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 January, 2016


The Henriques Dolls House Drawing RoomHenriques House

Henriques House

This 1954 correspondence between two curators at the Victoria & Albert Museum, one a recent visitor to Normandy Park, shows how accidental re-discoveries of great dollhouses happened. It makes one wonder how many were lost.

“I noticed at Normandy Park, a quite attractive 18th century pedimented dolls’ house with a basement. The furnishing was all Victorian. Do you think that Circulation would like it?”

“Yes please.” replied the curator in the temporary exhibit section of the museum.


The Henriques Dolls House Facade

Lady Beatrice Henriques

The “attractive “ dolls house is now known as the Henriques House, named after Lady Beatrice Henriques, who bequeathed most of her miniature collection to the Museum.

Guests at Lady Beatrice’s Surrey home, Normandie Park, found this collection to be the highpoint of their visit. This dolls house is a model of typical of West London’s Kensington or Belgravia town houses, found in long rows of elegant terraces. This house was made in the 18th century but it’s not know whether for a


The Henriques House Interiors

child or an adult. It has silk and gilding on the walls. The interior decoration were a mixture of dates and styles, but most of the contents were left to another collection. As a result the house is quite sparsely furnished.

Quirky Features

The Henriques House has some quirky features. The stairs lead to nowhere, and all the rooms are slightly different sizes. On the façade, the stonework suddenly stops under the second floor windows. The deep basement inspires subterranean activity, and makes the kitchen feel secretive. There are so many small square rooms that the large drawing room on the first floor, with a balcony, seems especially grand in comparison.

Lady Beatrice Henriques in 1937

Lady Beatrice Henriques in 1937

Silver Miniatures

Lady Henriques also had an outstanding collection of at least 100 silver miniatures, dating from 1600 -1800, which went to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.



Posted by Susan Downing

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