In a lot of ways, my newest house purchase does not make sense. But in other ways it does. When I first got back into miniatures in 2008, I was completely taken with modern, but also was curious about the history of houses, especially American ones, leading up to the more modern styles. Houses produced by Louis Marx and Company, which manufactured its first metal dolls house in 1949, kept coming up, and I enjoyed looking at the colorful lithos and different structural incarnations--split levels, ranches, colonials. Marx even produced a (now very hard-to-find) skyscraper!

Skyscraper photos courtesy of Barbigirl's website

So, Marx metal houses in many ways were an important avenue into the hobby, but I never purchased a house...until now. While I enjoyed looking at the Marx houses, none of them really appealed to me as an acquisition, until recently, when I came across a 1953 "L" Ranch, a 1/2" scale single level house with great 50s detailing. This house differs from the other Marx houses, in that the children's room style is original to this house. Many Marx houses have similar room designs, but this room was never reproduced in another house. The house originally came with a weather vane and an antenna, but neither of mine survived.

You can see more about this house and other Marx houses at Barbigirl's website.

I have worked with two dimensional settings before, in my 1949 fold away dollhouse and my"instant" doll house from the 1960s, so I decided to give it another try here. I used 1:24 and 1:16 furnishings, and they work for the most part.

Note the neat shelving insert between the kitchen and living room.

Some TOMY kitchen items fit right in!

A Petite Princess chair and ottoman face the fireplace with its funky accents, and an occasional table sits by the window.

Next to the door, a side table is home to a phone...and a cigarette.

A vintage Lundby bed worked here...

The bath has a vintage Strombecker bath and sink, and are paired with a modern Kaleidoscope House toilet!

A Barton side chair and Fisher Price bed in the children's room.

Does anyone play with Marx, too??!

Credits: Sink and stove unit are vintage TOMY; living room chair/ottoman and table are vintage Petite Princess and plant is vintage TOMY; side table by door is vintage Barton; bathroom sink and tub are vintage Strombecker, and toilet is Bozart; bed and stool are vintage Lundby, and basket is Re-ment; child's chair is vintage Barton and bed is vintage Fisher Price. Accessories are AG Minis, IKEA, Petite Princess, and random dolls house store finds.