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 12 January, 2016

Helena Rubinstein's Second Empire Room Box

Helena Rubinstein collection. The Second Empire Room Box

Neutrals Beige vs. Gray

This post has some tips on working with beige and gray. At the bottom is a link Renate Herring-Shepherd’s terrific e-Book on creating what you want with color – in a real room or dollhouse. It also contains a color wheel training video I like. Download it free.

When working with beige, 
as with any neutral color, I like to have more than one shade in a dollhouse miniature. Go from light to dark hues on the walls, rug, and large pieces furniture. The walls could be the lightest shade; curtains, a filmy darker tone; the rug a much darker shade. Because of the compact space, making an unfortunate choice of color in a miniature is more noticeable than a real dwelling, but fixing it is a lot cheaper.

The room box in the Helena Rubinstein collection shows various shades which might be labeled a rich, creamy beige, with spots of darker color in the flooring, curtains and wall art.


If your sofa is beige leather, the pillows and throw can add color and varied textures. Mix it up with velvet, burlap, long hair, rope or large weave fabric. The rug could be sisal or long shag. Since beige is so neutral, you could take any favorite color and use it for a color “pop” here and there. If blue is your favorite color use art on the walls with your favorite shade of blue, then make sure this accent color the is same shade wherever you use it. The blue in the artwork should be exactly the same blue as in the vase on the side table or the blue in the flower arrangement on the coffee table.

 Melanie Fletcher's  Cape Cod Salt Box

Melanie Fletcher’s Cape Cod Salt Box (sorry, link is broken)

Gray Is The New Beige

For dollhouse miniatures, the choice between beige or gray is strictly personal. You still want to use more than one shade of this primary color in the room. Make sure your secondary and accent colors are compatible with that primary color.

Melanie Fletcher took a different approach in the Cape Cod saltbox she made for her niece. All but one of the rooms has the same shade of gray on the walls, with a few strong accent colors. The overall effect shows a subtle unity rather than a kaleidoscope of colors leaping out at you.

I love working with this new-again neutral color because it seems so fresh, and because of the emotions, it can evoke. Log onto the Benjamin Moore website and look for Shades of Gray. For a warm, cozy feeling, you can’t beat Cosmopolitan. Need a quick cool down? City Shadow is for you.

If you choose your accent colors carefully, you can do wonders with gray. How long before beige reappears as interior decorating’s “exciting new thing?” Who knows, and who cares, really. In dollhouse decorating, the latest fad is irrelevant. We deal with decades and eras, right?


Josje Bouwt Selfie

Have It Both Ways

Of course, you can have both gray and beige with a pop of gold leaf in the same frame, as in the Josje Bouwt selfie.

To know more about working with neutral colors, here’s that link to Renate Herring-Shepherd e-Book you can download free. It contains a color wheel training video I like. And it’s free! When you get to her website, look for the Stylish Neutrals link at the top of the right sidebar.


Susan Downing, with Patrick Owens


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Posted by Susan Downing

Categories: color schemes, neutral tone

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