Bitterroot Babies

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The Doll Room 

My story of space for my dolls is probably very similar to most doll lovers.  It started out with just a couple dolls on the bed, who got moved to a chair for the night.  Then they were moved to the guest room bed, then dresser, then a chair.  Then the guest bed was moved out--isn't the couch in the living room adequate accommodations for guests???  Now I had room to actually arrange the room for my dolls and here's where I started accumulating baby furnishings.  It took me a couple of years to fill up the guest room, but I worked diligently at it and just barely had room to move around in there.

Husband to the rescue!  My husband makes custom saddles for horses and mule (his web site is www.schradersaddles.com) .  His shop is the back half of a very long garage attached to our house.  The front half is divided into three rooms -- A long skinny front room that we just used for storage.  A small bedroom with a door-less closet that my husband used to store hunting gear, snowmobile gear, rolls of leather and sheepskin, finished saddles and vintage motorcycle parts.  And a 3/4 bath that we've had the water turned off to since we bought this place.  Since the bathroom was always cool, I used it for a pantry/root cellar.  My husband decided to reduce his saddle business inventory and bought a garage building to house his vintage motorcycles and parts.

Ah-ha! the small bedroom is now empty!  So, I got out my graph paper, ruler, tape measure and scissors.  I made cutouts of all the stuff stored in the skinny front room, all the furniture in the guest room including my baby furniture.  First problem was closet space so I hired a contractor to knock a hole in our bedroom and move the opening to the guest room closet to our room.  Then we built a closet the whole length of one guest room wall.  I moved my work clothes, luggage, linens, and a bunch of other stuff we had in the skinny front room to the new BIG closet.  I made trips to Goodwill, the dump and sold a few things on eBay, and had a yard sale.  I moved the pantry stuff to a hallway between the house and garage (which I hated anyway) and closed off both ends.

Next my contractor took out a large window in the skinny front room and replaced it with a sliding patio door.  I had access to my new doll room and the skinny front room, the small bedroom and the 3/4 bath were all empty.  I painted, put up wainscoting, made curtains for the closet, and changed a built in cupboard and "cubby-hole" in the skinny front room into another closet.  I put thermal blinds on the windows, and energy efficient door to the bath, and installed a propane heater so I can control the temperature in my new doll room.  I painted bookcases and a dresser, bought two curio cabinets, and made new bedding for some of my baby furniture. 

Finally!  Time to move the babies to their new home!  I probably have re-arranged the room half a dozen times already and I'm sure I'll re-arrange again and again.  My baby clothes are easy to find.  I have places for shoes and booties and bonnets.  I have places for vintage toys and books.  I even have several shelves set aside for cleaning and repairing supplies and books, as well as my ironing board, iron and a work table.  My sewing machine is still in the guest room, but that's OK.

I call the skinny front room the Sitting Room.  This is where I have my rocking chair (gift from my husband), my work area, book shelves and most of my modern dolls.  This room gets a little warmer than the small bedroom and has the sliding door and big window so if I'm working in there in the morning, and have the blinds open, it's very sunny.  Great for working, but not good for my babies.

I call the small bedroom the Nursery.  This is where I have my vintage and antique dolls, the curio cabinets and vintage clothing.  I use a dresser that I painted for my "changing table".  Sometimes I just sit on the floor to "play dolls".

To dress up the entrance to my doll room, I built a window flower box, a trellis flower box and another flower box, and put in a flower bed.

I had such a great time designing my doll room and putting it together.  I started work on it in March 2008 and finished it mid-July 2008.  I did most of the work myself and acted as the "helper" to my contractor for the closet modifications and sliding door work.  I love my doll room!  Click on The Sitting Room and The Nursery buttons on the left to see pictures of the transformation from "junk room" to "doll room".