Solve Thirty Year Old Problems In One Day

By accessing your artistic side

I spent last night with a paintbrush glued to my hand. Literally, I had wood glue all over my hands.

Why was I doing this? Was I moving into a new home? Dealing with an emergency repair? No and no. I was renovating my eight year old daughter’s vintage dollhouse.

I have to admit, getting this dollhouse has been like being a kid again. I can’t tell who is more excited as we unpack each tiny household item, me or my daughter. We made lists of food to buy, arranged and reaarranged furniture. Invited neighbors who own dollhouses to play and show us what the tiny cushions were for — they turned out to be kitchen seats (who knew?)

This is not the first time I have owned a dollhouse. When I was very young, I shared one with several people. I remember visiting a Manhattan store stocked with tiny furniture and gazing longingly at exquisite, expensive items. I never felt quite at ease playing with that dollhouse — it felt too much like visiting a museum.

This time around, I want my daughters to have complete ownership of their dollhouse. I have not rearranged a single piece of furniture — it turns out my eight year old is much MUCH better at interior design than I am. But one area where I can add value? Lighting.

It turns out that there have been ZERO advancements in the dollhouse lighting industry over the last thirty years. When I googled “how to wire your dollhouse” I found lengthy and complicated tutorials that entail wiring the house just like in a real house. My desire to have to figure out where to place outlets and conceal wiring? ZERO.

This is the point where most people give up. But something rose up in me and REBELLED. Surely, SOMEWHERE in the last thirty years there have been technological advances that make it possible to hit a switch and illuminate an entire dollhouse. The lighting needed to be unobtrusive, safe for small children, durable and inexpensive. I headed to Amazon.

And what did I find? Mini LED lights. After I finished painting the dollhouse — yes, I could barely wait for the paint to dry — I taped the lights along the perimeter using white duct tape. 18 hours later, the lights are an unqualified success. After being on nonstop for 6+ hours, they remained cool to the touch and held up to hours of play from three small children. And the best part? They have interchangeable AC and battery adapters so I have the option to plug the house into a wall outlet or take it on the road.

When you unleash your inner creativity, you can find solutions to problems that have plagued you for decades.