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Tiny Tin Dollhouses: A Retro Nursery Accessory

Back in the 1950s, the average home size was under 1000 square feet. Since then, homes have more than doubled in size with the average new American family home being above 2,300 square feet. Is bigger always better?

This illustration from the National Plan Service, courtesy of Indiana Coal and Lumber company, portrays an idyllic version of what was considered the American dream home in the 1950s. This depiction is charming and lovely!

While visiting a vintage store, I happened upon an item that I have become obsessed with looking at and admiring. This is what I share with you in this post—a piece of that perfect American dream: the tin dollhouse.

Above we see the original packaging for a mid-century metal dollhouse; they came complete with wall treatments and unbreakable plastic furniture! First made popular in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, these dollhouses are currently easy to find on eBay and range in price from $25-$450. Most I’ve seen are in the $30-$70 range. Wouldn’t they make the perfect addition to a nursery?

This white, center entrance dollhouse features cherry red shutters and flowering shrubs—so charming!

This dollhouse’s emerald green accents are so pretty and crisp. I would love to see one of these as a nursery accessory on top of an armoire or dresser!

This quaint ranch-style dollhouse with its “moss-weathered” green roof comes complete with a sharp blue carport! Now, that is deluxe! Imagine pulling your wood-paneled, chrome-trimmed station wagon into that.

Looking at these tiny interiors is akin to looking into a magical little world, sort of like a snow globe. The detail is rich and layered. This bedroom looks cute and cozy with its mantle, wall art, floral drapes and oval area rug.

This child’s room is so cute! I love the animal wall murals and the accent wall of pink stripes. I also spy toys in the shelves. Details! Details! Details! I can get DOWN with a good detail.

I am definitely a modern man. Heck, my movies stream instantly to my flat-screen TV. I have an iPhone, an iPad, and my ice cream is usually soy-based. However, there is a part of me that loves and longs for some of the presumed innocence of the nostalgic ’50s and ’60s. This perfection is alive and attainable in these little tin houses. Would you add one to your nursery design? Snatch one up before this retro real estate is sold to the highest bidder!


Sunday 30th of March 2014

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Dee Buzgierski

Monday 30th of September 2013

Believe it or not I still have my dollhouse with Emerald Green Accents with some of it's furniture. I got it one year for Christmas when I was about 5 or 6 years old. It's nice to see it on here. I'm so glad I still have mine even though it has some rust but never the less I still have it! :)

Oh HoneyHoney

Sunday 3rd of March 2013

My brothers used to mess with me when i was a little girl.. so the first time i saw my metal house the first thing i said in my mind was--Woow now they wont botherme more..They saw this thing on their heads ..But then..They didn't want to play with me anymore..So this doll house is now in a cold corner of my mom's closet in her home.

Sam Simon

Monday 9th of July 2012


Martinique thats a funny story! Children not playing with certain items certainly is a challenge. I guess its really based on the situation and item. When I was a kid my mom had many "just for looking at" items, and in a way it taught me restraint and respect. Not everything is for touching. However - these Tin Dollhouses were originally made as toys. They were also made in the 50's when safety standards were very different then they are today....hence why I wouldn't recommend kids using these as toys. THanks for the comment! Keep 'em comin! xoxoxsamsimon


Saturday 7th of July 2012

I don't think that you could expect your kids to have something this beautiful and not play with it. Case in point, my 8 year old said that she won't open her Monster High doll that she got for her birthday because she's old enough, instead she said that she'd just display it. It took her a day before she broke that promise and we just saw her combing its hair :)