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 15 September, 2016


Artist Thomas Burke of Wilmington, DE, built this luxury 9-foot tall birdhouse for George Lucas.

The George Lucas … Birdhouse

I was searching the Internet for interesting dollhouses and was excited to see this 19th century “miniature.” It looked huge compared to the builder posing with it. I was disappointed to read the caption and discover that it was a custom birdhouse given to George Lukas of Star Wars fame as a Christmas present. This is a departure from the dollhouse miniature posts I usually, but it’s a beautiful construction, built by a talent craftsman. And it’s a pleasant story

I found this article on the Skywalker Ranch Birdhouse on Woodworking Network.

Luxury Bird House Built for George Lucas

By Michaelle Bradford

Bird houses, a time honored tradition for fowl of the air, can range from the simple to the divine, from small wooden boxes, feeders and nests to more extravagant mansions. Thomas Burke of Wilmington, DE, specializes in creating those extravagant bird homes.

Burke, a former furniture maker who created furniture from old barn beams, got into building bird houses when asked by a friend to build one. From there, word-of-mouth progressed so much he decided that building these homes was what he wanted to do.

Most of his projects are commissioned and those designs are inspired by the clients’ homes. For bird houses built for himself, Burke draws inspiration from the paintings of


George Lucas’s Christams Present

Andrew Wyeth, the 20th century realist painter whose work focused on land and people. He has built at least eight bird homes based on Wyeth’s paintings. Currently, 16 of his fine bird houses line the Wilmington, DE, River Front area.

All of Burke’s projects are manufactured from either 5/8- or 3/4-inch exterior plywood. The roof shingles for the bird homes are made from construction pallets, and most of the material is recycled, he says, even the paint, which he finds around his condo building after his neighbors have finished painting projects.

Burke’s work has been featured in many publications, including Architectural Digest, which is where one of his more famous clients became aware of his creations.

Filmmaker George Lucas and his girlfriend Mellody Hobson of Ariel Capital Management were sitting on the couch thumbing through the magazine, Burke says. When they came across his work Lucas commented, “This guy builds great bird houses.” Hobson decided to commission one for Lucas for Christmas. Designed and named after his Skywalker ranch, the house is approximately 9-feet tall, was built in three sections, including the roof and shipped across country to California to be installed.


Posted by Susan Downing

Categories: artisans

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