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 13 June, 2016


Mark O’Bank’s Nybelwyck Hall, found on the Hudson Valley Museum website

Nybelwyck Hall

The following 2011 press release from the Hudson Valley Museum offers an excellent description of the Miniscule Manse:

“The new setting for the minuscule manse is fitting because its architecture evokes Hudson River homes still seen today. The 24-room, granite-and-mortar Glenview [Hudson Valley Museum building] and Nybelwyck, the 24-room dollhouse, share architectural features ― a Great Hall and a double staircase that curves from the top floor down to the Hall. Nybelwyck’s central

The facade is loosely based on the Hudson River estate, Staatsburg, the Ogden Mills House. The orange-and-green colors on its Victorian addition are reminiscent of Wilderstein, in Rhinebeck, the family home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s personal secretary.


Nybelwyck Hall interior found on the Hudson Valley Museum website

900 Objects

Dollhouse enthusiast Mark O’Banks created the 24 room Nybelwyck Hall over the course of a decade and looked to the wisdom of an ouija board to name his creation. The house is furnished with found objects and rugs O’Banks designed. Among its 900 objects are minute musical instruments that play, doors with intricate locks that work, and a tiny dollhouse within, of course, the dollhouse’s nursery.


Nybelwyck Hall Nursery found on Remni’s World

The Nybelwyck Family

Nybelwyck Hall does more than present Lilliputian life at its most luxurious.  The Nybelwyck family, one of the oldest of Dutch ancestry in the Hudson River Valley, are having a “theatrical moment,” as they bustle to prepare an engagement party for Celestine Von Nybelwyck, daughter of the house, who does not love her intended. Like all families, each Nybelwick is a member, living, laughing, and scheming. Nybelwycks who occupy or visit the Hall include Dad, “Old” Bostwyck Van Nybelwyck; an elf, who watches over the family; eccentric Aunt Glencora, who lives in the attic; ghosts, a music teacher, a raft of nieces and nephews, and servants.


Nybelwyck Hall Study found on Remni’s World

After O’Bank’s death, the house, in 2006, was gifted to the Museum. Director of Curatorial Affairs Bartholomew Bland said, “The house pleases so many of all ages, and we’re delighted, now, to show it throughout the year. Look for our family programs that focus on its craftsmanship and architecture and, of course, are fun too.”


[Before his death, Mark O’Banks kept Nybelwyck Hall in his Washington D.C. Apartment. He spent ten years building it at the cost of about $20,000. The dollhouse was appraised for $160,000 when donated to the Hudson Valley Museum].



Susan Downing, with Patrick Owens


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Posted by Susan Downing

Categories: dollhouses

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