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 03 August, 2016


Werner Marestra and the Domus Project

Domus Project

Werner Marestra got the idea to create a replica of a noble Genoese house of the late 18th century, and the Domus Project was born. It is built in 1:50 scale (approx. 1/4 scale), but is not really a dollhouse. It is an architectural model, built of real materials or their surrogates. More unusual for a model, Werner’s construction methods are those used by medieval craftsmen.

After Werner spent months of research and study, the work began in July 2009, at his home in Granada, Spain. “It’s a little ‘far from the city of origin,” he says. “But in the end, even Columbus came here to ask for the ships to sail to India.”

Domus-Project–Wood-carved-ceiling -detail

Domus Project – Wood-carved ceiling detail

Like Topsy, the Domus is constantly growing and changing. What began as a single house with a 1 X 1.3′ footprint, now includes a tower over the main house and smaller outbuildings.

Werner has no construction training. The art school l he attended required basic classes in architecture and design. He did not attend college, working professionally as an illustrator and cartoonist. With a superficial knowledge in medieval building, his expertise comes from the Internet and books.

“I am not an industry expert,” Werner says, “and it is more than likely that some aspects of my work are not 100% reliable. But I always try to document properly and then learn along the way.?

Werner uses authentic materials as much as possible. So where does he find them in modern-day Granada?


Wood-carved ceiling in the Domus Project

“All over,” he says. “On the street, in the countryside, in the rivers, on the beach. A good part comes from waste or found objects I can reuse. The rest — adhesives, accessories, tools? I purchase in DIY or hardware stores.”


Domus Project – Angry nobleman ready to cry after he gets sacked as the contractor, perhaps.

When asked why he chose to devote some much of his life to creating a replica of a Genoese mansion? “Because there is not a single building throughout Genoa that has retained its original appearance, and those that remain are in poor condition. I always had the curiosity about what they looked like at the time of their construction. Besides, it’s a way to vent my creativity and to keep my brain busy, The work prevents me from wasting time with trivial arguments about politics, television, sports, and religion.”


The Project Domus Facebook page has a wonderful gallery of photographs. Werner Marestra’s blog is a goldmine of information. And here’s an interesting video of the tile floor being installed.


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: amazing miniatures

Print Friendly
Translate »