Modern Doll House

I finished the dollhouse!  At least for now.  I’m sure I’ll never stop making furniture for it.  It’s too much fun.  My son especially loves organizing and arranging the furniture.  The guys in the family are playing with dollhouses and the girls are out riding bicycles.  Nice.


  1. Kylie
    February 1, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Oh I love it! The furniture is so cool... I think Jack must have his dad's sense of design appreciation :) Very nice. K

  2. Tina
    February 1, 2010 at 9:19 am

    This is just gorgeous Joel! I would love to have furnishings like those in my real house!! How wonderful that your children have such a lovely doll house to play with. My girls are envious. Great job!! - Tina.

  3. Ork'Idea Atelier
    February 1, 2010 at 9:26 am

    It's a really great work! Never seen before such a modern design dollhaouse! many compliments,

  4. Rowena
    February 1, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    I love this dollhouse. The simplicity of it, it's so zen. And I'm all for fluid gender roles where there is preference.

    This post rocks.

  5. Joanna Goddard
    February 1, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    this is AMAZING! all your work is fabulous.

  6. sea urchin
    February 1, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    wow! great job you did there. very unique and stylish

  7. PJ
    February 1, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Good stuff! And nothing like natural light for photos--makes it all look that much better.

  8. Golubka
    February 2, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Hands down the best dollhouse I've ever seen!

  9. Karen
    February 2, 2010 at 2:29 am


  10. cheryl cambras
    February 2, 2010 at 7:14 am

    What a beautiful place! So glad I discovered your blog!

  11. PUK
    February 2, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Just found your blog. Looked through all your previous posts. I really like your embroideries. Have you tried to embroider some of your children's drawings? I think that is a great idea too.
    My blog is Danish, but I made a post about embroidering drawings, if you want to have a look:)

  12. erika
    February 2, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Wow, such a great blog and I love the doll house, so many great details!! Found your blog via b-kids!

  13. Julie Hendriks
    February 2, 2010 at 9:59 am

    That's great! :)

  14. Lucille
    February 2, 2010 at 10:13 am

    This is exquisite. What lucky children. I have forwarded a link to your blog to my son Joel.

  15. Passelig dose
    February 2, 2010 at 10:54 am
  16. sal
    February 2, 2010 at 11:10 am

    just found your blog via i'll be visiting. do you have a portuguese background?

  17. amy prior
    February 2, 2010 at 11:34 am

    te he; glad to discover you have finished the house completely (via Lobster and Swan) it is cuterama-
    I just spied you used our fabric for the bedspread as well!- I have to show Carly :-)

  18. Karumen
    February 2, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    this is like a designer's house! you're so talented :D
    greetings from hong kong

  19. Hannah B.
    February 2, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Coolest doll house ever! My Husband will *love* this :)

  20. Christina Studio Designs
    February 2, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    This is *amazing*
    Are you selling them? Seriously, I want to buy!!!

  21. Erika
    February 2, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    This is really gorgeous. I'm happy to have found your blog!

  22. Joel Henriques
    February 2, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Wow, you are all too nice. Thanks so much for the comments. I am planning on opening an Etsy shop soon. Maybe I will make some dollhouse furniture for that.

  23. pink
    February 3, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Oh MAN, this is fabulous. SUPER GREAT. Lucky kids, lucky parents - you've inspired me...

  24. Koey
    February 3, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    This dollhouseis beautiful and I especially like those delicate trees and chairs;] Jack is so lucky.

  25. Malia
    February 3, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Hello fellow Portlander! Your doll house is AMAZING! I've passed your post on to a number of my friends. I can't stop looking at it or talking about it!

  26. journey
    February 3, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Just amazing! Love your work!

  27. danny
    February 3, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    cool site:)

  28. Marisa@make*happy
    February 4, 2010 at 12:24 am all of the above! You should definitely include dollhouse furniture in your etsy shop. Let us know when it opens!

  29. M
    February 4, 2010 at 2:56 am

    love the openess of it all. and wire for furniture, how perfect. i'm going to try something like that.

  30. at Hanna
    February 4, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Absolutley lovely Joel! How nice to have found your blog!
    I will follow it from now on!

