Dollhouse Decorating

Miniature Decorating Ideas |Articles on decorating dollhouses and the history of this artform

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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 22 May, 2016

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Featherstone Hall Hotel and Julie Jackson of Dee-Daw Designs

The Featherstone Hall Hotel

This is Julie Jackson’s first dollhouse, which is amazing in itself. Add to that her self-imposed deadline for completion so it would appear in the 200th issue of Dolls House & Miniature Scene Magazine. If the story ended there, it would be incredible. But wait! There’s more!

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Featherstone Hall Hotel Exterior

The Articles

Julie chronicled the building of the doll house, the triumphs … and what is even more important to dollhouse miniaturists, her mistakes. We get to learn from her goofs, so we don’t have to repeat them.

This great teaching tool is laid out on Dew-Daw Design, in the sidebar tab, “Featherstone Hall Hotel Story,” and perhaps more conveniently in book form in the Dee-Daw Shop.
How did the project start?

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Footman unloading luggage a the Featherstone Hall Hotel

The Idea

Here it is in Julie Jackson’s own words

“Although I had never built a dolls house before, I had created several room boxes for DH&MS, and I thought ‘How difficult can a whole house be?’ – In theory, it would just be a series of boxes – How wrong I was! Because of this, I want to set out in these articles not only how I achieved the end result but most importantly the mistakes along the way.

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Assembled Cottesmore Flat Back Kit

Mistakes Galore

“What I realised, only too late in the construction, was that the instructions were for assembling the house, and do not take into account that the house will be decorated (Shock, Horror!) Something else I learned too late is that experienced house builders will do a certain amount of ‘preemptive’ painting and decorating during the assembly process to cut out some tricky bits later.

“For example, I had already assembled and inserted the house windows before a chance remark by Patsy, led me to remove them all, to paint around the inside of the frames and leave them out until I had decorated the outside!

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Lobby napper at the Featherstone Hall Hotel

Another Mistake

“And biggest mistake of all – the dormer roof windows. I had already (following the instructions) glued the assembled dormers to the roof when I realised that A) it would have been easier to paint the insides of the dormers, and decorate the outside  BEFORE attaching them and B) I could not cover the roof in the textured tile finish material with the dormers in place. There was no way around it, I used a small persuader (hammer) and with a sharp sideways knock managed to remove the dormers!”

A Miniature World

Julie has created a miniature world in the Featherstone Hall Hotel. Most of the fifty-odd guests and staff are named, some with detailed descriptions of their lives and activities. What I like best, the characters all are posed in a life-like tableau: the footman leaning into the Model T for the luggage, the dozing guest in the lobby.

Reading the text on the Dee-Daw Design website, I had the feeling I was being told a story right out of Masterpiece Theater.
Sure enough, item 12 in the FAQ explains why.

“12. How do you get all your ideas?

I am always looking and thinking! I probably spend too much time in front of the TV, because when I began to think about what inspires me, I came up with Downton Abbey (although the project was started before it hit the screens), Upstairs Downstairs, The Duchess of Duke Street, and the film Gosford Park. I am also a great Sherlock Holmes fan, and of course, Hercule Poirot – Lord Peter Wimsey and Richard Hannay are growing on me too!”

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Featherstone Hall Hotel Dining Room

Museum Worthy

Julie Jackson hopes the Featherstone Hall Hotel dolls house is permanently displayed someday, so the public can enjoy it. Sounds good to me. Send Julie Jackson a message and let her know what you think.

 

Susan Downing, with Patrick Owens

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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


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