Modern Dollhouses Provide Panache

Doll House
The modern dollhouse was inspired in part by the architecture of Oscar Niemeyer. Courtesy of 3 Star Studio

An artist based in Philadelphia and her husband are turning out charming mid-century modern dollhouses that work well as both toys and objects d’art.

“I've been trying to figure out where and when I realized that mid-century design was the most fabulous style ever,” says Krista Peel Starer, “and all I can deduce is that it's been like mining for gold. Over the years, I've put many design styles and ideas into my tin, and the one that always shows up as the most beautiful for my eye is mid-century theme.”

“Let me start by mentioning that the dollhouses and 3 Star Studio are a collaboration between me and my husband, Zak,” Peel adds. “I'm the art director and he's the builder and fabricator. We talk through design ideas and try out many versions before producing a finished piece.”

Together they are raising the third star in their company’s name, their daughter Luna Ruby.

Quite a livable room, were it a little larger.

“We love working in miniatures, the materials are modest, the audience is wide, and ideas are quickly translated, although you need to have some imagination to activate these small spaces. But I think it's very rewarding for anyone who loves to look into another world for a moment.”

The dollhouses are made of birch plywood. “We are dedicated to re-using, recycling and mindfully sourced materials,” 3 Star states.

Peel, born in Michigan and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming, has a BFA from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. She also draws, paints, makes jewelry and collages, and more.

“I became truly interested in making artwork when I was 14 when I realized that art was a way to really look at the world around me,” Krista says. “I could ‘really look’ at the rocks and the trees and the colors in the sky and begin to see how it all relates. I have always found the world awesome. Artwork is a way of spending time being inspired by the world.”

“I'm happy to say that I spend time everyday making artwork.”

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