  31. Tanya
    February 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    love this doll house! i have been looking for doll houses that are guy friendly (i have a son named jack as well!). Yours is the most fantastic i've seen! love your sewing too! i look forward to seeing more of your posts! pop over and say hello if you have the time!

  32. Meg
    February 4, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    This is absolutely lovely. Thank so much for sharing. I agree with others, I would buy one if it were for sale. I would buy the furniture too. This is a great design because they can get their hands into it better than a reg. dollhouse. Fantastic. So creative.

  33. Joel Henriques
    February 4, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks. With twins I really wanted it to be approachable from all angles, so there wouldn't be any arguments. It works really well.

    And my Etsy shop is on the way. I plan to sell furniture packs, and maybe an occasional doll house (among other things). Hopefully in two weeks or less. I'll definitely let everyone know.

  34. Geraldine
    February 4, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Hermoso trabajo!
    Me encantó el blog y fantástico que un papá incursione en el mundo craft!

  35. Sarah
    February 4, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    It looks like such a calming place to live!

  36. sarah
    February 6, 2010 at 5:43 am

    such a fine little house, and lovely furnishings! i look forward to seeing the etsy shop.
    hope it's okay that i've grabbed a few images for my blog...

  37. Hercules Y. Baterna B5-5
    February 6, 2010 at 11:02 am

    how cute, isn't it?

  38. Jenny
    February 6, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    This is the best thing I've ever seen.

  39. sally
    February 10, 2010 at 4:05 am

    Amazing dollhouse!

  40. Lollipop
    February 12, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    ab' fab' !

  41. neomig
    February 17, 2010 at 4:21 am

    Dear Joel '
    Your work is so simple and cool .Kids and imaginative enough edults dont need more. In my lost childhood dollhouse I had a veranda and a long chair like that- since I plan on doing my own stuff as well , I'll try to revive that chair.
    I promise to post you!

  42. minimodernistas
    February 18, 2010 at 7:09 am

    What a great house & blog...keep it up, please!!

  43. smith
    February 19, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Beautiful, very beautiful decorated doll house. The accessories furnished the house beautifully, With theses things we can say its a complete finished dollhouses.

  44. Tagan Engel
    February 24, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Your blog and creations are fabulous! It is really wonderful to see a blog on creations of this quality and family/kid oriented from a man. You make really beautiful things and present them so nicely on your blog. i recently started blogging at still working on finding time to blog as much as I'd like to.

  45. Kami
    March 14, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    You have inspired me to press on with my own modern dollhouse: Haven't worked on it for awhile, but now I'm super inspired. Thank you, love your blog. Great ideas!

  46. Melissa de la Fuente
    April 12, 2010 at 8:53 pm have got to be one of the coolest dad's ever! I am so glad I found your site via Holly over at decor8. It is so much fun & so inspiring. This doll house is perfection(trust me, when I was little I spent ALL of my time playing with mine). Your kids are so lucky to have you for a dad!

  47. moetjatja
    April 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    dear Joel, I posted a picture from this post on my blog, just wanted to let you know! I love the homemade furniture. groetjes Hinke

  48. Nadia
    May 22, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I love this idea!

  49. millyandme
    June 2, 2010 at 5:01 am

    i love, love, love this! very very cool and so well made - an architectural inspiration.. hehehe
    well done.. i blogged about you today - love your stuff..

  50. Kendra
    June 17, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    I JUST finished my own copy cat dollhouse which I already love! I just posted a pic on my blog :)

  51. Joel Henriques
    June 18, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Thanks so much everybody!

    Kendra - Your house looks great!! Nice work!

  52. Helen
    June 20, 2010 at 4:02 am

    Your creativity is inspiring and so simple in its execution but designed so thoughtfully! I love the aquarium box thing and I'm going to have to try one day for my son.

    Regarding your dollhouse - what type of wood did you use? and how did you assemble the pieces? glue? nails?

    thanks for sharing your work with us,

  53. Joel Henriques
    June 20, 2010 at 4:10 am

    Thanks Helen - I used poplar wood and finishing nails. This dollhouse will actually be in my toy making book with full instructions and illustrations for how to make it. You'll have to wait until fall 2011 for that though.

