In just the right light you can see that the kitchen was originally an orange crate. Ironically, the crate is from Chico, California, where Ms. Kathriner came to live for many years (she was born and raised in the San Francisco area). The built-in kitchen is by far the largest room in the house, and must have been added due to a request for a more “playable” kitchen. Throughout Ms. Kathriner’s childhood things, there were many kitchen playthings, including a doll-size large set of canisters, and some nice kitchen dollhouse furniture. The built-ins in the kitchen include built-in shelves, a storage area (where remnants of original paper “rugs” and possibly some original wallpaper was found stored), a built in sink with counter space, built-in hooks (for coats and aprons, perhaps) and a built-in mirror.
Construction of the House
The entire house has lovely windows that have multi-panes at the top. The outside of the house and the interior walls are simply painted. Many of the original curtains were found, although they require cleaning and restoration. The most damaged part of the house is the flooring. A type of sturdy paper was used for flooring—resembling tiles in a green, red and yellow pattern. The paper all lifted up and is quite brittle. I am not sure the flooring can be restored, but I am going to try. If the flooring cannot be restored, I'm not sure if it would be best to try to replicate the flooring as nearly as possible to the original, or to simply leave bare wood floors. The rest of the house just needs a good cleaning and some wood repair for the porch.
Most, if not all, of the original dollhouse furniture was kept with the house; I discuss that in another article. Additionally, many small dolls were found, including several babies and children in both painted bisque and celluloid; the dolls are definitely sized for dollhouse use and at least some of them were originally made to be dollhouse dolls. The small dolls were made in Germany and Japan. After the cleaning and restoration of the house interiors, Then, I will return all the original dollhouse furniture (after cleaning!) and dollhouse dolls to the house, and take additional pictures of this completely original 1930s one-owner gem! The following pages of this article include additional photos of the dollhouse itself.