This is not your child’s kind of dollhouse

Mother and daughter, Rae Edmunds and Lonna Abbott, have been building dollhouses together for many years and are currently working on a replica of Edmunds's childhood home on Mountain Road. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Mother and daughter, Rae Edmunds and Lonna Abbott, have been building dollhouses together for many years and are currently working on a replica of Edmunds's childhood home on Mountain Road. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Mother and daughter, Rae Edmunds and Lonna Abbott, have been building dollhouses together for many years and are currently working on a replica of Edmunds's childhood home on Mountain Road. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Mother and daughter, Rae Edmunds and Lonna Abbott, have been building dollhouses together for many years and are currently working on a replica of Edmunds's childhood home on Mountain Road. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Mother and daughter, Rae Edmunds and Lonna Abbott, have been building dollhouses together for many years and are currently working on a replica of Edmunds's childhood home on Mountain Road. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Mother and daughter, Rae Edmunds and Lonna Abbott, have been building dollhouses together for many years and are currently working on a replica of Edmunds's childhood home on Mountain Road. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Mother and daughter, Rae Edmunds and Lonna Abbott, have been building dollhouses together for many years and are currently working on a replica of Edmunds's childhood home on Mountain Road. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Mother and daughter, Rae Edmunds and Lonna Abbott, have been building dollhouses together for many years and are currently working on a replica of Edmunds's childhood home on Mountain Road. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Mother and daughter, Rae Edmunds and Lonna Abbott, have been building dollhouses together for many years and are currently working on a replica of Edmunds's childhood home on Mountain Road. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Mother and daughter, Rae Edmunds and Lonna Abbott, have been building dollhouses together for many years and are currently working on a replica of Edmunds's childhood home on Mountain Road. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Mother and daughter, Rae Edmunds and Lonna Abbott, have been building dollhouses together for many years and are currently working on a replica of Edmunds's childhood home on Mountain Road. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Mother and daughter, Rae Edmunds and Lonna Abbott, have been building dollhouses together for many years and are currently working on a replica of Edmunds's childhood home on Mountain Road. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Mother and daughter, Rae Edmunds and Lonna Abbott, have been building dollhouses together for many years and are currently working on a replica of Edmunds's childhood home on Mountain Road. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Mother and daughter, Rae Edmunds and Lonna Abbott, have been building dollhouses together for many years and are currently working on a replica of Edmunds's childhood home on Mountain Road. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Mother and daughter, Rae Edmunds and Lonna Abbott, have been building dollhouses together for many years and are currently working on a replica of Edmunds's childhood home on Mountain Road. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Mother and daughter, Rae Edmunds and Lonna Abbott, have been building dollhouses together for many years and are currently working on a replica of Edmunds's childhood home on Mountain Road. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Mother and daughter, Rae Edmunds and Lonna Abbott, have been building dollhouses together for many years and are currently working on a replica of Edmunds's childhood home on Mountain Road. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Mother and daughter, Rae Edmunds and Lonna Abbott, have been building dollhouses together for many years and are currently working on a replica of Edmunds's childhood home on Mountain Road. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff

Like most homes, the one Rae Edmunds and her daughter Lonna Abbott are building is constantly changing.

They like to make little tweaks here and there, in order to get each room just right.

But this isn’t a house that the mother-daughter duo will be living in, selling or renting out. That’s because it’s a dollhouse – a replica of Edmunds’s childhood home on Mountain Road to be exact.

They began building it in September, and got the roof on just before Christmas.

“We saw it online and I said ‘that’s a lot like gram’s house,’ ” Abbott said.

And in need of a new project, they decided to tackle one of Edmunds’s longstanding ideas for yet another house.

While most think of dollhouses as something built for a young child to play with, this one is more of a showpiece – like most of the ones they build.

Now we never went to Edmunds’s childhood home, but from what we were told, this is going to look just like it, down to the very last detail.

It all started with a kit, but from there it’s all about customization.

They made replica lamps of George and Martha Washington out of figurines for an upstairs bedroom, and a ginger jar version for the living/dining room. There’s the safe that Edmunds always wondered what was in it. A swinging door – like the one that separated the kitchen and dining room – was added, as were the interior doors that Edmunds opened and closed as a youngster.

“We’re constantly thinking about things we can improve on and make more authentic,” Abbott said.

The red and white checkered kitchen floor is identical to the actual house, as is the wallpaper. It even has wired electricity.

“The things you can get for a dollhouse are endless,” Abbott said.

The stairs are complete with rug hooked coverings like the ones Edmunds’s mother made, while her actual rug hooker is featured in an upstairs bedroom.

“This is all from memory,” Edmunds said.

They even made the bed spreads and pillows to match, along with the fold out ironing board.

“We come up with a lot of the ideas and do them together,” Abbott said.

It’s safe to say, if it was in that house, Edmunds and Abbott have a plan to replicate it.

“We’re remodeling all the time,” Abbott said.

The house still needs shakes on the roof and some exterior painting, but it’s getting close to being a finished product – even if it’s never really done. They even have plans to match the crown molding.

But there’s one thing that’s missing.

“People who knew my grandmother’s house are asking about the porch,” Abbott said.

And yes, there are plans to add that too.

“You’re never really done,” Edmunds said.

A lot of the furniture can be found on websites like Amazon, eBay and miniatures.com. There’s also a really good store for this kind of hobby in Amherst, Earth & Tree Dollhouses and Miniatures.

“If you dig deep enough, you can find replicas,” Abbott said.

But if they can’t find something online or perusing a shelf, they just make it using a little bit of planning and ingenuity.

And in case you’re wondering, this isn’t the first doll house this mother and daughter have put together – not even close.

They’ve built others that were donated to auctions at Bishop Brady (where Abbott works) and East Congregational Church (where Edmunds worships).

Then there’s the one that hangs on the wall of Edmunds apartment.

It’s a massive 14 room mansion that was all decked out for Christmas.

Each room has been decorated to represent a different member of the extended family.

There’s the music room for Edmunds’s late husband, Bob. The grandfather clock in the room was made using his watch face and a necklace he gave his wife.

Reflections by Rae, the Concord beauty shop owned by Edmunds, is in there – as is the cupcake shop Abbott and a friend always dreamed of opening.

Abbott’s husband got the garage he always wanted, while Edmunds’s living room is exactly the same, down to the vibrant green couch, her wedding picture on the wall (which was put on a computer and shrunk down), her husband’s military flag display – and the dollhouse pocket book Bob made.

That house took about six months to build and has been a work in progress ever since. It even has a camper to represent Abbott’s daughter, and a pool.

The hobby started with Edmunds and her husband, and the duo built a replica of East Church, which was donated to the church and is currently on display there.

“I woke up one night and said ‘we’re going to build the church,’ ” Edmunds said. “And it just took off from there.”

And while there are no plans for another build once they’re done with Edmunds’s childhood home, they’re going to need something to do with those few nights a week dedicated to their hobby.

“I’d imagine we’re not done,” Edmunds said. “We’ll think something up.”

Author: Tim Goodwin

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