One of our Dollhouse Group members has shown an incredible talent for taking old tin houses, some in bad condition, and giving them a new lease on life with a complete makeover.

What Cheyenne herself had to say:

I received a check for Christmas in 2006 and had to decide how to spend it.  I thought it might be time to start a new hobby, so I thought of doll houses.  I had a doll house when I was a little girl in the late 1940’s, which I gave away to a cousin because when I was 15 I thought I was “too old” for it.  I searched on the internet, which took me to ebay (where I had already done some shopping) and to my surprise, the doll house and doll house furniture I had enjoyed so many years before are still for sale!
I started with one doll house.  That soon grew to three.  And four.  And more.  I soon decided I would like to refurbish these doll houses, as many of them are rusty from years of being stored in someone’s attic.  Also I thought it would be fun! 
I now buy doll houses which need major refurbishing.  I soon learned how to fix these houses up and make them better than they were before!  I use materials that, 50+ years ago, I could never have afforded to buy, or in some cases, they had not even been invented yet.  These things include doll house wallpaper, double sided tape, doll house carpet, doll house flooring, peel-and-stick mosaics, and rustoleum paint, to mention some of them.
On receiving a house, if it has not been disassembled already, I take it apart.  I wash the house in the bathtub.  Sometimes they need some minor repairs, and I call my brother to help me in his shop, with pounding out dents roofs and floors, for example.  We call that “flood damage” or maybe “hurricane damage”. 
I select furniture for the house, then come up with the wallpaper and flooring.  At first I bought doll house wallpaper.  Then I found a CD with wallpaper patterns, so I started printing my own.  Last year one of our collectors pointed us towards a website where more patterns could be downloaded, and I expanded my wallpaper library to about double what it was.  I have internet sources where I buy carpeting, “laminate” (my term for printed wood flooring) and stick-on tiles.  I grout the tiles with mosaic grout.  I have a son who does actual tiling and he taught me how to tile my small floors and grout them. 
Most of my furniture items I find on ebay.  Some repair items, such as glue, I buy at the local hobby store, or at the building supply store in the case of rustoleum paint.  I have several houses that were as bad on the outside as on the inside, so I have redone the outsides of several houses with paint and “brick” siding (found along with my wallpaper and printed as needed.)
Almost all of my furniture comes from ebay.  I generally go for the ¾” size furniture.  I have one small Brumberger chalet which is furnished with ½” size.  I mix all brands of furniture: Renwal, Ideal, Plasco, Marx, Lundby, TOMY, Fisher-Price, and some unmarked pieces.  I select them mostly on the basis of color scheme, and mix styles as needed. 
I have refurbished approximately 40 houses.  I am working on one now and have three awaiting rebuilding.  As I have begun to run out of “real estate” (that is, shelving my son has built for me), I have given away several houses to friends and family.

Here they are in all their "new" shiney glory.




This large-sized Brumberger house was in quite good shape on the outside, but the inside was a disaster.  Glue was piled u on the floors.  Hideous wallpaper and stickers were on the walls.  I carpeted the living room and master bedroom.  I finished the kitchen with stick-on tiles.  Child's room was finished with "laminate" - that is wood flooring printed on paper.  It turned out very nice when furnished with Plasco and Arco for the first floor and master bedroom, and MPC pieces for the bathroom.  Baby and older child share a room with a mixture of furnishings.



My second large Brumberger is white with red roof.  The inside was very clean, but the outside was not so good.  All the windows and the door were missing.  I built windows with plastic sheeting and racing stripes for cars.  This is a tip I learned on an ebay message site, and it works very well.  Door is made from plastic sheeting and card stock.  I finished the living-dining room and master bedroom with carpet, and the kitchen and little girl's Petite Princess room with "laminate."  Furnishings are a mixture of Lundby for the kitchen, Ideal and an unusual whie Renwal dining table in the living-dining room, and MPC for the master bedroom.  The MPC set had the handles painted in dark red.  Little girl has a pink Petite Princess theme.  The bathroom is funished with pink Marx bathroom set.




This yellow Brumberger was quite good on the outside and on the inside.  In fact I did not redo the flooring in the downstairs or the bathroom, as the original was quite nice and matched well with the furniture.  I did put "laminate" on the bedroom floors as I did not like the original colors in there.  Kitchen is furnished with Renwal red-with-cream kitchen pieces, and red Plasco table and chairs.  Living-dining room is done with Ideal living room furniture and Renwal dining room pieces.  Upstairs the master bedroom is furnished with Plasco pieces and the child's room with Lundby bunk beds.  Blue MPC in the bathroom.



