Secondhand Victorian-style dollhouse

I’m going to come clean straight away and say this is a project I’m working on as a gift for Cora this Christmas, but it’s also 9,000% entirely for me. I am living vicariously through Cora this Christmas. And beyond. 

I had been looking on Kijiji for a dollhouse for Cora for a few months. Probably casually looking for around six months, but more seriously searching for the last two to three months. I found amazing dollhouses every few weeks but they were either too expensive, located too far away or were the bad kind of homemade that were misshapen and home to jagged edges that no amount of sandpaper or filler could fix. This would after all be a present for our curious toddler so I wanted it to be a practical, special and more importantly a safe dollhouse. 

Kijiji did not disappoint. Kijiji is a gentle creature that rewards those with an abundance of patience. You have to look and look and look and inquire and have a deal fall through and keep looking and change your search words 20 times and then right when you’re about to give up, the most perfect thing will present itself. 

I suspect many peopled passed on this dollhouse because of its lack of a front door, a window and stairs. Ha, I say. HA! You’re going to have to do a lot worse than that to deter me. Before I heard back from the owner if it was still available or not, I was already researching how to make dollhouse doors and stairs and I am up for the challenge. 

As Robert pointed out, the attic is very like the wallpaper in Adam and Barbara’s house in Beetlejuice. It’s really sweet and I might keep it for the time being. 

As for the rest, I will be changing. I’m already overwhelmed with redecorating ideas. It will mostly be for Cora’s current / my old Sylvanian Families [aka Calico Creatures in North America] collection, so it will be decorated to be sweet and adorable. I might try my hand at making some tiny wallpaper, and there will be bits of burgundy here and there, but I’ll try my best to not to impose a gothic look. I’m way too excited to start redecorating Cora’s dollhouse and I’ve even come up with a few moodboard ideas for it! I really can’t wait to start. I love a good project, especially on a scale I can handle for a few hours a night. 

But more importantly, want to know how much I paid for it?

Guess.

Go on.  

No. 

Lower

Lower … 

$45.

Kijiji FTW. 

p.s. Serious question – can I say I own a Victorian house now? Because I kind of do … 

Should you be interested, check out my post where I share my Top Tips for Buying Secondhand Items Online

DIY Friday – faux marble fireplace

The other day my sister-in-law Jenny sent me a photo of an update she made to the fireplace* in her new house. She updated the tiles surrounding the fireplace with some [of my personal favourite] faux marble contact paper, and what a change it made. She had seen my post on Instagram about updating our dining room table with contact paper and got the idea to pick up a roll of faux marble paper to make a quick and very effective update to her fireplace.

It’s a fantastic transformation and it’s one of my favourite kinds of updates; such a simple idea and a small change, but it makes a huge impact in a space.

So many fireplaces across Ireland come with this very style of tile. I can understand they’re not to everyone’s taste, and this is a perfect example of how to make the most of what you’ve got! It’s such a perfect example of what can be done with contact paper. Thanks again Jenny for sharing your before and after photos! And we can’t wait to see more of your new house!

Should you be interested in seeing more, here is a list of all the projects I’ve worked on involving contact paper to date …

Contact paper table top
Contact paper covered diary
Coffee station update – mini faux marble plinth
Mini interior sample stash for designing on the go
Updating [and childproofing] our secondhand dining room table with contact paper
Contact paper kitchen counters [test run!]

*PLEASE NOTE: Jenny and her family do not use this fireplace. It is strictly for show! Please use your own judgement when using contact paper anywhere near open flames. But I know you’re going to be careful. I just want to state the obvious for obvious reasons.

Conde Nast Traveller Magazine feature – The Gold List

If you pick up a copy of the new Conde Nast Traveller’s magazine about The Gold List 2019, you’ll find my photo of the gold bathroom sink from the Nobu Shoreditch Hotel in London from when the #NetflixStreamTeam visited London in September 2017.

It’s a fantastically glamorous issue and I’m reminded of 1) how lucky I was to be invited to London and to have had the opportunity to stay in the Nobu Hotel Shoreditch in the first place, and b) to have my photo included in this decadent travel roundup! You can pick up the current issue in all good newsstands [in the UK only, I believe] or you can purchase a copy of the online version here.

Thank you again Conde Nast Traveller for wanting to include my little picture!