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 December, 2015


Lady Alesón’s bedroom is a tour-de-force recreation of an Edwardian interior, found on The Guardian

The Subtle Edwardians

It’s a joke, folks. There really wasn’t much subtly in the design principles of the Edwardians. They went way beyond the late Victorians in piling on every gewgaw and treasure they could stuff in room. They felt balanced interior design was so passé. That’s why I have so much fun contemplating an Edwardian project.


A room box from Tim Sidford’s mythical Sweetington Hall – The Drawing Room.

Edwardian Period 1901 to 1910

The Edwardian era saw the beginning of a new century with a new king and a new style of interior design. The heavy, dark, cluttered look of the mid-Victorian era was gone. In its place something much lighter and more cheerful appeared, light, airy, and a simplicity of detail were key principles of this era.

Edwardian Furniture

Reproductions of baroque, rococo and empire style pieces were still poplar. Because of trade with the Far East, bamboo and wicker came into vogue. The wing chair is a classic shape, and upholstery favored chintz and damask in pale colors.


The Hall of Nelson’s Villa, found on the Crafts Institute website.

Edwardian Color

Shifting away from the darkness of the Victorian interior, colors were fresh and light, with an informal feel. Patterns were feminine, with flowers and floral designs being highly favored. Colors were predominantly pastels: blue, lilacs, greens, yellows and grays. The floral theme was complemented by the liberal use of fresh flower arrangements. Living rooms were often decorated in darker colors, such as dark green for fabrics, complemented with cream walls.

Art Nouveau Influence

Art Nouveau exploded onto the design scene in Paris and London at the turn of the twentieth century. It took inspiration from natural settings, not history. Some late Victorians found this flamboyant design deliciously shocking. It was definitely a love hate situation for most Edwardians.


Dining room of a large 3 story Edwardian Style Dolls House found on The Dolls House Exchange.

Art nouveau style consists of two distinct looks: curvy, elongated lines, and a more linear look. With either, use stylized natural forms such as flowers, roots, buds and seedpods, spider webs, peacock feathers, locusts, thistles. Add ing sold materials such as exotic woods, iridescent glass, silver and semi precious stones to all that stylized nature and you have elaborate settings perfect for this exuberant era.


It’s hard to be be inauthentic in an Edwardian project. Almost anything goes, as long as whatever you use was widely available at the time.

Artisans making their own miniature art deco accessories might find this article interesting.


Posted by Susan Downing

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