Dollhouse Decorating

Miniature Decorating Ideas |Articles on decorating dollhouses and the history of this artform


I have had a life-long love affair with dollhouse miniatures, and careers in art education and interior design. I hope to combine these life experiences to help other miniature enthusiasts get more out of this wonderful hobby we enjoy, a hobby that often reaches the level of an art form. Susan Downing

Posted on 22 August, 2015


My Baby Nursery Accessory Ensemble, an economical way to accessorize a nursery.

Nurseries Pink Or Blue

It seems to be a hard and fast rule today. Is there a biological difference in the sexes or is it a cultural choice? And what does a dollhouse enthusiast do with this information?

Decades of research by University of Maryland historian Jo Paoletti suggests that up until the 1950s, chaos reigned when it came to the colors of baby paraphernalia. “There was no gender-color symbolism that held true everywhere,” Paoletti told Life’s Little Mysteries (link below). Because the pink-for-a-girl, blue-for-a-boy social norms only set in during the 20th century in the United States, they cannot possibly stem from any evolved differences between boys’ and girls’ favorite colors,” Paoletti said.


Bear Lamp can be purchased separately.

Philip Cohen, a sociologist also at the University of Maryland, thinks they are, essentially, the outcome of a marketing ploy, that didn’t work the first time around. “There was a 1927 chart in Time Magazine where department stores in various cities were contacted and asked what colors they used for boys and girls. And it was all over the map,”


The Baby’s Crib can be purchased separately.

Paoletti added. “It wasn’t until after the Second World War that the modern convention (pink for girls, blue for boys) started to dominate, and even so, it didn’t “gel” until the 1980s,” she said.

“This happened during a time when mass marketing was appearing,” Cohen told Life’s Little Mysteries. “Being ‘gender normal’ is very important to us, and as a marketing technique, if retailers can convince you that being gender normal means you need to buy a certain product ― cosmetics, plastic surgery, blue or pink clothing, etc. ― it just makes sense from a production or mass marketing perspective,” Cohen wrote in an email.


Baby Nursery Shelves can be purchased separately.

There it is. Blame it on the Don Drapers of Madison Avenue!

Well, maybe not. There’s more. Paoletti argues it the pink or blue stereotype we use today “may reflect the influence of French fashion. Traditional French culture paired pink with girls and blue with boys (while Belgian and Catholic German culture used the opposite), and because France set the fashion in the 20th century, their tradition held sway.”

Okay. Now we’ve got it. It’s a giant conspiracy between the Madison Avenue chain-smoking-three-Martini-lunch-bunch and the haut couture crowd on the Rue de Something or Other. That’s where the Nursery Pink Or Blue originated. But still, what does the dollhouse enthusiast do with this information?

Any darn thing you want, I guess.


Posted by Susan Downing

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