Where it all started on OldNewGreenRedo and for the Grand!

Before I start posting NEW remodels of my old projects---I thought I would post these old posts of the original houses! 

What a journey, it's fun to see the beginnings while I'm working on the new concepts. 

The below Post is from October 2016!!!! originally on my SomethingsOldNewGreenRedo blog!

Okay, so I'm in my local Goodwill...and sitting under a table was this Old Barbie house all folded up---for $4.99, yes, $4.99 for a mansion.
A Victorian circa the 1990's, 1890's that is....sigh...very much like our first house in N. Wisconsin built in 1902.


I passed it by---because the Grand already has the NEW Barbie House we built last year for her, you can see the DIY and REDO posts here, HERE.

We play Barbie's at Gramma's, too. 

I passed it by---next time I came around someone had opened it, and I totally fell in love. It wasn't perfect, but it was in super condition. A fixer-upper, yes, but with great bones! 
(I sound like the DIY/Magnolia network, LOL)

At home, I left one side open to look at the construction. Quite ingenious as the whole thing folds up, and when open locks in place.

 Mattel released this house in a variety of colors over quite a few years, with small decorative changes and different furniture.

I brought it home and Hubby just laughed. He found a board to put it on in the extra bedroom.
I think a total remodel may be in the works.


Here's the original configuration with the walls where they are supposed to be. The elevator really works, but the Grand can't reach it, so we are going to use it in place for more room and not even tell her it is an elevator. Some information on the internet said it was originally for the handicapped-Barbie that came in a wheel-chair at one time.

I wonder if I could extend that (second) floor forward for more room. Oh dear, construction mess again, lol.


Elevator going to the lower floor. Notice the built-in fireplace. I love the turret, can just see a Christmas tree in that space. Oh, and a window seat, to the left. The columns are quite nice, along with the stained glass windows. 

The kitchen was in rough shape. Kitchen counter sink and appliances are in dire need of an updates.
Hmm...shopping list, look for compatible kitchen. And the front door is missing, having a hard time finding what it actually looked like?


The stove was totally trashed.  


Rest of the counter works, but..., it's so 90's and no refrigerator, and no doors that open. NO STORAGE...lol? The decals in this house are really cute though.

 The room above the kitchen...is the bathroom/bedroom. There are several cute little stained glass windows, throughout the house.


Above the kitchen is the Bedroom/Bathroom,  The turquoise counter is the vanity sink, but...


here you can see the dresser/tub as it looks pulled down. 

I found a great article on the best Barbie Mansions, and this one is listed as it was originally furnished and set up, OLD Barbie Dream Houses. 
I love the the cottage feel to this house. We will keep that, and this one will be furnished with Gramma's taste with a more antique vibe. Except for the kitchen. 
Ebay will show a multitude versions of this house in so many different colors...all for quite a pretty penny, too. 

Ahh, at the end of the bedroom is this built-in armoire. The drawers don't work, I may have to remedy that, somehow.
(2022 THAT piece never came out--I couldn't find the secret to removing it? Will try again, though)


 And the elevator area with the elevator in place on the second floor.


Having the house open this way, makes me think an addition might be the way to go. Extend the upstairs floor under the bathroom and also the downstairs with the bigger kitchen. 
The Grand is a major cook and so many mouths to feed...so hmmm.
 Also, one thing about Barbie houses, they have no closet space, we could do with more sleeping areas or closets. 


Here's the front porch, with more stained-glass, all windows in great shape, planter box was empty, all except the mailbox intact. I love the posts and upstairs porch gingerbread.


But, when the Grand showed up, we dug in my box of Barbie-sized leftover furniture from her DIY Barbie House, and the girls moved in even before the remodel. 
Notice the washer dryer now in the proposed kitchen addition. Our Barbies are very clean.

Currently there are 6 Barbies/Elsa/Anna. It looks like an addition will be absolutely necessary, we/they think. And the Grand says we need to find a toilet, and another sink.  A new upstairs floor will allow the bathtub to be used all the time. Like I said, our Barbies stay very clean. 

So Where are the boys?


The 3 boys are lounging on the front porches and in the Tupperware pool. It was hot that day? Now, how do we find a man-cave for them or a bunk house? Another addition? Another house? Maybe they just visit, lol?

Stay tuned for remodeling updates: DIY Victorian Barbie house REDO.
I have some great ideas, a Victorian oval double bunkbed, a new kitchen, chandeliers, closets, a paint refreshening, and someplace for the boys?
Also some vintage Barbie furniture redo's.

Now THIS POST is from January 2017.

First of all, I really am not a crazy obsessive Barbie or Mattel collector. (uh oh-2022--NOW, YES I AM!)

I'm a Grandma, who likes to play pretend 
with my granddaughter and a few other little girls. 


Here is the Barbie Victorian house we have been using, that is a bit cramped for all the dolls and activities we have been doing.

My son texted me this from the local GoodWill. I had been whining that I was having a hard time finding a 'toilet' for the Victorian house, expensive, or only available with pieces I didn't need.


My son texted me this from the local GoodWill. He said, "This one, everything works and has a full bathroom, the toilet flushes and has sound-it's $7.99, do you have room for it."


Without the furniture it was a steal, at $7.99. Everything functions, the elevator, a doorbell, a singing barbie/water sound in the shower, flushing toilet, roaring fire in the lighted fireplace, a timer in the kitchen the tick-ticks and rings, and two slots for lighted chandeliers 
which I can order from Mattel at $3.00 each. 

Only drawback was the color scheme of magenta, purple, and that horrid pink.

Last post was the Victorian Barbie house from the same GoodWill, I paid $4.99. 
We have been playing with this one,  but really isn't big enough
 for the 'family' (12) of dolls that are involved in our pretend games, or their wardrobes, 
accessories and pets, which has now grown to two dogs, and a cat. 

