Buying a dollhouse can be a major investment of both time and money. Which has probably led you to wonder: How can I choose the best dollhouse?
Whether it's something for yourself or something you plan on gifting to someone else, you may be a little confused about how to pick out the right dollhouse. And if you're not sure where to start, you've come to just the right place. We will walk you through each of the seven questions you'll want to consider to find the best dollhouse for you or for someone you love. The reward is being able to buy a dollhouse to treasure for years to come with confidence. Let's get started!
7 Questions to Answer to Find Your Best Dollhouse
1. Do I want to assemble it myself?
There are assembled dollhouses and dollhouse kits. Assembled dollhouses have every component (or close to every component) assembled. So there's no gluing or assembling of any sort. The bonus to buying an assembled is convenience, which you may need as a busy person or someone who just doesn't enjoy assembly projects. Of course, you may often pay more for this convenience. You also usually have much less opportunity to personalize your dollhouse to your liking if your dollhouse comes painted and/or wallpapered.
The other option is buying a dollhouse kit and assembling it yourself. Depending on the size and number of components in the kit, this could take you several days or even several weeks to put together. Which leads to the next question...
2. What is my skill level and time commitment availability?
The wooden dollhouse kits in our collection are recommended for anyone 13 and older. They don't require any special skills per se--but you definitely want to be someone who enjoys working with your hands if you choose to tackle a dollhouse kit. It's also a really good idea to take a look at your schedule. Assembling, wallpapering, and painting a dollhouse kit can be a major investment of time. If you want to go this route but don't want to sink a ton of time into a project, consider a simpler kit.
A few recommendations from our collection include Victorian Cottage Wooden Dollhouse Kit or the General Store Kit. Two other great options for the time-pressed are the QuickBuild Imagination Wooden Dollhouse Kit and the QuickBuild Firehouse Kit--both can be assembled in as little as 30 minutes! Finally, you might also consider a room box--you'll get all the benefits of creating your own miniature world without a huge time or money commitment.
3. What materials do I like?
A classic dollhouse is made of strong and sturdy wood. Yet not all dollhouses are made of the same kinds of wood. Both the type of wood and the thickness of that wood can vary. More inexpensive dollhouses are made with plywood or with woods cut 1/8 inch. At the other end of the spectrum are dollhouses made of stronger Baltic birch or medium-density fiberboard (MDF). MDF is an engineered wood product made by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibers. The best dollhouse is usually made with either Baltic birch or MDF that is cut to 3/8 inch.
4. How long do I want it to last?
Do you want a dollhouse that will stand the test of time? Or one that you can pass down as a family heirloom? If so, definitely go with a dollhouse of 3/8 inch MDF or Baltic birch--both are gold standards in dollhouse construction that will hold up through the years. On the other hand, if you're just looking for a fun project or planning on giving the dollhouse to a child who may not take the best care of it, feel free to buy one made of less sturdy wood cut to 1/8 inch.
5. Which styles appeal to me?
Dollhouses come in a huge range of styles and sizes. When you think of styles, consider what houses you like in real life. Do old-fashioned homes with gingerbread trim and wraparound porches set your heart aflutter? Or do you dream of a cozy log cabin or a seaside retreat? While Victorian dollhouses are perennially popular, there are many other styles out there if you're not a huge fan of old homes. In addition to the style, take the time to check the dimensions of each finished house. You may have a special place in mind to display your dollhouse, so knowing the exact dimensions will ensure you can in fact have it there.
6. What scale do I want?
In dollhouse terminology, scale refers to how a miniature is sized down. The most common scale is 1/12 scale. This means that if an object is 12 inches in real life, it is sized down to a one inch as a miniature. You will also hear 1/12 scale referred to "one inch scale" for this reason. Most dollhouses on the market are 1/12 scale.
Another scale you will encounter is 1/24 scale, or "half-inch scale." This means that if an object is 12 inches in real life, it is scaled down to a half inch as a miniature. This scale has been gaining in popularity in recent years. That's because it saves space and is usually more economical than 1/12 scale.
7. What's my budget?
No purchase consideration is complete without considering your budget. While it's never fun to tally the dollars and cents, it's even less fun to buy something you really can't afford! Fortunately, there is a wide range of prices for dollhouses and dollhouse kits. You can spend well less than $100 if you're on a budget. On the other end of the spectrum, you can buy a four-figure dollhouse if money is no object. The most expensive item in our inventory is the Queen Anne Wooden Dollhouse Kit. With 9 rooms, a turret, and tons of exquisite detail, it's a true stunner!
As you can see, there is no one best dollhouse. There is only one best dollhouse for you. Keep these seven questions in mind while you shop and you're sure to find just the right one!