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 18 November, 2015


Thorne Room – South Carolina Drawing Room, 1775-1800, found on Chicago Art Institute site

Sick Of White Walls

You’ve had enough. Your grandmother’s classic dollhouse has been refurbished twice and still has the same boring white walls. It’s time for a bold change. But to what?

First off, don’t overreact. Going bold doesn’t necessarily mean slathering your miniature walls in bright colors. In fact, white walls can be a blessing in disguise. So, let’s put a positive spin on it


Thorne Room – Virginia Dining Room, c. 1752, found on Chicago Art Institute site

Neutral Is Good

If you find yourself wanting to change colors often, you are the perfect person to stay with white, beige or gray walls and furniture. All that neutral color in the room allows you to change accessories whenever you like, quickly and inexpensively. Just watch those undertones and stay in the same color family.

A large bookcase offers the opportunity for the bursts of any color you want. Paint the bookshelves white to match the walls, which makes the contents prominent. Using bright fabrics to line the backs of some niches on lower shelves gives those less-than-decorative items a bit of help. On the upper shelves, paint or graphic wallpaper will provide punches of color.


Dollhouse closet photo found on the HomeCreationsEveryDay blog.

Source Of Inspiration – Your Closet

Real room or room box, if you’re stuck for color inspiration, check your closet. To what colors do you gravitate? Those are your favorites … for this season anyway. Take a favorite print to the fabric store and buy bits of material to recover your miniature pillows. Buy vases, boxes and other accessories in the right scale with those same colors. You can flit to a different bouquet of flowers next season, without spending a bunch of money

Fabrics & Throw Pillows

I recommend having three compatible, accent colors in the fabrics and molding colors around a room, but don’t let it get too busy. Pillows are a good way to add accent colors. A love seat or low bench offers a perch for decorative pillows. Think orange and fuchsia, for a moment. Add a deep pink rug, perhaps, and a hot pink throw on the neutral-colored sofa. This joyous color palette in the accessories will encourage the pale furnishings to play along.

Arrangement Is Key To Balance

The arrangement is important as well. When your eye scans the room, these colors should balance. If you’ve gotten adventurous with a sea mist blue accent wall, that same shade of blue should be repeated around the room: in art on the wall, a throw, something in the rug. All these spots of sea mist blue in different parts of the room will bring the balanced feeling your eye wants to see.


“Clubby” nursery picture by Katelyn found on WeLoveIt

The Nursery

Color tastes and trends change often. It’s nice to have the flexibility to make the changes quick and easy. Opt for an all-white scheme for bedding, walls, and furniture. Swap out a rug, the coverlet, pillows or throw on the bed. Glue a bit of bright fabric to the crib bumpers to give the baby’s bed a new shot of color. It is easy enough to change accent colors and will make it seem like you have a new room every season.


Faith Bradford Dolls’ House

What’s Next

Which room in the dollhouse do you want to tackle next? Use this same process in choosing a color scheme and your entire miniature will be coordinated … and soothing to your soul.

Remember, it wouldn’t have been as easy without those white walls. It makes it simpler to be like Faith Bradford, who worked on her dollhouse collection her entire life.


Susan Downing, with Patrick Owens


I invite you to visit my Etsy Shop where I offer many accessories and pieces of furniture in 1:12 scale. Subscribers to this blog receive a discount on all Featured Products. Click here for details.

Posted by Susan Downing

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