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Because What Is a Home Without Beloved Pets


Anyone who has ever played with a dollhouse or watched someone else play with one knows that the structure itself is just a vehicle for the creation of elaborate fantasies and fictions.

Inge Heckel knows this particularly well, and knows how that translates into actual homes. Ideally, a home is more than just a construction of sticks and carpeting. It should be a place that generates stories and dramas.

Heckel was for a dozen years the president of the New York School of Interior Design. She retired in 2009 and is now president and trustee emerita.

In her new life, she and her husband, Jeff Hamlin, can spend more time at their home in Salisbury, Conn., which is known to many in the region as The Daffodil House because of the vast field of the spring flowers outside their home.

Hamlin was production manager for Lincoln Center Theater for almost 30 years , until his retirement in 2013.

And as is the case with all creative people, in retirement the couple is finding new ways to use their talents and to amuse themselves.

Their latest project is a children’s storybook that features a large, yellow New England style dollhouse that becomes home to a large cast of canine characters, who are invited into the house by a girl named Georgie.

The book is called, “Georgie Comes to the Rescue,” which is an evocative title for anyone who loves early to mid 20th century children’s literature.

While the story is fiction, the dollhouse is real, and it will be auctioned off as a fundraiser for the Little Guild animal shelter in Cornwall, Conn., between May 19 and Memorial Day weekend.

The house is three stories high and has eight rooms. Its exterior yellow is yellow, as befits a home designed by a couple who live surrounded by a sea of daffodils.

The starting bid for the house is $750. To make bids and learn more (and to see dogs and cats that are seeking new homes), go to www.littleguild.org and look for the red tab at the top of the home page that says Dollhouse Auction.

There is also information at the Little Guild website about the annual Great Country Mutt Show, which will be held this year at Lime Rock Park in Salisbury, Conn., on Sunday, June 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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