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June 27, 2010

The Modern Family zone has more to occupy mini modernists than a Dwell parent could ask for. One of our favorites was Brinca Dada's Emerson House dollhouse. Designed as a toy adults like to look at and kids like to play with, the house caught the eyes of tikes and parents alike. Dwell associate editor Miyoko Ohtake chatted with the new company's cofounder and CEO Douglas Rollins about its debut product.

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Emerson House by <a href="http://www.brincadada.com/">Brinca Dada</a> is a teeny two-story modernist dream house with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, mitered glass corners and real, working solar panels powering the lights throughout. It is the brainchild
Emerson House by Brinca Dada is a teeny two-story modernist dream house with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, mitered glass corners and real, working solar panels powering the lights throughout. It is the brainchild of cofounders Douglas Rollins (a former Toys R’ Us buyer) and Tim Boyle, who named the house for the street he once lived on. The nontoxic dollhouse opens completely, like the classic Fisher-Price yellow playhouse, and closes back up nice and tidy. Come Fall, a whole houseful of little furniture, from a Philippe Starck–like tub, tiny modern chaises and mini minimalist beds, will also be available.
Photo by 
Originally appeared in The Modern Family Zone
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dod2010 modern family brinca dada portrait

What were you doing before launching Brinca Dada?
I was a toy buyer for ToysRUs.com and was buying a lot of ugly toys. I realized there's a market for modern toys.
Why did you decide to start with a dollhouse?
It was a good start because there's already a modern aesthetic and style. I went to Tim [Byle, Brinca Dada co-founder and design principal], who's an architect, and asked if an architect would design a dollhouse. He got on board and we created the Emerson House.

Emerson House by <a href="http://www.brincadada.com/">Brinca Dada</a> is a teeny two-story modernist dream house with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, mitered glass corners and real, working solar panels powering the lights throughout. It is the brainchild
Emerson House by Brinca Dada is a teeny two-story modernist dream house with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, mitered glass corners and real, working solar panels powering the lights throughout. It is the brainchild of cofounders Douglas Rollins (a former Toys R’ Us buyer) and Tim Boyle, who named the house for the street he once lived on. The nontoxic dollhouse opens completely, like the classic Fisher-Price yellow playhouse, and closes back up nice and tidy. Come Fall, a whole houseful of little furniture, from a Philippe Starck–like tub, tiny modern chaises and mini minimalist beds, will also be available. Photo by Peter Williams.

Are kids really supposed to play with dollhouse?
We make toys adults like to look at and kids like to play with. My three-year-old daughter jumps on hers, sits on hers. It had to be something fun and sturdy.
dod2010 modern family brinca dada dollhouse portrait

Where is the house being made?
A: We went to U.S. manufacturers but no one would do it for us—no one would even give us a quote! We found a manufacturer in China that does eco-friendly toys; he really helped us make the Emerson House more green.
What's green in the house?
It's made of birch or woods that are CARB certified. All the paint is non-toxic. There are also working solar panels that charge the rechargeable battery that is used to power the LED lights in the house. There are also materials like acrylic so we say we
dod2010 modern family brinca dada dollhouse closeup

Where can consumers purchase the Emerson House?
We sell it on our own site, www.brincadada.com, and also from stores like FAO Schwartz and other smaller shops around the country.
dod2010 modern family brinca dada dollhouse0 detail
What's next for the company?

Next is the Bennett dollhouse, which is a townhouse. For 2011, we'll be branching out beyond dollhouses but of course also making more dollhouses.

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