Michelle Ridgway wanted a dollhouse ever since she was a young child, but she never got one as a girl. That’s why when her daughter was old enough, she bought a pre-made dollhouse and painted, decorated, and furnished it. “I absolutely enjoyed every minute of it,” she says. “Like doing a set of nails, I find it very therapeutic and satisfying.” Her passion for this hobby didn’t end there: Now she is building a dollhouse herself from a kit. “For years I didn’t have the room to do another one, until recently,” she says. “I’m amazed at what you can actually buy for a dollhouse — basically anything you can buy for a real house, you can buy in miniature, and the detail and work that has gone into making them is just something else.”
Ridgway decorates her dollhouse with supplies from dollhouse specialists, where she gets details such as 1.12”-scale wallpaper. “I order mainly online and hope to go to a miniature exhibition later this year,” she says. “I know I will probably hyperventilate with excitement because I just want everything!”
Ridgway says her greatest challenge is managing her own impatience to finish the dollhouse. It’s caused her to make a few errors, such as installing the door upside down and having to remove the glued-on doorframe without damaging it. “The cost is also a challenge — it is not a cheap hobby,” Ridgway adds. The dollhouse is a long way from being finished: Ridgway has plans to add brick fascia and tile the roof with real miniature slate. With so many additions planned, the hobby will likely keep her busy for a long time. “I’ve told my daughter she needs to move out so I can build a street in her bedroom,” she jokes.