She often added her own embellishments to the commercial items.
Gretchen had sold all her other houses by the early 2000's (I knew her Howard Hartmann colonial house had been sold to Jane Haskell) but Gretchen kept this one because it was so deeply personal.
The house was still completely furnished but had been much jostled since its move from Gretchen's last home in New Canaan, CT.
In the meanwhile, I spent a lot of time just studying the layout and the details of the house before deciding what I would retain and what I would change to make the house more to my taste.
For example, the ground floor's staircase was very compressed and steep to fit in a small space, and the kitchen's Victorian wainscot was coated with blu-tac adhesive blobs that would never come out...
Her son also gave me her set of photographs and slides of her collection - they brought back an avalanche of warm memories for me!
But the first job when we got it home was removing the contents and giving the house a comprehensive cleaning that was rather desperately needed.
Mrs Kanze built one-of-a-kind dollhouses and because she was a good friend of Molly Brody's, she always got the booth right inside the doors at Molly's semi-annual miniatures show in Darien. Kanze was cheerful woman with a good sense of humor and she made the house to Gretchen's specifications.