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Sunday, January 21

Spotlight - Diana's Willowcrest Dollhouse

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you would know that this is the first entry of its kind. I have never before featured anyone’s work but this is special. I am very excited to present the work of Diana Milam from Glenville, West Virginia, who constructed and decorated this beautiful Willowcrest Dollhouse. It is one of my top ten favorite dollhouses and deserves to have a front page feature. Her entire Willowcrest Dollhouse gallery can be seen here.

The Willowcrest Dollhouse by Greenleaf has been a favorite dollhouse of miniaturists since it first came out. Even though it had been discontinued for a long time, it remained one of the most popular and sought-after dollhouses ever. This prompted for Greenleaf Dolldollhouses to re-release this beautiful Victorian mansion once again.

Diana has done a lovely job on hers. So lets get to know her better. Diana began working on her Willowcrest Dollhouse in late October, just shortly after she completed her very first dollhouse, the Beacon Hill Dollhouse. She finished it on February 16, 2008. She says the inspiration for building this particular dollhouse was simple, she fell in love with its design. She says “It is one of the prettiest dollhouses I’ve seen. My favorite part of the dollhouse is the front, with its curved gable.” She has great taste because I have to agree.

Of course building a dollhouse can be intimidating and Diana ran into the same doubts we have all had on our builds. She says “During the build I began to second guess myself on my color choices of the exterior, but it turned out much better than expected.”

As she recalls her build, she mentions the most memorable part of it was installing the mosaic tile flooring in the kitchen and second floor room, which she plans on turning into a living room. She says “I had not done this type of work before and learned of using these tiles from another dollhouse friend. It was a messy job and took me several days to finish it, but the end results were worth it. It turned out much better than I had expected it to. The fun part was playing around and coming up with different patterns!”

Diana’s building experience just goes to show us all that even when your not sure and in doubt you should still give it a try and not give up. You just might come out with something beautiful as she surely did.

Several things about this Willowcrest Dollhouse grabbed my attention when I first saw it. The first thing was this beautiful choice of color scheme. Its perfect for this style dollhouse. Diana truly made her a real painted lady.

The shingles of this dollhouse are beautiful. I just love the pattern. I have wanted a patterned shingle work like this on my dollhouses and haven’t been able to do it. For some reason, I am just not this creative. You all know how I can fumble on things like this. I would have loved this type of shingle design on my Beacon Hill Dollhouse.

There are many architectural details that Diana added to this little dollhouse. The widows walk around the porch and bay roofs add even more Victorian flare to the dollhouse. Both bays are lavishly adorned with intricate white trimming. I’m a big fan of these lacy trims!

Diana added pretty window boxes to the top floor windows. It's such a sweet touch.

Check out the brick foundation. I’m just loving it. The scattered different colored brick work is just beautiful. It really adds even more detailing to this all ready lovely little mansion.

Look at that landscaping. It's so pretty. The flowers in the same color scheme as the dollhouse is just the icing on the cake. I just love this landscape. It is not overwhelming the dollhouse and taking away from its architecture. It's just the right size and just the right amount of foliage.

I cant wait to go inside!

The wood trim all around the interior of this dollhouse gives it a beautiful finished look and great detail. Diana added hinged working interior doors.

I love the wallpaper color scheme. Very elegant and relaxing. I’m really liking the choice of having two finishes on one wall. Wallpaper on the top and bead board on the bottom or two different wallpaper patterns for the top and bottom of the wall. It just adds more character and uniqueness to the dollhouse.

The flooring is amazing. Love the earth tone mosaic tiles. They are so classy. Check out the top floors herringbone wood design. Its to die for!

A few changes were done to this dollhouse on the second floor. Diana tells me that the decision to change the kit a little was another memorable part of her build. She adjusted the staircase so it would face the back of the dollhouse and can actually be seen now, great idea. The small intrusive closet that used to be on the left side staircase wall has been removed and the wall moved over approximately 1 ½” - 2” against the staircase so the bathroom is much larger. The right side panel is totally gone and this opens up the staircase and gives the dollhouse a more spacious feel. I’m usually not into kit bashing but this was done beautifully and it did not take away the integrity of this charming dollhouse.

My favorite part is the top third floor. I am completely amazed at the beautiful wood work on this floor. Diana says “The extra wood trim on this floor gives the dollhouse a different look.” The work in here is amazing. Diana really went all out up here. The annoying chimney shaft that once ran oddly right through the middle of this room is gone. This will really make furnishing the room so much easier and has really opened it up so your eyes can appreciate the front wall dormer.

Check out the dormer windows. They are just amazing. The trim added to this floor was done in such good taste that you would never know it didn’t come with the dollhouse. It does not look out of place at all and goes perfectly with the architecture of this dollhouse.

The staircase railing around the edge of the floor just gives it that added finished touch. After all you wouldn’t want your dolls going over board up there.

All in all, this is the best Willowcrest Dollhouse I’ve seen so far. Spotlighting it was a pleasure. The materials used for it were excellent and the modifications done were in style and classy. This dollhouse incorporates all of my favorite finishes in one place. You can just see the care that was taken to make it special.

Thank you Diana for sharing your Willowcrest Dollhouse with us. As if this wasn’t enough, here’s a peek at her Beacon Hill Dollhouse.

Gorgeous! You can see the full gallery here.


Anonymous said...

Hi Gina,
My name is Rita. I'm new to dollhouse building.
Just completed doing the wiring in my house.

I love the mosaic tiles Diana used in her house.
Would you know where they can be bought?

Gina said...

Hello Rita,

I have tried to get in contact with Diana because there was another builder that needed to know the exact name of the paint she used on one of her dollhouses but she never replied. I havent been able to get a hold of her at all. I dont know if shes just not using the internet anymore or if she changed her email address.

If I distintly remember though, I think she created the mosaic tiles using Greenleaf's wood tiles. They are that exact same size and you can cut them with scissors to make the tile patterns. You can stain some of them darker than others to create the color variations as well. High gloss varnish will give them the shine after they are put in.

You can find the wood floor tiles here

They also have other affordable, easy to cut tiles available as well.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gina,

Thanks so very much. Your reply helped alot.
Will definitely check out the website.


Hungarican Chick said...

The Willowcrest is back in production with Greenleaf/Corona


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