The first thing I did was paint the house on the inside. Normally you would paint inside walls before assembling a house, but I had to paint as it was, and it wasn't easy, especially behind the stairs. While I was painting, I removed the fireplaces and gave them brick back walls.
This immediatly looked much better. And as you see I made a shutter. In fact, I made two shutters for the ground floor windows. The book about Tudor dollhouses that I had bought was very helpful, both in terms of describing correct details but also suggesting how to make them. These are obviously lolly sticks.
That's what the ground and middle floor looked like after the first and second steps:
Isn't it amazing what a huge difference some simple panting makes! You may notice that I put a head of a chess knight on the newel post: pinched from Jean Nisbett.