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 23 September, 2016


Music Room of Thierry Bousquet found on LoveIsSpeed

Baroque Interiors

Baroque architects took cues from theater design. The use of stage sets and backdrops gave the illusion of infinite space. Just as in a theater, a proscenium, an archway between the stage and the crowd, was used to delineate space. The concept of theatrical lighting – shafts of focused light (spots lighting) to create shadows in the ambient light, all played roles in how to address space. There was a return to Gothic some elements – windows and elaborate vaulting.

The color palette was rich with dark reds and greens. Gold was used to enhance accent features and to decorate the frames of mirrors and paintings.

Baroque interiors are highly detailed, including intricately carved wood paired with luxurious textiles covering furniture and walls, and for window coverings. These fabrics are often damask, with or without floral patterns.


Italianate Palazzo Drawing Room found on Dolls’ Houses Past & Present

The ceilings were decorated with images of putti (little boys) while plant motifs could be seen in wall decorations.

Baroque style is also distinguished by bold contrasting colors as opposed to gold and pastels that are more prevalent in rococo.

The interiors featured various complex architectural details along with religious frescos and depictions and precision are also essential characteristics of Baroque.

As befitting church doctrine, the rules of symmetry were critical. This was exemplified in scrollwork, where the letters S and C were favorite subjects. When facing each other, the C-shaped scrolls of the Baroque would line up precisely. In rococo, those scrolls would be askew, breaking the rules, and offering a feeling of whimsicality. Other favorite scrollwork objects were foliage, with and without fruit.


Salon of Thierry Bousquet found on LoveIsSpeed

Design Elements

Foliage motifs – A profusion of plant life characterizes the Baroque style.

Initials and monograms as well as crests

Scrolling foliage and garlands of flowers decorate many objects.

Marquetry – Marquetry is the laying of veneers of different-colored woods onto the surface of furniture. This novel form of decoration was learned from French and Dutch cabinet-makers.

Putti – The Italian word ‘putti’ meaning ‘boys’ is the name given to the chubby infants seen on many Baroque objects.

Crests and initials – The decorative use of monograms, usually people’s initials, was a particular feature of the Baroque style. Heraldic crests were also incorporated into designs as symbols of status and ownership.

Lambrequin motif – baroque interiors were enriched with luxurious textiles. The distinctive features of these fabrics were


Ken Haseltine’s Baroque music room found on his Flickr photostream.

transformed into motifs to be used in other media. The lambrequin, or tasseled cloth motif, is one of the most common.

Floors are typically made from high-end materials such as solid wood or marble. Large room-sized, hand-woven rugs are placed to soften spaces

Furniture is intricately detailed to accent embellishments with curved legs, carved details, and gildingGold frames and gilding on statues and pottery are commonLarge mirrors, crystal chandeliers, door knobs, and pulls are commonly used

Luxury fabrics in damask and floral prints are used for upholstery, wall coverings, and floor-to-ceiling window coverings.

The Baroque style lasted until about 1726 when the asymmetrical Rococo style began to evolve. You may be interested in my article on Baroque Furniture.


Susan Downing, with Patrick Owens


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Posted by Susan Downing

Categories: Baroque

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