My second yellow Brumberger was also quite good on the outside.  I finished the living-dining room with carpet, the kitchen with tile, and both bedrooms with "laminate."  Kitchen is furnished with Lundby pieces.  In the living room I have Renwal furniture with decals.  The master bedroom has a wood bed with I found, complemented with Marx Little Hostess pieces.  Child's room has a Fisher-Price bed with red floral "mattress"a couple of tan unmarked plastic pieces, and a white wood desk.  Bathroom is furnished with some unique porcelain pieces I found.




I did not check the dimensions of the chalet when I bid on it, and when it arrived I very nearly put it up for resale as it was so small.  Then I checked and found I had some 1/2 scale furniture, so I bought some more, and rebuilt the house anyway.  I took the left-hand room and made it into one large room with plastic sheeting for a large window.  I redid all the floors with "laminate" and furnished the house as a living room on the left hand side, eat-in kitchen on the right, bedroom and bath upstairs.  Furniture is mostly Fisher-Pirce.



This was one of my early houses and I do not have pictures of the outside.  However, it came to me in good condition.  I finished the living room with carpet and the other rooms with "laminate".  I placed small Arco furniture in the kitchen and master bedroom.  Dining room furniture is by Jaydon.  In the living room I have a Renwal couch that I bought very faded and mottled, so I painted it blue.  Child's room is furnished with Fisher Price and bathroom with pink Plasco.  The breezeway room I furnishe as a family room, with TOMY couches, stereo and television.  I ran out of real estate for this house, so I moved it to my stepdaughter's house and she is enjoying it.



This house came to me in terrible condition.  Rust on everything.  I redid the outside with "brick" siding and rustoleum paint.  I also removed one of the breezeway walls, made that room a full room with a door made of plastic sheeting.  The picture window and the front door were also missing, so I rebuilt those.  I turned the house into a 5 room, 2 bath house with master en suite downstairs.  I placed the kitchen in the redone breezeway room.   Rooms are furnished mainly with Renwal, Ideal and Lundby.  The upstairs bathroom is by Arco.  Upstairs bedrooms are a baby nursery and a child's room.



This house began with Larraine sending me a Marx house that was damaged, but perfect for my refurbishing!  Since it was a small house, I decided to buy a second house and put them together.  The second house was missing the bay window, but I found one on ebay and won it, so didn't have to repair windows at all, just the front door which was missing.  I styled this house to be similar to the one we live in; "brick" siding in front, end walls painted blue, and tin roof.  I used tile downstairs, carpet and "laminate" upstairs.  This turned the house into a 6 room, 2 bath house with master en suite.  The house is furnished with a variety of furniture - utility room, kitchen and living-dining room downstairs; upstairs, master bedroom, child's room and baby nursery and 2 baths. 



This smaller Marx house came to me in pretty good condition, except the front door was missing.  I replaced it with a door I found in my "parts box."  Floors downstairs are done with tile and "laminate."  Upstairs floors are wood parquet, 1" squares which I glue down to "subflooring" (card stock) and finish with puzzle fixative and glossy varnish.   I removed the wall between the two rooms on the left side, then made that room the living room and the other room an eat-in kitchen.  Upstairs is master bedroom, bath and child's room.  Rooms are furnished with Renwal in the living room, bedroom and bath, with Ideal and Fisher Price in the kitchen.  Child's room   The child's room contains some unique pieces in wood, and a white bed with red floral print mattress. 




The Marx Mansions are my favorite doll houses.  This was the first one I refurbished.  The outside of this house was quite good.   Inside, I removed the wall between the kitchen and utility room to make a large eat-in kitchen.  Floors are finished with tile, carpet and wood parquet.  Living room is furnished with mostly Petite Princess, the kitchen with Plasco and Ideal, the master bedroom with MPC and the bathroom with pink Plasco.  Child's room contains bunk beds and is also furnished with a television and a computer.



This house came to me in poor condition, inside and out.  I finished the outside with "brick" siding and rustoleum paint.  I reroofed the house with some roofing paper I had snapped up on ebay previously.  Inside, I finished the floors with carpet, tile and wood parquet, as I do with virtually all of the Mansions.  Again in the dining-living room I have Petite Princess.   I also placed a light tan-colored Plasco dining room set in the dining-living room.  The kitchen is a mixture of Plasco, Ideal, Reliable and Renwal.  Again, I removed a wall to make a large eat-in kitchen. Master bedroom is furnished with white and blue Ideal pieces, and the guest room with dark Ideal pieces and a red Ideal bed.  Bathroom is by Marx with a Fisher Price shower.




