By Molly Denver
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had a fascination with dollhouses. My dad built one for my sister and I which I recall being yellow, with graffiti that I personally contributed. The dolls didn’t matter to me, just the house itself.
Dad built all the furniture and helped me build some, showing me how to attach tiny working hinges and sand down the surfaces after applying the stain to give it the appearance of being time-worn.
This is similar to a desk I made with my Dad
Danish Legoland outbid Ron, so he commissioned Irish master craftsmen to build and furnish another palace, and Tara’s Palace was born. Slowly. It took 20 years. Tara’s Palace was modelled on three great 18th Century mansions; Castletown House, Leinster House and Carton House.
Every room is a masterpiece from the sculptural ceilings, hand-painted wallpaper, and furniture with working hinges and keys that actually fit and turn in each of the tiny locks. Among the furniture is a collection of carvings made by Napoleonic prisoners of war, carved from bone pieces they kept from their scarce rations.
Detailed table in Tara's Palace
Miniature book in Tara's Palace
Tiny violin in Tara's Palace
When I think of the detail we put into houses we design, I cannot help but marvel at the craftsmanship it takes at 1/12th the size.
Nowadays, whenever I create a model of a home I’m working on, I am reminded of that original dollhouse and the dollhouses my Dad continues to make for his grandchildren. I hope that my nieces and nephew feel the wonder I felt back when my Dad gave my sister and I that first dollhouse.