Monday, February 21, 2011

Tynietoy Villa - a former childhood treasure.

I have had some good luck finding Tynietoy furniture to add to my collection, and it has outgrown the bookcase in my living room - aka Tynietoy Manor and its kitchen.

And so, I had to find new home for my newest acquisitions. Some of you may remember that I put a number of dollhouses in the garage last summer when I had to make room in the guest room for my out-of-town friends.

Yesterday I made the long trek across the yard to see what house would be suitable for this classic furniture.
I bought this large dollhouse a couple of years ago when I was first bitten by the dollhouse bug. At that point I was buying everything I could find. This is a craigslist house.

I have removed the windows and door, because I intend to paint the exterior white. To make it more like the original Tynietoy houses I will probably put up green shutters and paint the roof black.

I bought the house from it's original owner,  a young mother with two active toddlers - both boys. I guess she had decided not to try for a girl.

She told me how, at 12 years old, she had saved $300 for a dollhouse, as she had decided that that was going to be her hobby.

With her savings she went to a dollhouse and miniature show where she found this house. It had been built by an older couple, who left the outside as plain wood, and decorated interior with 1:1 sized flooring and wallpaper. I have pulled up their ugly, out-of-scale, floor tiles. You can see one remaining tile in the yellow bedroom.

I don't think much of the wallpaper either, but it is in scale and looks much better with the furniture in the rooms. I will probably change most of it at some point.

I am leaving the attic wallpaper and floor as is for now. They work well for a small bathroom with a day nursery in the middle and night nursery at the other end.

Here is the front hall. I plan to paint the stairs - possibly the risers will be white and the stairs will stay natural. The banisters may stay natural and the balustrades white. I will do a little more research before I start painting.

Although I don't really mind this blue floral wallpaper, I may change it. Most of the wallpaper in the house is vinyl and just doesn't look right even if it is the right scale.

All the floors on the first two levels of the house need to be re-done.

I have put a Tynietoy bookcase and chair in here for now. The drop leaf table was called Tynietoy when I bought it, but I haven't confirmed that it is. It looks more like a German red stain piece to me.

The parlour room has a pink floral striped wallpaper which I find more suitable for a bedroom. I have put the more formal furniture in here, but I don't think it suits the paper. Perhaps this should be the dining room. I like the wallpaper and don't really want to change it.

The fireplace is unpainted. I made it from a House of Miniatures kit, and it is just a stand-in until I find a Tynietoy one. The piano and bench, lowboy and two painted chairs are Tynietoy.
The attic is one large area with partial walls to indicate rooms. The floor is a vinyl wood grain wallpaper which I am leaving for now. The nursery furniture is not Tynietoy, but it is the right age and look, so it will do for now. Besides, I love it.

The sweet little bunny rug is handmade needlepont that  found on eBay. I have been waiting for a while to find a place for it. I think it works well here.

This ceramic bathroom set is not Tynietoy either. I think it was made by the Wisconsin Toy company. It is a nice larger 1 inch scale suitable for Tynietoy.

Unfortunately the tub and sink are missing their faucets. I will see if I can find replacements.

The little needlepoint rug has a bunny, a flower and a duck, and came with the nursery rug. It was probably made by the same talented needleperson.
The attic landing is home to a black Tynietoy ladderback settee with a matching straight back chair and two matching rockers. This is a temporary home for these pieces, as I want to make this landing the day nursery.
This bedroom contains the Tynietoy Victorian bedroom in black walnut.

I have added a bookcase and a mirror to complete the set.
The yellow bedroom has two empire beds with matching dressers, and a chair.  I hate the floor and wallpaper in this room and plan to change it as soon as I find suitable replacements.
The upper hall has a drop front desk and a ladderback chair.
The dining room has a large sized maple buffet, a highboy and a round tilt top table. The mirror over the buffet is called an overmantle mirror. Another reason to find the fireplace.

There are four Empire chairs with hand painted seats, and a round Sheraton table. All are in a mahogany  finish.

The brass chandelier is a recent  unexpected find.
Here is another view of the parlour.

The 'painting' over the fireplace is cut out of a magazine. The ornate frame is a found item that I though suitable for an elegant room. I may paint the frame. I haven't decided yet.

The orange bowl on the lowboy is an antique dollhouse accessory from the 1920s

When I bought the house, it was full of furniture and accessories that the young woman had collected before she grew up and moved out of her childhood home.

Most of the contents were what was available to collectors in the 1980's. Some of it was nice quality and I have re-purposed it, but most was Shackman or lesser quality, and I have put it away for now.

In my eyes the house is improved greatly the Tynietoy furniture, and provides a suitable home for it.

But, I watched the young woman as she showed me the dollhouse and it's contents, and later packed them for me to take away. This house was a cherished item with well-loved contents, full of memories for her. I am sure it contained many presents from those who loved her, and items purchased with baby-sitting money and funds from part-time jobs. How could she bear to part with it, I wondered.

I looked around her small home, at her two rambunctious toddlers, and at her nerdy, overbearing husband who was directing her in the packing up, and I realized that she had been convinced that she had to sell her childhood treasure. I silently vowed that I would respect this house and dedicate its future to her.

She may not understand or like the changes I am making to her treasure, but I will send it to the future as the cherished object it was in the past. She can rely on that.

I am not sure how long it will take me to make all the changes I envision, but I will keep you posted on the progress.



  1. you have a beautiful collection. I love that you are respecting the original owner of the dollhouse. I feel the same way about my Craigslist finds.

  2. Lovely furniture. The house has a lot of potential.

  3. Wow! Your Tynietoy rocks! Love the ideas you have of painting it to frame the furniture better, The wall paper in the nursery is perfect.

    I would paint the rood with a white wash to soften it. Or a gray wash to make it dissappear into the background. Can't wait to see more of it. C

  4. Thanks everyone! I have a lot of work to do before the house will match the picture in my mind's eye.

    CM. I have been researching the original Tynietoy houses online and I see that the roofs of those are usually the same color as the shutters - dark green. I think I will try that. I would also like to copy the original Tynietoy music room mural for the parlour. Do you or does anyone out there know where I can find a picture of this mural to copy?

  5. Oh my gosh I almost teared reading this :(
    I think she would be glad to know her house went to a knowledgable and dollhouse dedicated owner who would take care of it.