This mansion was pretty good on the outside.  Inside, I furnished the living room with Plasco and Marx.  Again I removed the wall and made a large eat-in kitchen.  Kitchen is furnished with Marx little hostess, Plasco, and a wood sink-and-cupboard set which I found on ebay.  Upstairs, the master bedroom is furnished with Plasco and the little girl's room in blue Petite Princess.  Bathroom is an unmarked set I found. 



This house came in pretty good shape on the outside.  I left the wall between the kitchen and utility room, but made it ito a dining room and kitchen.  I have some unmarked pieces in the kitchen, along with an Ideal table and chairs.  In the dining room I have my Reliable dining room set - snapped this one up on ebay for more than I usually pay, because I wanted it!  Petite Princess in the living room.  Upstairs is a Lundby master bedroom and a Plasco second bedroom, with a Marx bathroom.



This house came to me in reasonably good shape, except for the Florida room.  I built new windows and finished the floor with laminate.  I removed a wall again, to make an eat-in kitchen furnished in TOMY.  Living room has mostly Ideal furniture.  Florida room has some selected pieces plus a big screen TV.  Upstairs I furnished the master bedroom with Lundby, the child's room with TOMY, and the bathroom with red Plasco.



I had not purchased any ranch houses due to the scarcity of "real estate" for me to place it on.  Then one of our members, Connie, offered me a Marx ranch which was in really bad shape.  How could I resist?  I had to refinish everything except the roof, which was in pretty good shape.  I refinished the outside with "brick" siding and rebuilt all of the windows.  Rather than papering the insice, I finished all the walls with white Rustoleum paint.  Floors are all in "laminate."  I used a variety of furnishings, including Plasco, Lundby, MPC and Fisher Price.  A really fun house to finish!




This house was one of my earlier efforts, and I only have one photo of it.  I finished the floors with tile, carpet and "laminate."  I removed a wall downstairs, and made the space into one large eat-in kitchen.  The house is furnished mostly with TOMY pieces, in all rooms except the bathroom.  The bathroom may be Arco. 



My Meritoy house arrived with no windows, so I rebuilt them.  I finished the floors with tile and "laminate."  I removed the one small wall downstairs and made one larger living room.  Kitchen is furnished with Lundby, living room with mostly Ideal, bedrooms with Fisher Price and bathroom with MPC.



This is my first Playsteel house.  The outside was in quite good shape.  I finished the floors with tile, carpet and wood parquet.  Living room is mostly Plasco, kitchen is by TOMY.  Master bedroom is done with Ideal, bathroom with pink Plasco.  The second bedroom is a guest room/study combination, complete with desk, computer and sewing machine.



This house came to me with a nice outside. i finished the floors with tile, carpet and wood parquet. Living room is by TOMY. In the kitchen I have Marx, a Superior table and Plasco chairs. Master bedroom is finished with Marx Little Hostess and an MPC bed. Bathroom is done with pink fixtures, maybe Arco? Child's room is furnished with some really cute little wood pieces with stenciling.




Again, my Bucks County Playsteel house is in very good condition on the outside. Floors are finished with tile, carpet and wood parquet. I furnished the living room with Petite Princess, the kitchen iwth Plasco. The master bedroom is by Ideal, as is the second bedroom. Bathroom is by TOMY.



This is the first small T. Cohn house I bought. I removed a wall upstairs to make a large master bedroom with en suite bath. I finished the floors with tile and carpet. Living room is furnished by TOMY, kitchen by Renwal, master bedroom with Renwal and Jaydon, and bathroom by Plasco. I donated this house to my drama club and we raffled it off to one lucky winner.



This is my second small T. Cohn, it arrived with the outside in quite good shape.  The roof is just a little bent.  House is furnished with tile and carpet.  I found a nice little blue Reliable living room set for this house.  Kitchen is the pink "Plasco."  Upstairs, the bedroom is finished with Renwal, with a Jaydon double bed and a pink Plasco baby crib.  Bathroom is by Ideal.



Since none of my model homes have cars, I decided to remove the garage from my double patio T. cohn.  I built some bookshelves in the living room to disguise the garage door.  Floors are finished with tile and wood parquet.  I furnished the living room with mostly Plaso, and the kitchen with Ideal.  Master bedroom is furnished with Renwal, and child's room with Fisher Price and other pieces.  I found a nice porcelain bathroom set for this house.