(2022 note eventually the HFIM house had 17 residents 3 dogs and lost count of the cats)

The boy dolls had been banished to two shelves on a printer stand, with the dolls wardrobes on top.
(2022 5 guys are in two apartments in the basement)

Almost everything used in the house is vintage, except a kitchen, a bunkbed set, and a tea cart. Everything else was purchased at thrift stores, online- or garage sales, super cheap. 
The rest is hand-made or 'pretend'. Double bunkbeds will be hand-made. 


So, last weekend we had one gorgeous day---
almost 60 degrees, (in January in Chicagoland???) sun, and very little wind. 
Regardless of what else I had planned, I grabbed the opportunity to paint!


1* First I scrubbed the entire mansion down with degreasing kitchen cleaner--with attention to detail.       I used q-tips to get into all the tight places and inside the appliances.

2* Then I wiped ALL down with alcohol, very quickly and---wear gloves for this. 

3*  I spent 3 hours taping up the pillars, electrical connections, the lavender second floor, the clear shower door and the pink shower floor(where the switch mechanism worked by the doll standing on the tile for the sound, the toilet and bedroom/bathroom walls, fireplace small facing bricks(one-is the switch to turn the fireplace on) the sliding up and down large screen tv, and the kitchen appliances. (It has a very nice sink, dishwasher, stove, oven and refrigerator (refrigerator and dishwasher were things on the search-for list.

4* I sprayed light coats with sweeping motions ending past the surface you are painting-this way you aren't double spraying when you move back over a surface, starting with the ceilings first from every possible angle. Wait 10-15 min between coats on a dry day. We had warm sunshine and a very slight breeze.

5* After 3 hours I removed maskings or covered areas, where I could. Then, allow paint to cure for 12-24 hours depending on humidity. Touch up by spraying paint onto a non-porous surface and applying with a brush or que-tip. (still have do this), but I know this works from past projects.

Investment- 2 cans of ivory spray paint at $3.87 each, 1 roll of blue painter's tape- I used maybe $1.00 worth.


The plan is to have this house slide up next to the other one. Sort of an inner city 
add on--mansion. 


So 1/2 can of white gloss on the pink bathroom shower.
Hard to see, but the rafters were all HOT pink, the colors of the floor above. 
Not my favorite color, and certainly not realistic, plus it gave everything a hideous pink glow.
So ivory spray paint on the ceilings. The graphics on the walls are kinda cute, so I covered them all with paper to preserve the graphics.


Here is the fireplace/TV above taped off. The Pink glow---is really mostly from the ceiling. But a second coat of white completely covered it.


Here the is a shot of the downstairs floor and how well the ivory paint covered. LOVE the spray paints for plastic, as Barbie would say---Totally awesome! I use satin, though it doesn't look like it, the satins have a tight finish.


The back side has lots of detail which we will eventually get addressed,
 but for now it is no longer magenta and blends with the Victorian Barbie house.


The elevator was too hard to cover, though I blue taped the pillars and the guide rails.. I was afraid of running out of sun and warmth outside, so the elevator got dusted with some spray. This I removed with que-tips dipped in alcohol. 


The elevator really works well and the grand can operate it. The crank elevator in the old house works, but is difficult for a child to use, so we will be placing a bunk bed right over the elevator space  on the second floor!
On the first floor a rug will cover that space. 


The Barbie family can't wait to move into the remodeled digs, but as it is a project remodel, ya just have to live 'in' the mess.
We are planning on gutting that green bathroom and making a walk-in closet, and adding a 'hot pink' tub to the new bathroom in the Dream house. 
Maybe the green tub can become a hot-tub in the yard, 
Another project will be new floors for the second floor in the Victorian house, 
and the new first floor dining room
 and two new double bunkbeds! 

Lots to do, stay tuned for the painting reveal.

Let's zip forward 5 years.
to 2022 

First thing that comes to mind, is all the painting I did has held up wonderfully. Everything is still working, but the kitchen cupboards still need to be NOT Fuschia  with pink countertops.

*2022 This is so interesting in retrospect I'm no longer designing things for my Grand to play with, but for doll stories and my crazy-insane collection of dolls. For me it is the stories, the building, collecting the miniatures and furnishings. The dolls are acquired for the characters they portray. 

Next Post:
2022 An Empty Townhouse!
I love the photography and editing---yes, I think I am a bit insane, but on a 1/6 scale...LOL.
Now that the houses will be separated I have to address the lighting, which the boys scrape their heads on anyway! 
PS...the houses are being separated because they are worth more in Chicago's inflated housing market as two, and BMR limited bought them to remodel! 

NEW journeys of these two houses are to come! 

Thanks for visiting! 

If you enjoyed this post(s), please join me by email- at 
FOLLOW IT---upper right hand corner.

I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions or products shown, or from where I shop. 


  1. The porch columns on first house are amazing, and I ~love~ the oval window on the top floor of the second house! I know you'll most likely use that 'patio area' on the second house as an extra room, but man, that railing is spectacular! Great prices on both. I look forward to seeing how this all evolves:@)

    1. Ah, thanks, it really is a pretty house...and they made them for like 12 years or so...so there are a lot of different versions! Thanks for visiting!Sandi

  2. As you can see I'm catching up on my Blog reads... I'm always seeing Old Dollhouses at the Chazzas and never thought to remodel them and Create the Magic you do... such an Imagination and Vision you have for them all.

    1. Hey, Dawn! It's a perfect pandemic project...all this though to get lights in...+ new digs, mean new stories and photos. I only have so much room for dioramas, so this will help me zone in on what to move out of here!
      Hugs, you know all about that...lol, Sandi


Thanks so much for each and every comment, and I will try and answer any questions you may have.