Dollhouse 5 – Where’s the Roof?

dollhouse with roof off

While visiting the B. Harley Bradley House, I saw this quote.

I believe that in the search for the answer lies the answer.

Frank Lloyd Wright

My recent experience with my dollhouse renovation – particularly what to do about the bathroom – brought this quote home to me. Because it was exactly in my search for what to do about the bathroom where I found the answer.

In my last post, I wrote of my bathroom dilemma. Several of you offered suggestions for which I thank you very much. I mulled those suggestions over and over and over in my mind. I thought each idea, what I liked and didn’t like, the pluses and the minuses of each one. Through this process I came upon what I think is the ideal solution.

Everyone agreed that the open floor plan, showcasing the front staircase and the arched window, should stay. I agreed, and thus the bathroom had to be moved.

My solution is to put the bathroom in the attic where it will only be visible when the front roof is lifted up, which is easy to do as it is hinged. This makes perfect sense to tuck the bathroom out of sight as bathrooms should be private.

Now there has to be a way to get to the bathroom. So, where should I put the stairs? There’s only two choices; the bedroom on the right or the bedroom on the left. I chose the right bedroom, so that is the right choice. Ha ha! Am I losing it?

Which leads me to my next thought. It wouldn’t make sense that one would have to go through a bedroom to get to the stairs that lead to the only bathroom in the house. So, that bedroom won’t be a bedroom anymore. It will become either a library or a home office (still deciding). A library or home office is more of a “public” place in a home; thus, a good location for the staircase.

With this new access to the attic, it seems practical to make good use of the space up there. Why not put in a laundry room as well as an exercise room?

Common folk may think I have gone a bit bonkers at this point, but true miniaturists will be nodding agreement and will understand completely.

Using wide Popsicle sticks and foam board (from the Dollar Tree), I built a mock-up staircase. The spindles were made from skewers, but once I put the spindles and railings on, I could not proceed until an opening was cut in the ceiling. At this point, I was stuck because this dollhouse is made of wood, and I don’t have wood tools or wood skill or wood knowledge. But I do have a nice neighbor.

Bill and Connie are just about the nicest neighbors in New Town. If you’re another neighbor of ours, please note I said “just about.” We know Bill and Connie just from walking by their beautiful home many, many times. And from this, I knew Bill made stuff. Out of wood. Therein lied my hope.

Bill was more than happy to help me out. He came over a few minutes after I had asked him, and he brought with him an assortment of specialty tools. Bill suggested we take off the roof as it would be much easier to cut out the opening in the bedroom ceiling. I agreed but only after he promised he would return and put the roof back on when I was ready. I really didn’t need him to promise; I knew he would help me out. Thank you, Bill!

Bill sawing off roof.
Bill using fancy tool to cut the opening in the ceiling.
Right Bedroom Before
Fancy Tool
Right Bedroom After

When the block of wood fell from the ceiling after Bill cut it out, I couldn’t help but hear Ben Nappier (of the HGTV show Home Town) in my head. Ben said, “Let’s use that wood from the ceiling and make something new!” Sounds good, Ben! So, I am saving the rectangular wood cut out from the ceiling and will turn it into a library/office table. Look for this in a future post. Might be a couple years from now.

Bill suggested I leave the roof off while I build the bathroom and other areas in the attic. He thought it would be easier to work in the attic, and I agreed. After Bill left, I also realized that it would be easier to paint the interior with the roof off as I can lay the dollhouse down which makes it easier to reach the back walls. I used leftover interior house paint to paint the interior.

In summary, here’s the list of items accomplished since my last post:

  • Main staircase treads repaired
  • Mock up Stairs built for access to the attic
  • Opening cut for access to the attic (roof temporarily removed)
  • Interior painting (all rooms except kitchen/dining room)

My next step is to focus on the staircases. I need to build the permanent version of the staircase in the library/home office. The first one I made, while not planned at the time, was a learning experience. I want to be happy with the final result, so I will try again.

And while I have fixed the broken treads on the main staircase, I need to redo the spindles and railings. This is really hard with the steps already in place. I’ve tried gluing on the spindles, but only hot glue seems to work, and it just looks so sloppy. And some places, like the second set of steps near the top, are just hard to reach. If you have suggestion – or ideas or comments about any of this – please put them in the comments below. I appreciate your thoughts, and I really enjoy our conversations.

With the holidays right around the corner, it will likely be several months before I make enough progress to warrant another post. But that’s okay with me. I’m not racing to the finish line; I’m enjoying the process, the journey. Besides, no one is really gonna move in anyway. 🙂

Here is what the dollhouse looks like now:

Close up of painted dollhouse with roof off


    • Thank you, Peggy. Yes, it is nice to have a neighbor that does woodwork, but it is really great that Bill and Connie are nice people. Our world is full of nice people which is easy to forget these days. And yes, the dollhouse is moving along albeit slowly. It may not be “finished” for a long time, but I’ll take your wish of good luck! Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I missed the first post, so I had to go back and catch up! I love what you’ve done in opening up the stairwell and I can’t wait to see the finished bathroom and attic space – a great idea. I always wanted a doll house as a child and even as an adult, but, sigh, I don’t need another hobby so I just admire and enjoy other’s doll houses!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for going back to catch up! It’s a good thing to have a lot of hobbies and interests. Redoing a dollhouse does take up a lot of time. That’s why I am in no hurry. It may take me years, but that’s okay. I do enjoy working on it. I saw a blog about sewing, and I thought, “Oh, I like to sew.” But then I thought, “No! I have plenty going on right now.” So, I certainly understand about not needing another hobby! The important thing is that we enjoy what we do and we spend time with and love the people in our lives. Thank you for reading, and enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh boy all I could think of was “one to many and that climb to the bathroom would be made in record time!” Of course a side benefit of an upstairs bathroom would be weight loss, up and down, up and down. Now why haven’t I ever thought of that. Really, I love your creativity and the progress you’ve made to date. Looking forward to when it is all done. Enjoy tomorrow and the days to follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As I was reading something came to me. You had this dollhouse made from scratch. That is pretty crazy (in a good way). I say you make it into a library. It would be adorable to see miniature books.

    Liked by 1 person

    • An old boyfriend from 40+ years ago and I built it together back then. He did the major woodwork and the electrical. I did the design. We both put a lot of creativity into the dollhouse. Through the years, it was in the basement. Unfortunately, it suffered some neglect. I think one of my boys used to put a hamster in it. I am glad to be redoing it. Whether the bedroom becomes a library or a home office, it will have books! Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a good day tomorrow.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my! As a building contractor, my first though was “what a nightmare”. How are you going to run the plumbing and electric to the attic? What about the heating ducts? Then there’s the problem of getting the materials to the attic. Can you imagine carrying a tub up the stairs?

    Then I remembered a project from years ago where we finished out an attic in a three story townhome. We cut a hole in the roof, put all the materials through the hole and installed a skylight in the same day. The skylight turned out to be a great addition to the project.

    Maybe if you add a skylight you can peak into your new bathroom without removing the roof.

    Anyway, just my thoughts as I’m beginning to see the fun from working on a dollhouse.

    Thanks for the read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have me laughing! I am just the designer, so I leave all those pesky building details to the contractors! However, now you have me thinking… A skylight or perhaps a longer dormer type window (don’t know the name) would be a great way to see into the attic area. Plus, it would provide additional headroom. Oh man. What great ideas! I am impressed with your real life attic project. That had to be a great accomplishment! Thanks for reading, and have a great day!


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