10 of the Best - Miniature Garden Furniture for the Dolls House
Café culture is a long established tradition in the French capital. From the heady days of artists like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Gaugin to the present generation of fashion-conscious Parisians, the sight of café tables lining stylish boulevards or walled patios is a familiar one. Recreating this scene in 1/12th scale is simple with a little help from miniature artisan Jason Getzan. The US-based creator has a range of handmade bistro style table and chair combinations made from wrought iron. The pared down, yet stylish pieces use hints of Art Nouveau styling and come in a range of colours. To complete the look, add a steaming cup of designer coffee or a chilled glass of wine, patisserie and a little French-inspired reading material, anything from Voltaire to Vogue.
J. Getzan Dollhouse Miniatures
Price (approx.): £77
T: 00 1 224 400 9310
2. …for childhood memories
The humble deck chair is synonymous with British seaside holidays and is sure to conjure up memories of time spent making sand castles, eating ice cream or paddling in the sea. It is the ideal centrepiece for a contemporary or traditional outdoor scene or even for a Victorian setting, when bathing at the beach was popularised. The deck chair was patented during this period and has since found a home in gardens, at the beach, on the pier, on cruise ships and at sporting events. A 1/12th scale version of this versatile al fresco staple can be found courtesy of The Dolls House Emporium. The wooden framed chair comes in traditional maritime striped fabric with a light-coloured finish to the frame.
The Dolls House Emporium
T: 01332 912 989
3. …to set poolside
No swimming pool diorama would be complete without the obligatory sun lounger. Sunbathing to get a tan became popular in the 1940s; with it came sun beds, loungers and all manner of lotions and contraptions aimed at encouraging people out into the sun. This cute little sun lounger set would be at home nestled next to a pool, in a sunny garden spot or sat outside a tropical hotel. It could easily fit in a contemporary, 1950s or 1970s miniature scene. The Wonham Collection twin seat is adapted by Lesley in miniature with the addition of prettily patterned, buttoned cushions for that holiday feeling. It comes complete with a handcrafted jug of orange juice and two glasses. Each piece is made to order.
T: 01202 658 888
4. ...to add rustic charm
Another miniature maker with a penchant for French-inspired furniture, Minis by Angie creates and adapts garden items by giving them a rustic look. The appeal of rustic furniture is growing and these minis would be right at home in a scene set in the South of France, a cottage garden or a shabby chic outdoor setting. Angie, who is based in Spain, expertly white washes, distresses and ages her minis for that loved, but well-used look. She uses balsa wood, antiqued paper and various paint techniques to achieve her trademark finish. From the dressing-table-cum-potting-bench to the town of tiny bird houses, each piece is lovingly finished and accessorised with her signature scale blooms. And she even takes custom orders for an exact match to your outdoor space.
Minis by Angie
Prices from: £12.13
5. …for a fairy paradise
Everyone knows that the natural habitat of fairies is at the bottom of the garden. Painter and miniaturist Garnette Hines has taken that idea to the next level with the creation of a range of outdoor minis especially designed with these little people in mind. Items come in their own scale and include everything a fairy could dream of to create their own fairy garden, grotto or plant pot paradise. The Fairy Leaf Throne, like the other items in the collection, is made from polymer clay and hand painted in ink. It stands 4” high and is approximately 2” wide. Other fairy furnishings include hammocks, swings and garden tables.
6. …to bring nature to life
Overflowing with fauna and flora, the delightfully dressed garden benches from the studio of US artist Laura Crain really bring nature to life. Each of Laura’s benches, chairs and plant stands is festooned with plants and flowers of all varieties and it’s no wonder as she has been making life-sized silk flowers professionally for more than three decades. Laura’s passion for flowers is obvious in her 1/12th scale designs, which take inspiration from nature, the seasons and holidays. Trailing roses, tulips, violets and hyacinths abound in each piece and there is also an animal inhabitant or two to enjoy the pleasant floral surroundings.
Laura Crain, Dollhouse Land
Prices: On request
T: 00 1 949 496 9841
7. …for enchantment
Take a step into the realm of fantasy and magic where anything is possible, where trees inexplicably grow into miniature tables and plant display stands and where tables and stools have tiny feet and appear as if they are ready to embark on strange adventures. This is the world of the Enchanted Forest from J. Getzan Dollhouse Miniatures, where one-of-a-kind bronze and timber garden minis are sculpted using inspiration from nature. Craftsman Jason explains: “The twisting and turning against wind, rain and the elements imparts a beautiful form and structure to each tree. I’ve attempted to capture that feeling in each miniature.” Each item of furniture features an organic, quirky design and could become the focal point for a room box or garden scene steeped in myth, magic or whatever wonders the imagination can conjure.
J. Getzan Dollhouse Miniatures
Prices from (approx.): £39
T: 00 1 224 400 9310
8. …to exhibit industrial design
Contemporary furniture makers have turned the practice of creating furniture with an industrial feel into an art form for the modern home. The clean, minimal lines of industrial-looking metal tables and chairs have found their way from the design-conscience city lofts and warehouse conversions into the courtyards, balconies and patios of today’s streamlined gardens. And whether greenery is limited to well-placed pots or planted to encroach on these futuristic structures, it is somehow at one with the stark designs. Contemporary miniature furniture maker Mari Speridião of Brazil has created a range of industrial-looking furniture to mimic the details of pipes and connectors to a tee. Her steel and acrylic structures are perfect for the modern garden. The rectangular dining table and director chairs are available in gold, silver, black and white to suit any outdoor scene.
Prices from (approx.): £17
9. …for a traditional setting
Found in gardens, hot houses and orangeries from the Victorian and Edwardian periods as well as on the front porches of grand plantation houses in America and now in traditionally designed gardens and conservatories of the present time, wicker furniture is both hugely versatile and hugely popular. It is made in miniature by weaving small fibres into intricate patterns and shapes to create stunning pieces of furniture. Will Werson specialises in 1/12th scale wicker and handcrafts chaise longues (as pictured), benches and chairs of all descriptions with complementary upholstery. She also makes little wicker pet beds so even a small scale pampered pooch can have his own garden seat.
Will Werson Miniaturen
Price (approx.): £76
10. …to revel in the unusual
Is it a birdhouse or is it an item of seating for the garden? The Birdhouse Chair available from S P Miniatures is both. This design is loosely based on the Adirondack chair from America; a rustic garden chair made of upright flat boards and invented and initially used in the Adirondack region in the early 1900s. It became a common place sight in the area and was often used at picnics. As its name suggests, the Birdhouse version has been adapted to include five small birdhouses, so inhabitants of the miniature world can sit in the garden and spend time with their feathered friends. This scale piece has a slightly weathered finish and the birdhouse theme, coupled with the chair’s trellis-like appearance, mean it’s crying out to be dressed to fit in with miniature vignettes.
S P Miniatures
Price (approx.): £14
T: 00 1 609 902 8968
© Jane Kubiesa 2013 Images by suppliers
This feature was originally published in Dolls House and Miniature Scene magazine. If you like making miniatures, why not buy yourself a copy of the magazine. Or better still take out a subscription so you never miss an issue. For fans of Facebook and Twitter, or to email, print or comment on the feature, please use the buttons above to share with your friends.