American dolls houses are wonderful. Because they are viewed from the back, the front can be intricate and feature all sorts of things that are very difficult to incorporate into a front-opening house. BUT the huge disadvantage to this system is that the backs are usually left open.
Yikes! What about dust? Spiders? Or even worse….cats? This was clearly a problem I needed to solve when building Goose Cove. So before I did anything else, I had to find a way of closing up the whole house to protect it when it is not being viewed or worked on.
Hours and hours of work went into various prototypes and ideas. Sheets of acetate, cloth screens, you name it – I considered it. But I came to the conclusion that the only thing that would truly satisfy me, in terms of protection of the contents and aesthetics, would be to build a back wall and roof. Great idea. Yes. But then I had to come up with a design that would allow the back to be removed easily without damaging anything.
Hinging a door was out of the question for two reasons. Firstly I would have had to fortify the walls to take the strain of hinges holding a weighty back wall. Secondly the roof configuration meant this wall would not open without having to leave a significant gap in it to ‘clear’ the eaves.
Instead, this is what I came up with. It is a two-part structure. This shows the house with and without the back wall/roof in place.
Both the roof and wall are held in place by magnets and gravity. The magnets are visible but I think it is a small price to pay for protection and peace of mind.
This shows the bottom wall on its own
And this the roof. Although they are they are designed to work together it is useful to be able to lift off one section on its own if needed.
To make the back wall more attractive, I added two downstairs windows. They are not exactly the same as the ones on the side or front but in the same style. I wanted to try to use the supplies I already had rather than buy anything new. I think they blend well.
As they say in scientific circles, this is an ‘elegant solution’, or at least I think so! It is simple, it looks good and it works. I am really pleased with the result and the effort was well worth it.