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 23 April, 2016


Louis XV Drawing room in this Mulvany & Rogers “homage” to the Palace at Versailles

3 Versailles Miniatures, 4 Great Artisans

Kevin Mulvany, Suzie Rogers, Harry Smith and Robert Dawson are four of my favorite miniature artisan, whose work I never try of studying. What they have accomplished with the Palace at Versaille for inspiration is truly amazing.

Louis XV’s Drawing Room – Mulvany & Rogers

Kevin Mulvany and Suzie Rogers are known for historical accuracy exacting attention to detail. So, the bustle at a dollhouse exhibition of Palace at Versailles rooms ceased when a woman loudly proclaimed, “You have made a little mistake here.” The world also stopped temporarily for Kevin Mulvany.

Oh really,” he said. “What is that?”

This woman knew her architectural history. “Well, in the 18th century they didn’t have the technology to make huge sheets of glass, so all the mirrors would be split in at least one place.”

Kevin smiled and asked her to look a little closer. There, almost invisible, was a thin line that separated the panes of glass. Perfect to the tiniest detail. Reputations saved.

Shown above is the boudoir, or private sitting room, and includes a mid-18th Century commode which cost £700 alone. It is made of satinwood and based on a rococo original. On top is a £400 working brass and glass lantern made in France. A metal cat is draped over the limewood parquet flooring. The chairs are covered with silk. The porcelain teacups were made and hand-painted by Susie Rogers.


Louis XV’s  Study by Harry Smith found on Small Talk

Louis XV’s Study – Harry Smith

When miniature artists travel, they bring home inspiration and meticulous notes for their next project.  Harry Smith’s mementos helped him craft this room in his beautiful Maine studio (with a little help from his cat).

Smith spent 6,000 hours on his Louis XV’s “cabinet intérieur du Roi,” the king’s study or corner room, in the Palace of Versailles. As far as studies of the rich and famous go, Louis XV’s is one of the most luxurious. To create the room, Smith worked with many different mediums and processes. He hand-laid 2,200 individual pieces of wood for the parquet flooring. He hand-carved 3,300 gilded moldings to adorn the walls. He dressed the thirty-arm chandelier with 304 crystals. Each candle in the chandelier and throughout the room is wired to an electronic circuit board, enabling them to flicker at different speeds and intensities. And as if that wasn’t enough, Smith furnished the room with a replica of Louis’s cylinder top desk, which is inlaid with 36 different types of wood. He even carved a tiny key that sits in the desk’s keyhole.


Robert Dawson’s Versailles Hall of Mirrors found on ArtisanLondon

Versailles Hall of Mirrors – Robert Dawson

Robert Dawson was asked to make a replica of Versailles (one of four he made over the course of several years) for the new The Sekiguchi Doll Museum near Hiroshima, Japan.

Being able to translate to the finest details from real buildings and rooms to 1:12 scale miniatures delights Robert Dawson. But he wishes he could go one step further. Dawson has become a fine historian over the years and wishes people who look at miniature houses could not only imagine how these people lived but who they truly were. He wishes he could tell their stories across the centuries and breathe life and a certain atmosphere of the place into the miniature models he makes. Please keep working at it, Robert.

Click on the photos for links to their sources. I have inserted links in each of these artisan’s names if you wish to read other articles I have written about them.


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

Categories: artisans, room boxes

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