Furnishing a Barbie sized dollhouse does not require a small fortune if you are patient and willing to do a little leg work. I have found the most incredible and unique furnishings and accessories from a variety of resale shops and big box stores. Now don't automatically head to the toy aisle for these treasures. Instead take a little jaunt to the home decor aisle and you'll be amazed at what you can find. You may have to think outside the box a bit for some items but if you do it enough, I promise, you'll start to look at everything in 1:6 scale. Some items will be great as is and will require only a cleaning or repainting. Other items I use as a jumping off point to transform into something more suitable.
One of my favorite pieces to use in a Barbie room are candle holders. They are so versatile. Sometimes on their own they can make a fantastic little table. I look for ornate pieces that resemble table legs then pair them with a decorative coaster for a top.
Here's an some example of a table transformation:
Originally brass this lion head piece received a coat of silver spray paint. Super glued an ornately carved real silver coaster from a thrift store, to the top and voila.
This one isn't a candle holder but a toothbrush holder. Cut a piece of basswood to fit the top and faux finished to match the base.
Fabric stores are another great place to shop for Barbie sized furniture. In recent years I have picked up several collectible pin cushion chairs which are perfect for my dollhouse. The fabric selection varies from year to year and if not available in your local store you can always check eBay.
Around the holidays manufacturers put together great little bath or candle themed gift sets that revolve around a novelty item. I have found some great Barbie sized bathtubs filled with bottles of bath oil, soaps, and lotions. Some are ceramic-others plastic but the size is much better for Barbie to actually sit in then the ones sold by Mattel.
I painted the legs gold with a paint pen. The faucet piece is from an actual Barbie bathtub. Towel bar is made from wooden bamboo skewers embellished with beads and spray painted to match.
Don't forget the picture frame aisle. A recent trend in decorating has also provided some trendy mini furnishings. Decorative chests, dressers and chair frames are popping up everywhere.
Ok..I have MANY more ideas but will save them for a future post.