How American Girl Dolls Would Decorate If They Lived in Studio Apartments
The American Girl franchise has been beloved since the line debuted in 1986. Broaching serious subject matter, these fictional historical characters were given rich back stories that placed them in the midst of war, racism, poverty, and an array of very real situations. Oh yeah, and they had really cute outfits, super shiny hair, and adorable bedroom sets. Given their rich history and distinct style, we here at Apartment Therapy can’t stop daydreaming about what our favorite characters’ modern studio apartments would look like. (This is how we “play” American Girl Dolls as adults).
Felicity was a strong-willed, rugged gal with no time for bows and bonnets. She was part of the American Girl Revolutionary War series, and thus, grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia. She preferred taming wild horses in wide open expanses to tending to domestic work indoors (duh). Like many antiquated stories of “unladylike” characters, Felicity eventually came around to the patriarchy, taking up proper ballroom dancing and learning how to serve tea (sounds easy).
As a modern young woman, we imagine Felicity would choose a modest bungalow in the Virginia countryside—next to her very own stable, of course. Her style would be minimal, rustic, and gender neutral. Her most notable decor would be functional items like saddles, wooden main-grooming brushes, and flannels. Her mudroom entryway where she boots-up would be her happy place. No-frills natural materials like linen and jute, and classic country patterns like gingham and plaid, would be Felicity’s go-tos.
Josefina grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, during Mexican Rule (early 1800s). Her mom passed away before the start of the series and Josefina had a hobby of collecting items that remind her of her mother. She was an introspective, introverted soul who had an deep interest in people and distant places and felt most comfortable around her family.
The modern-day Josefina would live in an old adobe-style bungalow in the desert, peppered with Southwest accents that remind her of her childhood home. As a seasoned collector, she would display her prized collections from her world travels throughout her space, designating a special corner to those items that remind her of her mother, while Southwestern-inspired patterns would carry through the space. Her fascination with anthropology and people-watching would be reflected in old acrylic portraits, ceramics, and plant-life. Her petite upright piano would be adorned with knick-knacks and framed family photos, because this sweet little sensitive angel has heart.
Kirsten was born in Ryd Sweden in 1845 and moved to Minnesota to work on the frontier (yeehaw). She’s active (read: yeehaw) and hates being trapped indoors in tight spaces. This daydreamer is brave, hardworking, and loves the color pink (all equally notable traits, according to the internet).
Style: Kirsten’s modern day loft would reflect her Swedish roots, with a rustic Scandinavian aesthetic. Lots of large windows are a must for this outdoorsy woman who loves to hit the local trails on her pink Linus bike.
Let’s be honest: Addy’s story is heavy, but so essential. Addy was a slave during the Civil War Era. She was vocal about her resistance to slavery and her pride in herself and her family. She was known for her intelligence and ability to learn quickly, which got her into a prestigious school.
Addy’s modern day college dorm would be politically charged and steeped in African heritage. Because she’s used to having little, Addy would be the type of woman who knows how to upcycle the hell out of some thrift store finds. Her style would be sophisticated, eclectic, and soulful.
While Samantha may sound a little Lady Mary (from “Downton Abbey”) on the surface, this well-to-do, turn-of-the-century gal was a multi-faceted aspiring artist. She moved in with her Grandmary in New York after her parents both perished in a boating accident. She aspired to one day: 1. Be a painter like her mother Lydia or Mary Cassatt, or 2. Be the first female president. You’ve still got time to do both, Samantha.
Today, we think Samantha would live a romantic life in a spacious artist’s loft in NYC, filled with canvases of her own, as well as plenty of high-dollar originals from her favorite artists. She loves to read and has an amazing, custom-built library wall.
Molly was born in 1934 to a Scottish-American family. She’s a great tap dancer and a natural-born leader (a bio we should all aspire to boast on social media). She’s cheerful and upbeat, but sometimes struggles with her looks, wanting to trade her boring hair for Miss Campbell’s coiffed curls (don’t we all). Our go-to AG resource states that she is obsessed with glamour, especially from England.
In an attempt to challenge her All-American Girl persona, we think the modern Molly would pursue her dreams of becoming a tap dancer in England. Her generically European loft would be breezy, with wood floors, exposed brick, a large mirror, and plenty of cheery red accents.
Kit grew up during the Great Depression in Cincinnati, Ohio. Another tomboy flying in the face of convention, American Girl Wikia definitively states that Kit does not like “pink or ruffles”, and, “cares little for baking, dusting, dresses, and dance class, even though she has shown an affinity for square dancing.” “Conversely”, she likes baseball, newsrooms, country life, and shares an adventurous spirit with her idol Amelia Earhart.
Kit’s modern-day home would be a mother-in-law suite on a farm. It would be filled with leather furniture and newsroom paraphernalia, such as framed newspaper clippings, old typewriters, and card catalogs repurposed into household storage. She would also have an extensive library and a moody reading nook (with no frilly blankets or pink pillows to be found).
Did you play with these dolls as a child? Play along and let us know what else you think these ladies might have in their modern studio spaces!