This was my first large T. Cohn house, I don't have a photo of it from the front side.  However, all of the windows were missing and I replaced them with plastic sheeting and racing stripes for cars.  Floors are finished with tile and wood parquet.  For the kitchen, I found a set of Renwal that somebody had painted with copper paint.  Nobody else apparently wanted it.  Dining room is by Marx Little Hostess and Plasco.  Living room is also mostly Plasco.  Upstairs, the master bedroom is by Plasco and the chid's room is mostly TOMY.  Unmarked pieces in the bathroom.



This house needed one new window and a new front door, as can be seen in the photo.  Floors finished with tile and wood parquet.  The kitchen is furnished with pink "Plasco", the dning with with Idea and the living room with mostly Petite Princess.  Master bedroom is furnished with Lundby, child/baby's room with Plasco and Renwal.  I also used the bottom of a bunk bed as a twin bed.  Bathroom is by Lundby.



My TOMY house arrived in slightly distressed condition.  I had to replace some of the siding with "brick."  I also added a wall to the upstairs, as I had a selection of walls which had been removed from several other houses.  I finished the floors with tile and "laminate."  I made the left hand room the kitchen, by TOMY.  In the living-dining room, I used stenciled Renwal and Fisher Price.  Upstairs, the bedroom has a brass bed wtih floral "mattress" and some Marx Little Hostess and Fisher Price pieces.  The bathroom is an unmarked set.



This was one of my first houses, so only one photo is available.  I removed the first floor wall and made a great room.  Floors are tiled.  The great room is furnished with a mixture of Ideal and other pieces.  Upstairs, the master bedroom is in Fisher Price, bathroom by Ideal.  The lady of the house works at home on her computer, so the second bedroom has a computer and two large storage cabinets. 



This house was fine on the outside except the front door was missing.  I replaced it with one I found in my "parts" box.  All floors are tiled.  In the living-dining room, I have furniture from Renwal, Marx little Hostess, and MPC.  Kitchen is furnished with Renwal and Plasco.  Master bedroom by Renwal and bathroom by Lundby.  The child's room isfurnished with some cute little unmarked pieces.




The Wolverine Augusta came with a broken porch and required some gluing.  I also added an upstairs wall from my "parts" box.  Floors are tiled.  The living-dining room is furnished with Renwal and Jaydon, the kitchen with green "Plasco."  Upstairs, the master bedroom has Renwal furniture, the baby nursery with Renwal, Fisher Price and a couple of cute unmarked pieces.  Bathroom is by Plasco.



My first small Wolverine house came in good condition, except for the deck, which is missing the awning.  The floors are done in carpet, fake tile and wood parquet.  I furnished the living room with Ideal and TOMY.  For the kitchen I found some unmarked pieces plus an Ideal refrigerator.  Upstairs, the master bedroom is furnished with Renwal and a Jaydon double bed.  Bathroom is, I believe, Arco.  I found some cute little unmarked pieces for the child's room.



This is my most recent house.  It came to me missing two windows and the front door.  Instead of using the plastic and racing stripes, I went into my "parts" box and found some small Brumberger windows that were left over when Roy sent me some for my chalet.  Flooring is carpet, fake tile and "laminate."  Living-dining room is furnished with Renwal, Marx Little Hostess and an unmarked dining room set.  I found a couple of unmarked pieces for the kitchen and added a pink "Plasco" sink.  Upstairs I have some unmarked furniture in the master bedroom, a cute wood-and-plastic bathroom set, and Marx, Renwal and a couple of unmarked pieces in the baby nursery.




When I found this Today's Kids house, I also found a breezeway room for the Marx house.  So I just put them together and made a hybrid house.  Floors are tiled.  Living-diming room is furnished with Renwal and Plasco.  Kitchen is done with green Renwal.  I made the breezeway room a utility room, and placed Renwal, Ideal and Plasco pieces in it.  Master bedroom by Renwal.  Turquoise Renwal bathroom, and child's bedroom by TOMY.



This Today's Kids house was pretty good on the outside, just missing a window and the front door.  I tiled all of the floors.  Living-dining room is furnished with Renwal, as was the kitchen.  Several months ago, I won a couple of sets of the Youngstown kitchen cabinets and I put them in the kitchen, too.  Bedroom is Plasco and Marx Little Hostess, bathroom is by Lundby.  Child's room has Fisher Price bunk beds, a TOMY rocker and desk, and a Marx Little Hostess dresser.



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