Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hauntingly Elegant Miniature Interiors: Inspiration & Resources

A shimmering lady in white came gliding down the luxoriously carved staircase, drawn by the smell of rich pipe tobacco wafting from the library. Once, so long ago, it was her husbands... Who is this strange man sitting there in her house, the house she had so lovingly filled with treasures and laughter? Once so long ago. As she circled behind his chair, the gentleman suddenly froze and looked about him. 'Is anyone there?' he asked. 'Why, I am sir', the lady in white answered. To her annoyance, the man seemed to be looking right through her. She reached out and gripped his wrist. With a start, the stranger jumped from his chair dropping his pipe on the floor. 'What have you done!' the lady lamented and a gust of cold air blew the nearby curtains about. The gentlman fled from the room and all was quiet again.

Many times ghosts are said to be attached to the material items they once so treasured in life. I often imagine a haunted mansion of that era being watched over by the head mistress who is unable or unwilling to leave her carefully crafted home. The Victorian middle and upper classes spent a tremendous amount of thought and resources on interior design and furniture.

Below are a 2 examples of my own Victorian inspired spooky miniatures: a haunted mirror and a gothic gargoyle hearth.

I found a wonderful example of ostentatious Victorian interior design. Below are photos of the Linden Towers James Clair Flood Menlo Park home in 1878. Featured are the Grand Entryway, a bedroom, a parlour, and the Dinning Room. To see more photos about this magnifiscent residence and family, visit:

Looking at this, what type of elements would you need to add to your dollhouse to develop a similiar mood? Patterned wallpaper, ornate molding and columns, patterned rugs, large paintings in gilded frames, intricate doorways, mantles, fireplaces, and lighting pieces... basically a lot of layered bling!

You can find fairly inexpensive molding pieces at Hobby shops and also another overlooked resource, your local Home Depot or Lowes! Check in the cabinetry and molding aisles. There are many smaller pieces that can be adapted to dollhouse scales. Also consider jewelry bits and do a search for 'charms', 'cameos', and 'findings' online. Visit the dollar store for inexpensive picture frames: the smaller ones can be used for wire hung paintings while the larger ones can be glued directly to the ceilings as molding details.

An artist that I especially like for such a project is Jim Coates! He produces handmade high quality moldings from his own designs. These can be purchased bare or prepainted. His line includes picture frames, fire places, mantles, and columns. His work is beautiful and well priced!
Examples below are available at:


Debbie said...

Those mouldings are absolutely beautiful. I Love the Art Nouveau inspired Lady.

Carolina Gonzalez said...

I LOVE the haunted mirror!!!


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