Kate worked on this particular dollhouse from about 1975-1985. Original design and construction of the physical structure was by Nancy Spak. A desire for brighter lighting found the house in the hands of Gary Sinclair. Sinclair reconstructed the entire house, added 8 rooms and a 12-volt electrical system with 86 lights to brighten the house in 1977. Later, outlets in the main rooms were the last piece of infrastructure added, by Jonathan King, to the electrical system. This dollhouse is an investment of time, patience and skill on Kate’s part. She stitched the petit-point rugs, made curtains out of handkerchiefs, made light fixtures out of salt cellars, and so much more.
Kate Stewart Aitken, Doctor and Designer
Dr. Aitken was born in Kentucky, grew up in Florida, studied at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and spent time on the staff of University Hospitals in Madison. She spent 20 years as a staff physician at the Northern Wisconsin Center for the Developmentally Disabled in Chippewa Falls. After retiring in 1976, Dr. Aitken began a long love affair with interior design of miniature homes.
It probably started, before she retired, with the purchase of miniatures as gifts for her sister. Kate never built the kits she bought according to what was included in the kits. She found different fabric or used something more to her liking for the drawer pulls. Everything had to be unique in some way.
“It gets into your system,” she declared. “Everywhere you go, you are looking, looking, looking for items.” - Kate Aitken, HOME magazine 9/9/1979
As an interior designer Kate did not limit herself to a single time period. Rather, she preferred what she called “the motley look” or “a feast for the eyes.”