Lori and George moved into their ’64 Eichler by Jones and Emmons (part 1) and navigated between Lori’s purist instincts and George’s penchant for new and hassle-free (part 2). Where Lori finally gets entirely free reign, she lets loose her love for collecting atomic toys in a distinctly feminine way.
When people come to visit for the first time, they invariably ask to see a certain bedroom. “A girlfriend of mine had five or six Barbies, so I thought, I can still have Barbies; I don’t care if I’m an adult,” Lori says in explaining the hundreds, or maybe it’s thousands of Barbies and Barbie accessories she’s collected in the past 10 years. Silkstone Barbies, Barbies of the World, vintage Barbies, American Girl vintage repro Barbies, Asian Barbies, Barbie cases, houses, cars, boats, campers, pools and dozens and dozens of cunning little outfits she’s sewn herself.
One favorite piece is the New York Loft, which actually is a Tuesday Taylor dollhouse, but Tuesday seems to be down with having a glamorous, busty roommate. And look at this perfect Barbie Dream Kitchen, Lori says, explaining to this Barbie-clueless visitor that it consists of a table and chairs, washing machine, sink, refrigerator and oven—all in eye-popping pink plastic. She also has pretty groovy Mattel Modern Furniture, but laments with just one bedroom to hold her collection, she’s unable to display the larger things like cardboard ’60s Barbie houses properly.
Unlike some furniture or accessory collectors, Lori doesn’t sell or trade up. “I’d have to need a new kidney to think about selling them,” she laughs.
Outside of the Barbie inner sanctum, there are still some tasks awaiting the couple’s attention. Pool resurfacing and decking and a master bath renovation are in the offing, as are closets. (Lori’s clothes collection has annexed one of the smaller bedrooms off the atrium.)
“You’re never done. You can always find a project,” she says. “We’re here for life—unless we move to New York and find a huge Manhattan loft with floor to ceiling windows. Maybe some day …”