What happens when the brightest stars in shelter media, women and men whose job it is to separate spectacular homes from the simply ridiculously beautiful homes, are presented with that Lilliputian wonder we call a dollhouse? That's exactly what Curbed's Operation Dollhouse is endeavoring to find out. Right this second, dapper designer James Andrew of What Is James Wearing is delivering dollhouses to Vanessa Holden of Martha Stewart Living, Margaret Russell of Architectural Digest, Michael Boodro of Elle Decor, Newell Turner of House Beautiful, Michelle Adams of Lonny and Sam Grawe of Dwell. Their task? Revamp, renovate, decorate or demo! The dollhouse is theirs to keep, all that we ask is that they photograph the results. And because this bunch does nothing without a deadline, here it is: 12 noon on Friday, Oct. 1. We'll begin publishing the results Oct. 5. We hope everyone will want to play!
The houses aren't arriving empty, by the way—each has a magazine-specific dowry of goods and accessories, vignettes of which were shot by photographer Michael Grimm, whose images of full-sized houses have appeared in several of the chosen mags.
For Dwell, the sole shelter magazine in greenmarket capital San Francisco, that means a crateful of organic veggies, a couple of cutting boards and a decrepit refrigerator (above)—the kind of thing you'd find in a midcentury ranch before you rehab it with ipe and glass. Will they toss it? Recycle it? We'll find out!
Martha Stewart's bundle includes copper plots— just like at her Turkey Hill home; place settings for 75 or so, and a sewing basket.
Since the House Beautiful"All About Blue" cover is a finalist in the American Society of Magazine Editors Best Cover contest, Newell Turner gets a trove of blue accessories and housewares for his beloved pug, Bertha.
Architectural Digest, the preferred publishing venue for celebrity homes, had been until recently, a cheerleader for all-things-gilt. That'll change now that Margaret Russell's at the helm, but she's nonetheless inheriting gilded brackets, tassel-trimmed velvet pillows and, of course, a heaping pile of tabloids. Would you believe they don't make miniature peonies? Sorry, Margaret, we tried.
Girlie is a word that come to mind when one thinks of Lonny, the online magazine founded by former Domino staffer Michelle Adams last fall. The wunderkind's kit includes house slippers, a perfume bottle, party favors leftovers from some glamorous, girl-tastic birthday party and—of course—the international sign for "blogger," a laptop.
Elle Decor fancies itself the most fashion-y of the shelter books, so the care package en route to Michael Boodro includes a mobile atelier: a dress form, scissors, measuring tape and a decorative hat box. Trend Alert: Miniature Things!
Will Martha's interns pull all-nighters building furniture by hand? Will Dwell saw the roof off (so trad!) and install a geothermal heating and cooling system? Will this wee house sustain the weight of Arch Digest's glittering chandeliers? Stay tuned!