As a child, until I discovered fashion at thirteen, I devoted every penny of pocket money to my doll’s house. How strange then, all these years later to have this pattern reversed – and quite by accident. In December 2021, my son Kit and I visited the Kensington Dollshouse Festival with the vague notion of finding a present for his baby sister Bunny. We were instantly gripped with miniature fever and bought the first house we saw, which happened to be a twelve room MDF McMansion. I wasn’t confident it would even fit in the playroom. It definitely wasn’t a Starter Home. But I’m an interiors nerd and he wants to be an architect, so quickly the house become a shared obsession. The baby seemed disinterested.
For a long time, we were intimidated by the size of the house and didn’t want to make a start. Instead, I busied myself with mood boards, covering a wall of my makeshift workshop with room schemes and writing extensive lists of tasks and timelines. I studied the history of doll’s houses, buying every book I could find from Oxfam and Etsy. And while I took inspiration from some of the finest houses in the land, our MDF shell remained untouched in the corner.