Over Christmas break, we did something crazy. My son and I bought an old house to remodel! It’s a 3 bedroom, one bath three-story farmhouse. It needs a full gut, inside and out, but we got it for a steal of a deal. And since my son aspires to be an architect and I have a semi unhealthy habit of constantly redecorating my own house, we thought this would be a fun project to do together. Ready to see the house?
Haha, got ya! I’ll admit, the title is a bit misleading, but it’s totally truthful! This old dollhouse is the epitome of a fixer upper. And since it’s a blank canvas, we can go wild with design styles, architectural statement pieces, and incorporating all the fancy schmancy stuff we can’t afford for our real-life house.
I know this has nothing to do with organization, but it’s going to be too fun not to share, so throughout the remodeling process, I’ll post some updates so you can follow along. I plan on using my Cricut for a lot of it, too, so if you found my blog through Cricut tutorial posts, you’re going to love seeing some of the stuff we have planned.
I’ll pop a tab in the menu of the blog so you can keep up with our progress if you’re interested, and we made an Instagram page @pinefieldestate to use as a “journal.” It’s mainly for our own documentation, but you’re welcome to follow along if you’d like.
Before Shots, AKA, One Foot In The Grave
We’re currently still in the “bones” phase of the project, but we’ve got some awesome plans in store! Here’s what we’re working with:
I bought the house on the Mercari app for a crazy good deal. She arrived in probably the best packing job I’ve ever seen. My neighbors were walking their dogs when I got home on the day of delivery and they said, “I think you have a small house on your porch.” Why yes, yes I do!
It’s an old Hobby Lobby dollhouse in 1:12 scale. And let me tell ya, if you can see from the photos, she’s in rough shape. This house was very well-loved by a little kiddo for sure. The wood was peeling, warping, and flaking off, and yes, those ARE dead flies in the very back of the first floor. But the structure is super sturdy and this thing will last way longer than my actual house. The parent that put this bad girl together has some serious carpentry skills.
Before we could do any fun work to the house, we had to fix some major issues first. Although this is a project for my son and me to do together, I took care of the prep work solo for safety purposes. Splinters suck, especially for wild boys who can’t sit still for more than three seconds.
I leveled the peeling floors, walls, and ceilings with joint compound, just like you’d use in a real house. I got it super smooth and even by scraping it with a straight edge for painting. Totally not it’s intended purpose, but it worked out great!
We really wanted the first floor to be wide open, so we thought we could just “pop the wall out” of the middle. Oh. My. Gosh. This was the hardest thing to do ever! We banged with hammers and cut with saws and dremeled with dremels, and in the end, I had to get my hunky muscley husband to knock it out for us. Turns out, it was super-glued AND nailed in.
We reinforced the second floor to the center wall to keep it from sagging, and we’ll be adding in ceiling beams for extra structural safety. (And because wood beams are the bomb.)
The final stage of the prep work was to prime the whole thing with a stain-blocking primer. I used Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3 Primer with Cover Stain. The wood is pretty old on this house, and so was the paint the previous owner had used. So this heavy duty primer was such a good way to make sure old residue doesn’t soak through new finishes.
Next up we’ll tackle wallpaper, flooring, shiplap, ceiling beams, and trim. Oh and stairs, tile, cabinets, and a couple of floating walls. And a fireplace. Jeez, what what we gotten ourselves into?!