A beginners Guide to Dolls House Interior Design - Art Nouveau & Deco

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21 July 2010
imports_HAC_intdes1-2-_90764.jpg A beginners Guide to Dolls House Interior Design - Art Nouveau & Deco
A comprehensive guide to Art Nouveau and Art Deco colours, fabrics and papers for the miniature dolls house or scene from Carol Clarke. ...
A beginners Guide to Dolls House Interior Design - Art Nouveau & Deco Images

A Guide to Dolls House Interior Design - Final Part

This is a guide to help you with decisions that are often difficult when it comes to decorating your dolls house. What wallpaper and fabrics to choose, what paint to choose and what go together for you chosen period be it Tudor, Georgian, Victorian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

Here we focus on Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

  • A selection of colours and wallpapers for each period.
  • Guidelines for applying wallpapers and a range of contrast fabrics to help achieve the correct look for a number of period rooms and settings.
  • There are many dolls houses on the market, many with obvious styling such as Tudor, Georgian, and Victorian, moving to the more contemporary Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles.
  • There are many types of wallpaper on the market ranging in price, some suppliers offer matching silks and cottons.
  • When selecting fabrics to match wall coverings, take samples when possible. By placing the items together you can generally see if the colours will flow and compliment each other.
  • If you are working to a particular style or period, check reference books at you local library to help achieve an authentic look along with period pieces of the time.


Victorian 1837 - 1901
With greater development of colour dyes the Victorian era moved towards the darker colours, they were often described as drab, but this was due to the fact that they did not allow a great deal of light into a room.
Popular colours of the period were deep reds, and greens for the ground floor reception areas. A selection of lighter colours would have been used upstairs. 
Photo 1 Victorian colour palette

  • Wallpapers were also very popular during this time due to its mass production.
  • Walls were split into three often incorporating a picture rail, the Victorians also favoured deep skirting boards.
  • The colour choice for wood was mahogany, often a cheaper wood stained to the colour.
  • Heavy curtains would hang from thick wooden poles; swags and tails were also in fashion.
  • Victorians were over fussy and they would also add lace drapes to the windows also blinds. In fact everything possible would have embellishments, frills or tassels.

Art Nouveau 1890 - 1914, Art Deco 1920 - 1935

The Art Nouveau style saw a change from the heavier colour palette of the Victorians.
The Arts & Crafts movement also influenced the style with handcrafted articles. 
Pastel shades became popular as did white. Rooms became light and airy and clutter was removed.
The traditional wall layout using picture and dado rails were not always used, although picture rails were still found in many homes.

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Photo 2 Art Nouveau colour palette.

The Art Deco style has a similar pallet to Art Nouveau with the addition of citrus colours, metallic finishes, chrome surfaces and mirrors gave a modern manufactured look, as did geometric designs. Black was used for emphasis often as a thin lined border on walls or to frame a picture.
Curtains and fabrics would be plain, curtains would hang straight over wooden poles or if a pelmet was used it would be a simple box design.

Photo 3 Art Deco colour palette


This Odeon wallpaper is instantly recognisable as Art Deco and would be suitable for a number of settings and would look best with classic Art Deco fixtures and fittings. Black furniture and frames on pictures would easily stand apart from these busy designs.

Photo 4 Jackson’s Miniatures Odeon wallpape

A full version of this review was published in the May issue 2010 of Dolls House and Miniature Scene. If you would like a copy of the magazine you can order one here on line. Better still, why not take out a subscription so that you never miss an issue.

Carol Clarke is renowned in the miniature world for her interior design. Her website address is www.dollshouseinterior.co.uk (this link will open in a new window)

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