The Dollhouse Wars

My Dollhouse Interior Before

Spoiler Alert: I lose.

In my ongoing series (unintended series, I might add.  I just keep posting about the same obsessions and somehow they all add up to a series) on dollhouses, I have sad news.  The Dollhouse Project, in which I take a beat-up dollhouse and completely renovate it to my taste and specifications while detailing the progress on this blog, has been pre-empted by a much cooler blog in partnership with much cooler design entities.  This other dollhouse project has been dubbed Operation Dollhouse.  Even the name of their enterprise is cooler than mine.  My so-called competition here is the blog Curbed, which just went national, expanding beyond the stifling confines of New York City.  The powers-that-be behind the blog celebrated their takeover of America by asking shelter magazines to decorate a dollhouse in the aesthetic of each particular publication.  Curbed asked six magazines: Dwell, House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Lonny, Elle Decor, and Martha Stewart Living.  Five of the six publications played along – I’ll let you figure out which magazine declined the honor – and HGTV jumped in the game, even designing a garden to go along with their tiny abode.  You can check out the results here.

It’s all very charming and congratulations to Curbed for being so bold as to create Operation Dollhouse and to all those design entities for being game.  (Except for Marth-er of course.  But she was most likely otherwise occupied, cleaning her horse barn in anticipation of hosting Thanksgiving Dinner between the stalls, just like she did way back in 2006.  Yum.)

The dollhouses are all very compelling, each in their own way, but the entry from Lonny particularly caught my eye.  No, not just because the design employed many of the quickly-becoming-cliche tropes of the post-Domino mag era (starburst mirror, lucite chair, et al.), but because it employed many of the same quickly-becoming-cliche tropes that I used in my own dollhouse design.   Check out the comparisons below:

Lonny's Dollhouse (via Curbed)

My Dollhouse (via my crappy camera)

You can see where I was going with this, right?  I had even purchased a very similar couch and have other, nearly identical furnishings that I won’t even bother to show you.  Uncanny.  It’s almost as though we are looking toward the same sources for our design inspiration.  (RIP Domino.)

I admit to not minding so much.  The folks at Lonny (or is in lonny?) are pretty cool.  In fact, all the dollhouses are great and I can’t decide if Operation Dollhouse has inspired me to finish my dollhouse or left me completely demoralized.  I do know this: when I take The Roving Home national I’m going to come up with my own design challenge that will blow the doors off Curbed.  I’m thinking of sending a pop-up camper (in view of the fact that this blog is called The Roving Home.  Clever, eh? ) to the aforementioned design publications and tv channels.  Perfect for showing off a distinctive aesthetic, and what’s more, if things continue to spiral downward, as an actual place to live.  As the Recession Gurus tell us, things are going to get worse before they get better.  You never know if you might need to live in a pop-up camper.  If so, it might as well be cunningly decorated with a starburst mirror and a zebra skin rug.

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