  54. Helen
    June 21, 2010 at 5:06 am

    I cant wait till 2011! I have a few ideas and will be creating some kind of modern doll house for me.. er, my son, very soon.

  55. medical cardiology
    June 29, 2010 at 5:36 am

    his is like a designer's house! you're so talented :D
    greetings from hong kong

  56. Polly
    September 24, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    This looks great. It looks like it's a lot easier to build than the typical cutesy doll house. I also love all those wire furnishings. Brilliant!

  57. Meg
    April 15, 2011 at 6:43 am

    I've just spent the last hour looking over your blog. I'm amazed... seriously! What an incredible talent you have! I can not wait to try some of these fun things with my son. My poor kid has a mom who for most of his life has been battling cancer or working full time so that I can have health insurance to keep up with the whole "cancer" thing... and my son has spent more time than I care to admit watching TV while mom was sick. Sometimes I find it hard to make our time together really meaningful. I feel like I've found the answer I've been looking for to make life fun for me and my son again. Thank you so much. I really sincerely mean that.


  58. Joel Henriques
    April 15, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Meg - Thanks for the very kind comment. It really means a lot to me to be able to help, even in very simple ways. I'm so glad you found my blog!

  59. July 11, 2011 at 10:21 am

    ok, one more comment and I have to get back to work... this is the most stylish dollhouse i've seen in ages. I have seen some modern doll houses online, but they range in the 300 to 500 dollar range. This is great!

  60. July 13, 2011 at 11:55 am

    [...] my book, there are also instructions for how to make my larger modern dollhouse, along with all of the furniture. Only three months to go! I’m getting [...]

  61. July 13, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    are there already people living inside that cool space or is it yet more architectural playground for your boy..? i feel like instantly starting to also do some furniture for doll houses though there is no such around. looks so pretty!

  62. July 19, 2011 at 9:59 am

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  63. m
    July 30, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    So cool! Right: add bookmark ... my third from your Website and that is just today!

  64. September 10, 2011 at 8:56 am

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  65. September 20, 2011 at 2:19 am

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  67. September 28, 2011 at 3:16 pm

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  68. September 29, 2011 at 7:52 am

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  69. October 7, 2011 at 3:21 am

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  70. October 21, 2011 at 5:28 am

    [...] Puppenhäuser scheinen die Welt rund ums Kind derzeit zu bewegen. Ich treffe gerade gehäuft Erwachsene die sich mit dem Hausbau für den Nachwuchs beschäftigen. Die Advents- und Bastelzeit naht! Ich nehme mich nicht aus und zeige Euch mein Lieblingsmodel von madebyjoel: [...]

  71. December 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm

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  73. January 7, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    [...] around the house). Most of our inspiration was from MadebyJoel – I’ve lusted after his doll houses forever – it was enough to make me want to learn woodworking! Instead we had a bit of glue [...]

  74. January 7, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Hi Joel, I have lusted after this doll house ever since it was blogged about. I considered taking up woodworking so that I could make it - even looked at purchasing a jigsaw ;) In the end we have a prefab house with all our inspiration for furniture coming from you. Here is my blog post with photos and linking back to your gorgeous original Cheers Sam

    1. January 9, 2012 at 9:46 am

      Wow Samantha, it looks fantastic! Very well done. I want to play with that too!

  75. January 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm

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  78. May 18, 2012 at 8:44 am

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  79. Amanda
    June 22, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    This is sparking my imagination. I'm imagining a little block of wood for a stove, with nickel and dime burners.

    1. June 25, 2012 at 8:19 pm

      Great idea! That actually gives me ideas. I've been thinking the last couple days now about making a little kitchen play set with bent wire pots and stuff. I think the kids would love it. Good thinking Amanda!

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  82. Esme
    March 10, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Joel! I really like the doll house you made! And I'm wondering how do you make the chair? Do you have any techniques for doing it?

    1. March 13, 2013 at 9:16 pm

      Thanks Esme. The chairs are fun to make! I actually have instructions for how to do it in my book, Made to Play. You can check it out at the library if you want, or look at it in a book store.

  83. March 17, 2013 at 12:26 am

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