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 20 April, 2016


Dan Ohlmann’s 1:12 scale Maxims Restaurant in Paris, found on MAKE:

Dan Ohlmann Miniature Artisan

Formerly a cabinetmaker, Dan Ohlmann started creating scale furniture in Paris in 1985. Fascinated with the Art Nouveau style, he built a 1:12 scale model of the world famous Chez Maxim’s restaurant in Paris. Combining artistic talent and architectural knowledge, this hyperreal piece came as a surprise in France and caught the eye of the media and the general public.


Dan Ohlmann Barber Shop miniature, found on OZ

World Tours

At the same time, Ohlmann was the art director and co-founder of the first Festival International de la Miniature, a major success which attracted over 25,000 visitors in five days. Based on this accomplishment, he launched a traveling exhibition called “The Miniatures of Dan Ohlmann” that toured Europe, Japan, and the United States.

In 1989, Dan Ohlmann arrived in Lyon, France’s third-largest city, with three trucks full of miniature displays for a 15-day exhibition. Ohlmann fell in love with the city and decided to settle there for good. He opened his very own museum – the Palais de la Miniature (The Miniature Palace) – in the old historical town and started creating new miniatures that would enrich his collection.

Life In Lyon

For over ten years, the Palais de la Miniature exhibited more than 1,000 miniature masterpieces from all over the world. It became known as an extraordinary place that people really enjoyed visiting. Regularly, Ohlmann organized temporary exhibitions on a new theme that had always been a passion of his: the art of film miniatures.


Dan Ohlmann’s Brooklyn Loft miniature, found in the Musee Miniature et Cinema

An Encounter That Changed Everything

A world-renowned Swiss collector offered to develop Dan Ohlmann’s small family-sized museum into a much larger venue which would enable it to attract international attention. An art lover, this sponsor gave Ohlmann permission to set up the new museum on a property she owned in the old town, a 16th-century historical building, the Maison des Avocats, This edifice is a UNESCO’s World Heritage site.

Musee Miniature et Cinema

In February 2005, the new Museum opened its doors and revealed Dan Ohlmann’s entire miniature collection, plus dozens of creations from all over the world, and a brand new permanent department devoted to the arts and techniques of film special effects.


Dan Ohlmann’s Vegetable Market miniature found on Minube

On opening day, Dan Ohlmann expressed his most sincere gratitude to all the people and organizations – without naming them – that had allowed him to live this adventure for twenty years: the Swiss collector who had helped him consolidate the Museum, the medias that have supported him, collaborators, artists and family members.

The only personality that he openly named was French haute couture extraordinaire Pierre Cardin, who Dan Ohlmann credits as “the man who started it all.”


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, dioramas, room boxes

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