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 14 August, 2016


Thorne Room Tennessee Entrance Hall

Dollhouse Museum Research

Ellen Egan’s article on making dollhouse museums part of your research and inspiration mentions 4 of the world’s best. I have added five more dollhouse miniature museums, all right here in the United states.

Susan Downing


Doing Research For Your Dollhouse By Visiting Dollhouse Museums
By Ellen Egan

An important part of planning the details of your dollhouse is doing a bit of research. Perhaps you want to find out a bit more about the historical period you are trying to represent. Or, perhaps your dollhouse has a theme and you want to be sure to get the details right. You can do some of this research online and at your local library. But, a fun way to research and get ideas is by visiting a dollhouse museum.

Art Institute of Chicago

There are dollhouse museums all across the United States and in other countries. Some museums have bigger collections than others, but with a little looking, you can find one nearby that will be well worth the trip. 

The Thorne Miniature Rooms exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago consists of 68 rooms boxes. The description on the Institute’s  web site states: “The 68 Thorne Miniature Rooms enable one to glimpse elements of European interiors from the late 13th century to the 1930s and American furnishings from the 17th century to the 1930s. Painstakingly constructed on a scale of one inch to one foot, these fascinating models were conceived by Mrs. James Ward Thorne of Chicago and constructed between 1932 and 1940 by master craftsmen according to her specifications.”


Brooke Tucker Room Box

The Great American Dollhouse Museum

The Great American Dollhouse Museum is located in Danville Kentucky. The description on the Great American Dollhouse Museum web site states: “Unlike the traditional museum configuration of discrete cases with sequential or disjunct displays, our village unfurls its neighborhoods, streets, rural lands and forests in a vast, continuous landscape. Representing an American yesteryear of about 1900, the hundreds of antique and artisan-sculpted, historically-dressed citizens interact with family, friends and business associates as would any townspeople. Visitors can thread their way along any variety of avenues and alleys as in a real town, peering into the open backs of homes and businesses to enjoy the décor and activity therein. From its Gypsy Caravans, orphanage, and Shaker Settlement to the most opulent mansions, you may make some pretty good guesses about the lives, and even the gossip generated behind supposedly closed doors!”


Tate Baby House

Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London have a Museum of childhood. The description on their web site states: “The Museum’s dolls’ house collection is the largest British collection not in private hands. The oldest house, the Nuremberg House of 1673, is one of the Museum’s greatest treasures. There is also a small group of 18th-century houses, including the magnificent Tate Baby House of about 1760, and a rich holding from the 19th century. Some were made by carpenters whilst others, such as the house given to the Museum in 1921 by Queen Mary, have royal connections.”

The Puppenhausmuseum

The Puppenhausmuseum Basel, Switzerland is the largest museum of its kind in Europe. The description on their web site states: “The world’s largest collection of old teddy bears, as well as beautiful dolls, toy shops and doll’s houses both old and new, which have been constructed true to the scale of 1:12. In the heart of Basel, over 6’000 artistically-arranged objects are displayed on four floors. The exhibits date back to the beginning of the nineteenth century and reflect the styles of the day.”

As you can see, no matter where you are living or traveling, you can find a dollhouse museum nearby. Simply search online for dollhouse museums and you will find a long list that you can visit. This is the fun kind of research.

Ellen Egan

Ellen Egan is a dollhouse enthusiast who specializes in Victorian dollhouses. Article Source: eZine 


Here are five of my U.S. Favorites:

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys

Kentucky Gateway Museum – Maysville, Kentucky

The Miniature Time Machine – Tucson, Arizona

Museum of Miniature Houses, Carmel, Indiana

Colonial Williamsburg, The World Made Small Exhibit
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: museums

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