Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Barbie's Dream House

Today is Barbie's Birthday. She's 51 and looks fabulous :-) How do I know this? I have a Barbie calendar. I'm a Barbie nut. I love Barbie but not just any Barbie....oh no...I just like the retro Barbie's from 1959-1969. And I have started collecting the Silk Stone Barbies. I hope to get a new cabinet after we relocate to put them on display. I'm one out of millions of Barbie fans and collectors across the globe.

But who is Barbie and where did she come from?It all started when American business woman, Ruth Handler, came up with the idea of an adult looking doll after watching her daughter play with paper dolls. After pitching her idea to her husband, Elliot, who was the co-founder of Mattel, she was turned down when he wasn't enthusiastic over it.. Wives, this would be a good story to share with your husband when suggesting an idea, yes? Ha!

It wasn't until 1956 when Mrs. Handler was visiting Germany that she spotted an adult-figured doll called Bild Lilli. She brought back three dolls to the U.S. and gave one to her daughter while the other two were given to Mattel. The Lilli doll was first sold in Germany in 1955, although intended for adults, she became extremely popular among the children. Bild Lilli was actually based on a comic character created by Reinhard Beauthin.

Barbie was born on March 9, 1959 in New York City. Yes, she's a New Yorker and also my favorite Yankee. She was given the name Barbie after Handler's daughter. And Ken was named after her son. And speaking of Ken, he'll be celebrating his 50th Birthday in just two days on Friday. Ken's official Birthday is March 11, 1961. Ken made his debut as the fictional boyfriend of Barbie in a kitchy black and white commercial.

Since it's Wednesday and y'all know how I try to do a post on Historical Home Wednesdays; I decided this would be a great opportunity to post on Barbie's Dream Houses. Not really historical but fun.

Barbie's first house was built in 1960. It was really nothing more than just a small box that could be folded up and easily transported. It instantly became a big hit. However, what woman doesn't love cars, clothing, and real estate? Ha!

This is the Barbie's Dream House that I grew up with. I had one in my bedroom when I was girl. I remember the plastic doors would easily pop off but were not so easy to put back on. My older sister had the 1975 Barbie townhouse but I couldn't locate a picture for this post.

Ok, now here's where things get interesting. You didn't think I would just leave my post on a little plastic house did ya? There's a REAL Barbie's Dream House. It's located in Malibu, California and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Back in 2010, Barbie turned 50 and for her big Birthday bash she needed a fabulous house to host all her friends. Interior designer, Jonathan Adler, was contracted to decorate the 3,500 square-foot beach house.

“I think this really is Barbie’s Malibu Dream House because the setting is so incredibly dreamy and ethereal,” Adler said. “We’re perched on a cliff in Malibu overlooking the ocean. It’s a fantasyland for anyone. It was difficult to find the house to celebrate Barbie’s 50th birthday because it had to be the ultimate Malibu house, and I think we found it.”

This is probably my favorite design of the entire house. Adler used 50 vintage style Barbie's as an accent piece. I absolutely love it. Wouldn't this be fun for a kids room? Perhaps not vintage Barbie but I'm sure you can find a cheaper version at a discount store.

I really love those chairs. They are extremely loud but a lot of fun. I don't think I would decorate my own home to look like this but it's entertaining to scroll through the pictures.

Barbie's closet was filled with over 50 pairs of hot pink peep-toe heels. I would kill to have this type of shoe space in my closet.

Adler decked out Barbie’s bedroom with wall-to-wall pink carpeting and used monogram B's for her bedding.

After the big party in Malibu, Barbie moved over to Las Vegas. You can actually stay in the Barbie suite at the Palms. However, it's very pricey ($3,000 per night). Can you imagine staying in this room? How fun!!!


Ruth said...

I love the real Barbie houses. I never had the house but I had just about everything else. I loved Skipper

midnight macaroons said...

My friend, Stacey, had Skipper. I wanted Skipper but never got one. However, my cousin gave me his Star Wars dolls when he got into high school. Barbie use to have two boyfriends...Ken and Han Solo. Her BFF was Chewbacca.

Bella Michelle said...

Wish I had that shoe space as well! LOL I love the monogrammed bedding, of course!

GamecockQueen said...

I really love her. She's so fab. :-)

Of course, Vegas is my favorite place in the world so I would just die to stay in the Barbie suite.