My Rehab Houses – Kit Houses

Within the world of kit-manufactured dollhouses, there is a huge variance not only in style, but in quality.  While it is fortunate for all dilapidated dollhouses that I want to fix them all, I feel it is only fair for me to give a little information on the different manufacturers for those of you who are just getting started, and might not be quite as confident in taking one on as those of us who work with them all the time.

Of the current manufacturers, one of the most accessible and well-made brands is Real Good Toys.   Their houses tend to be heavier than other brands, but they are also much more durable.  A while back, I had the incredibly good fortune to obtain one of my all-time favorite  Real Good Toys kit houses, The Foxhall Manor (see below)   and it is high on my “really, really want to do” list. The lady who built this originally did an unusually good job on the build, so I’ve got a better than average base to start with and the  needed changes are much less comprehensive than what I am often faced with.  If you will notice in the photo (below), I have removed the front panels of the two towers . . .Foxhall Manor by RGTThose were meant to be hinged for access and the lady who built it simply glued them together. I will be installing hinges so that I can access them properly. Also, she wired this house with the fuse-strip system, which I do not like at all . . . there are wires all over the place and I don’t think the transformer is safe for that much current (it is, after all, a huge house!). I can’t help but think this one might be another great candidate for those handy-dandy battery operated lights. Last, but not least, I want to re-do all the wallpaper – the wires for the lights show (I plan to rip the existing wiring out anyway) and I want to use more elegant coverings. Having said that, I plan to stay within similar color guidelines to the original interior because the same lady that built this house also made absolutely beautiful curtains and window shades that are far nicer than what I usually come across . . . they STAY. She gets an A+ for those curtains!!! I was also quite fortunate in that the original owner had gone the extra expense to add the conservatory and the 2-story addition – I always think that a Foxhall Manor without those additions is much less impressive. Some of the trim is broken, but one of the benefits of rehabbing a kit house that is still currently on the market is that replacement parts are available for a nominal sum. That is something to consider when buying a house to rework.

I am also the very fortunate owner of a Real Good Toys “Thornhill Manor” and a Real Good Toys “Victorian Farmhouse”.  I will try to post pictures of those houses soon.

The next group of dollhouse kits that I will discuss, since I have several that are waiting their turn to be rehabbed are those manufactured by the Greenleaf  company.  As much as I hate to admit this, I strongly dislike this company and am less than impressed with the quality of their kits.  Don’t get me wrong:  they offer many lovely designs, BUT they are flimsy, easy to warp, and often made of inferior quality wood.  Having said that, I still buy the kits (from individuals, NOT the company) and houses to rehab . . . I just can’t resist a needy dollhouse!  The German-style dollhouse shown below is the “Harrison” by Greenleaf.  It’s not in the best shape, but I really do  like the over-all style.  I think that with a little TLC, it will become a real beauty.  I’ll just have to make sure that I reinforce it as much as possible.

Greenleaf Harrison - 01AA

There are several defunct dollhouse kit manufacturers that offered beautiful kits, most of which can still be located with a little effort.  The Duracraft company is one of my very favorites of the defunct companies and I own several of their kits as well as several already built Duracraft houses  which I will rehab.  Having said that, however, I don’t seem to have a photograph of any of them at this time, so I will have to add them later.

The Arrow company made several beautiful dollhouses, although they tended to be smaller than those of many of the other companies.  The Tudor style house (shown below) is actually one of their roomier models.  I love the staircase in this one, and look forward to doing the finishing work.

Arrow Tudor - 01AAA

Arrow Tudor - 01BBB

The next dollhouse kit manufacturer that I want to discuss is the also-defunct Artply company.  I absolutely LOVE most of the models they offered, and two of my own favorite dollhouses waiting to be rehabbed are by this company.  I will be adding pictures of these later on, but for now,  for those of you who know your dollhouses, I will just tell you that those two houses are the Granville and the Barrington.  I could scarcely believe my good fortune in finding those at affordable prices.  They are really rare, and on the all-too infrequent occasion that they do show up, they tend to be very pricey.

Please check back soon  – I will be adding information about several more significant dollhouse manufacturers, as well as photographing a lot more of my rehab houses.  I think you will enjoy seeing them!

Last modified on: April 27th 2013.