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Review of Kate’s Cottage by Dolls House and Miniature Scene

December 4th, 2009

Our dolls’ house kits are regularly reviewed by the hobby’s leading publications. The following review of Kate’s Cottage by Sally Williams is taken from Dolls House and Miniature Scene, July 1999. Kate’s Cottage has since been replaced but we have many new and exciting childrens dolls’ houses available.

Kate's CottageThe excited anticipation with which I receive and then open large parcels from dolls’ house makers has diminished not one jot since the very first one arrived many years ago. Thank heavens my expectations have never been dashed and sometimes they are more than fulfilled – last month saw one of those occasions as I staggered indoors carrying two packages from The Dolls House Emporium. I had no idea at all what was in store for me but I knew that the kits from them that I had done in the past were excellent, easy to make, strong and beautiful.

The large, flat box contained all sorts of precision cut pieces of MDF and sported a very pretty picture showing the house with its garden, a woman, a little girl and a description of the inhabitants. In the second, more compact box, I found superbly clear diagrams and instructions (including a detailed list of the contents of both boxes), sets of cut, stained wood strips (and other wooden objects) in numbered bags and any metal work needed to complete the delightful 2-roomed thatched house.

Kate's CottageMore or less every stage of the construction is numbered and illustrated, even to the extent of showing which tools you will need and which parts should be painted before you start – yes, it really does pay to read the instructions before you even think about beginning! Tips on gluing, painting, wallpapering, drilling and doing a dry assembly run are all very helpful. Having said that, my personal preference for painting dolls’ houses is a paint pad – unless you want a rough surface in which case I use a brush – and I think that in future I shall make rough cast walls in the same clever way that it is suggested for making a thatch. I won’t tell you their secret, you’ll have to make Kate’s Cottage, but I will tell you that you will need powder Polyfilla and not readymix.

Kate's CottageThrough stupidity and not having done a full dry assembly, I had to unstick and replace the side walls as I had not put them flush to the front opening. I also realised, too late, that I should have had the roof in place when I glued on the gable beams. Having got that slightly wrong I then made the biggest mistake yet – my roof was looking wonderful BUT in making the thatch and leaving it to dry properly, I had stuck it all so securely together that I could not get into the upstairs room. Fortunately, a little wiggling and jiggling soon fixed that and I could peep in and admire the narrow winding stairs climbing up behind the chimney breast.

Kate's CottageThe total construction time is brief although, obviously, you have to wait between stages to make sure that the strong PVA glue they give you has set. The brick paper is very attractive, easy to apply, and certainly sets off the beams to good effect. The two sizeable rooms (11½ x 14 inches) would look gorgeous decorated with one of The Dolls House Emporium’s extensive collection of wallpapers. There is a large base board intended for creating a cottage garden and you will find everything you need to “plant” one in The Dolls House Emporium catalogue.

Kate’s Cottage would be a great beginner’s kit, or a nice complement to a “Big House” – it is sturdy enough for a child to play with (and to help make), while still being elegant enough for an adult to be inspired by.

Kate's CottageThe total construction time is brief although, obviously, you have to wait between stages to make sure that the strong PVA glue they give you has set. The brick paper is very attractive, easy to apply, and certainly sets off the beams to good effect. The two sizeable rooms (11½ x 14 inches) would look gorgeous decorated with one of The Dolls House Emporium’s extensive collection of wallpapers. There is a large base board intended for creating a cottage garden and you will find everything you need to “plant” one in The Dolls House Emporium catalogue.

Kate’s Cottage would be a great beginner’s kit, or a nice complement to a “Big House” – it is sturdy enough for a child to play with (and to help make), while still being elegant enough for an adult to be inspired by.

Visit the main website to view the full range of childrens dolls’ houses »

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