Caribbean Cottage

I found a pair of cute dolls at a craft center in the Bahamas a few years ago and thought about making them a little house. I finally got around to it and just finished and here they are celebrating in their completed home. - Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

I opted to make it a room box that I could display on a shelf. The roof is a representation of a palm thatch roof, and is made from straw whisk brooms. There's an acrylic panel that slides into the front to keep out the dust. The front panel of the roof flips up so I can slide the panel in and out.
In January my husband and I were in Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and our taxi driver remarked that she'd just returned from a trip to Canada. She said many tourists who rode in her taxi wondered why in the heck she went to Canada in the middle of winter. It was cold there with snow! So different from living in the Caribbean she'd say. This is why the little cottage has travel posters to places like New York City and Scandinavia, places the little Bahamian couple would like to visit some day.

The first thing I made for the house was a blue table. Later I decided the table I made was all wrong for the room, so I made another one, same size, slightly different design, different shade of blue.
I also changed my mind at least 3 times about the chairs. In the end I went back to my original choice, only I painted the chairs blue with spray paint.
The red side table is a first for me. It's the first time I decided to make a drawer. Usually my drawers are false fronts, but this time I didn't have a piece of wood the right thickness, so I had to make a working drawer. 

In order to make the bedspread lay more naturally I inserted some heavy duty foil into it. The foil can be molded to shape.
I started to draw out a plan for the bedside cabinet, then I began wondering if I had anything I could use in my stash of broken furniture. I had a damaged wooden Victorian bathroom set with a sink that was almost the exact size of the cabinet I had drawn out, so I heated the sink in my microwave to loosen the glue and I pulled off the backsplash and I pulled out the faucets. Then I spray painted the cabinet and made a new top to cover the sink and I cut about 1/8" off the base to make the cabinet a little shorter. Eventually I decided it had too much blue mass and needed some alterations. I painted the panels the same red as the side table. I had a piece of fabric a similar color red, with a sprigged design and thought something similar would look nice on the panels - but then I decided I hated the effect, so I painted the side panels over in black and thought the contrasting colors didn't look half bad, so I stopped fooling with it.

In the beginning I was thinking of making this a front opening house, but I changed my mind. There's no real front architectural interest in such a simple cottage, a room box would be better. I did like the idea of an open window with louvered shutters, though.
The louvered shutters on the window are made from 1/8" flat strip wood and heavy watercolor paper.


  1. Love this! Your colour choices are perfect for a Caribbean cottage. I'm sure your dolls will be very happy in their new house. :)

  2. The dolls and house are adorable. I loved the whole story to go along with the build.

  3. Hello Grazhina,
    This project is lovely! You got the Caribbean feel and style perfectly.
    Big hug

  4. Fun, festive and beautifully finished, Graz! A perfect place to display these wonderful dolls!

  5. Oh, GREAT job. Loved your creation, especially the roof. Fun, fun, fun. Susan

  6. Hello, Grazhina - This is a great Caribbean cottage. I love the bright colors, the travel posters, and the thatch roof - and the Caribbean dolls are perfect for the cottage! (Or vice versa!)