Of course, you have to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run, so I thought I'd start by crawling. I thought about doll houses for a while, looked at pictures of doll houses, and played about with some of my sister's dolls to get an idea of scale. I settled on the idea of making something in a 1:24 scale, which is a relatively new standard for doll house sizing which I find convenient because the small size means that making pieces for a doll house will be possible in my small laser cutter.
I wanted to play around with some things in a 3D environment, but realized that would entail learning a complex program like Blender or Sketchup, and while I do want to eventually use those tools, I didn't feel the need to model it that precisely in 3D. My designs get altered so much when I'm working on them in Inkscape that I figured the 3D models would only be really good for mockups. So I decided to go with something a little unorthodox: Minecraft. Yes, this doll house design began in Minecraft.
This proved to be an incredibly intuitive way to experiment with the basic shapes and ideas I wanted to have, so I could move into making some designs in Inkscape. Here you can see a very rough first idea of a house-shaped template. As you can see, some things are already being changed even here. I am excited to continue experimenting and see what I can learn.