My Collection Archive

A Modern English Cottage

This is a Glencroft English cottage I remodeled about two years ago. I found the assembled kit in one of those group antiques shops and bought it very cheaply for $25. The interior had been finished in a very amateurish way with craft felt glued to the plywood floors, and sheets of flooring glued to some walls as wainscoting, but it just looked like 1960's rec room panelling. Pretty gruesome! The problem with so many American dollhouses is that they are left open in the back and the house has to sit in the middle of a space in order to see the front and back. I left the "front" of this house to face a window and made this new facade for the "back "using strips of wood filled with spackling paste, and made the leaded windows by hand-cutting narrow strips of adhesive lead used for weighting fishing lures. I bought the house to accomodate furniture left over from a larger English dollhouse that I am still working on.

This interior may look somewhat familiar to others who own a Greenleaf Glencroft kit house, but I divided the bathroom into a boudoir with a Bespaq desk and wardrobe with the plain bathroom in the back. The bed is by Brian Long who was kind enough to give me leftover scraps of fabric to make matching draperies and cushions for that English decorator look.The chest is Chestnut Hill, the upstairs fireplace was made by Ellen Krucker. Downstairs, I made a parquet floor for the lounge and made Yorkshire pavers for the fitted kitchen. I panelled the fireplace wall in the lounge and replaced the newel post by the stairs. The striped stair runner is a strip of upholstery fabric from a full-size sofa I had reupholstered. The coffee table is an Eric Pearson piece and a Warren Dick Jacobean lowboy is against the left wall. I re-upholstered the imported chairs with micro-petitpoint seats. The kitchen table and chairs were among my first purchases from The Singing Tree and I made the fitted cupboards from old pine with knobs from JoJays. The Belfast sink is by Stokesayware and the cooker was made from a Phoenix kit. I like to think this cottage is a weekend getaway for a busy London couple who have inherited some family heirlooms but appreciate having "mod cons" in the kitchen. This photo is an older one. The close ups are more recent and include some lovely needlepoint rugs I won at a Morphy auction.

When I reupholstered the two chairs downstairs, I saved the original fabric to make the chair cushion above so it could coordinate with the side chair's seat shown here. I love the intimate atmosphere of this room where the lady of the house can relax and read in a comfy chair or write a letter (some of us still do that occasionally!) The lacquered letter organizer is from Maynard Manor.


The bedroom is another cozy space with a window seat and a stack of books on the Eric Pearson library steps tucked into the right rear corner. When I bought this assembled house, there was a big cutout in the wall where the Chestnut Hill chest of drawers is located so I had to fill that in to make a solid place to hang the mirror. The thick floor boards are made from screen door molding, sanded smooth and stained and varnished - because the edges are slightly beveled, it gives an impression of old wood that has shrunk with age. The corner chair is by Betty Valentine and upholstered with Brian Long's fabric. Sorry about the dust in these photos!

I really enjoyed making the fitted kitchen cupboards which resemble the ones my husband built for our full-size kitchen. I'm sorry the shadow from the ceiling makes it difficult to see the upper shelves and plate rack filled with Stokesayware Blue Willow luncheon plates. Some lazy housekeeper has left the St. Leger utensils on the floor! The dining set from The Singing Tree has handcarved seats, and I originally purchased the set for my larger Tudor house but their rusticity made them a better match for the cottage after I bought  Colin Bird kitchen furniture for the bigger house. I'm still looking for a nice set of brass taps for the sink...

Here you can see the Warren Dick lowboy, a House of Miniatures wall shelf containing handmade books, a Chestnut Hill Canton bowl, and other decorative pottery. The micro-petitpoint pillow on the Bespaq sofa came with the chair seats at an Eileen Rhoads auction while the other pillows are made of silk I bought at Liberty of London. I made the draperies from the same silk. The green wing chair was discovered in an antiques shop in East Sussex and a Bonnie Sanford doll is comfortably seated there in her terry bathrobe, reading Jane Austen. In the kitchen window just visible on the left, I have a collection of little English teapots and old Vienna bronze potted plants. Thanks for visiting! Come again!