Victorian Dollhouses – Some Insights

There are many different styles in dollhouses, but the Victorian dollhouses are amongst my favorites.

I’m also fond of the Tudor-style (what an interesting, but cruel, part of history!), the Cabinet dollhouses, and my newest article: the Georgian style. But today I am diving into the Victorian age.

What Is The Victorian Style/Age?

During Queen Victoria’s reign, Britain’s prosperity flourished ( the late 1800s, early 1900s ). The English colonies expanded and they ruled nearly half of the world.

Many citizens back then had a great time, especially if they descended from wealthy families or because of the industrialization that really took off at that time.

This is why the Victorian-style is characterized by heavy decorations and carving; upholstery with deep buttons; mass production, new materials, over-the-top-ornaments.

Victorian homes are (especially in the US) pompous, with a lot of dormers. (which makes it great for dollhouses, don’t you think?)

Anyway, they looked like palaces. People back then had money and everyone had to see it!

The Great Exhibition in London (1851) furthered interest
in the historical styles that became particularly fashionable throughout Europe and North America.

The victorian architecture includes a number of architectural styles used in the Victorian era. The architectural style is a combination of different styles: neo-Classicism, neo-Renaissance, neo-Gothic, arts-and-crafts movement, and neo-Romanesque. The style may vary by region and period.

Wealthy European settlers brought the Victorian style to the US to show their wealth and status to others.

A Few Artists Of Victorian Dollhouses.

I remember having a subscription to an American dollhouse magazine and I know for a fact that almost every time, those magazines talked about miniature artists being specialized in Victorian dollhouses and Victorian furniture.

Unfortunately, I don’t have those magazines anymore, so I had to look it up on Google. But hey, the Worldwide World is on Google so let’s go, and let’s name a few remarkable ones.

A. Emma Waddell.

Wow, Emma Waddell from Dolls House Grand Design, must have the greatest job in the world, in my opinion ;-). She has a Facebook page as well.

She says she is the “only person in the world who can call herself an interior stylist for dollhouses”. If you think about it, it is not surprising. After all, someone has to do it. And she does her job properly: the houses are real works of art.

I am not sure if I can ‘steal’ her pictures and I couldn’t find her on Youtube, so please check out her website-gallery!

Her designs are often made in Victorian style and very expanded.

Over the years she also received a lot of strange requests. For example, a man asked for a secret passage, from a woman’s bedroom to the man’s desk, including a secret door behind the bookcase.

Miniature artist Giac
Picture by miniature artist Giac

B. Giac.

The artist called ‘Giac’, whose blog I found through Pinterest.

As you can see, he made a late Victorian English manor dollhouse: 1:12 scale, from scratch.

It is a shame that I could not find this artist on Youtube either, it would be nice to see the result. Not just with small pictures, but with a clear walkthrough-video also.

It amazes me how much professional work goes into these dollhouses! You can read all about it and there is a walkthrough on his Pinterest post.

C. Earth and tree miniatures.

These guys own a shop with miniature kits and more, but also make their own designed (Victorian) Dollhouses and finishing touches.

It is great to see what they made on this Youtube video. Have fun with the tour of the Goffstown dollhouse!

 

D. Dollhouses, miniatures, and more bye Madeline.

Wow, look at this lady and her work with Victorian dollhouses, amazing! She claimed to have made everything herself, and I see no reason to not believe her, she definitely has ‘got it in the fingers’. She explains everything in her videos!

 

E. TheLstill01 :

Can I just keep saying: ‘WOW’? Yes, I can: ‘WOW’!

I have no idea if this artist is still working on dollhouses, as most off the videos are from at least 7 years ago, but I do wish he still does!

It took him 3 years to build this dollhouse and the gentleman’s billiards room is featured in the December 2012 issue of Miniature Collector magazine.

All the videos, except the last one on his channel, are Victorian-style!

 

 

Build victorian dollhouses yourself or with kits

I would not start a Victorian dollhouse yourself, only if you are a professional dollhouse builder or miniaturist. This would be very hard to make without any knowledge of architecture, building plans, the style, the materials needed, etc.

There are several ready-to-go Victorian Dollhouses on the market or you can build one from a kit. I have seen some great ones out there, and I have made some reviews here.

But, if you insist on trying it yourself, this is the way it goes to construct any dollhouse :

Step 1: Research, design and plan the dollhouse.

Usually, when I make a building plan, I just take the real-life scale and divide it by 12, so as to get the scale measurements. But for a complicated house like a Victorian-style house, you could use professional software like smartdraw.com or others? Draw up a plan and make a list of the tools and materials that you are going to use.

building plan

Step 2: Buy the tools and materials.

Buy the tools and materials that you will be using. Select wood that is relatively thin and that can be easily cut and shaped into small details. Select the colors for the paint well and prepare enough materials depending on the size of the dollhouse that you are going to make.

Step 3: Cut the wood.

Start by cutting out the wood to get the base of the dollhouse. A Victorian dollhouse will have several floors. Also, you will need to prepare the partition walls, and the openings for windows, stairs, and doors.

Step 4: Assemble the base.

When the frame is ready, assemble the interior elements that mainly include the partitions walls, and stairs. Make sure to use good wood glue to properly fix all parts. For a more secure structure, you may want to nail some areas instead.

Step 5: Windows and doors.

Use the materials that you like to make doors and windows, it usually will be out of wood, sometimes plastic is also used. Fit them carefully into the frame.

Step 6: Painting.

Finally, when all the assembly is done, you can choose to paint the dollhouse. Some even choose to paint the floors and ceilings in the house, while others just use wallpapers.

Step 7: Attach the roof.

Finally, install the roof on top of the dollhouse and you’re done. Here’s how roofs are made.

When you’re done with the house, I would definitely consider buying the furniture from professional miniature artists in this case.

victorian dollhouses

Finally: you do not want to make the houses completely from scratch? Why not try a Victorian dollhouse kit?

My Final Conclusion.

Love it or hate it, the Victorian dollhouses, it is totally up to you ;-).

Do you like these or do you prefer another style of dollhouses, maybe even just the modern ones? Let me know in the comments! Or you can now join my newest Facebook group and chat about our hobby with over 1300 members at the moment!

The next architectural style that I am going to talk about that is pretty common in the dollhouse world is the Tudor style. Keep posted,

Happy crafting!

Best regards,

Lizzy

4 thoughts on “Victorian Dollhouses – Some Insights”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing a great article to know more about Victorian Dollhouses.

    I’ve always loved dollhouses, and I don’t think I’ve ever had one myself, but I tried to make one a couple of times without any success. As mother of 3 boys life was so busy and I didn’t have time to make a dollhouse.

    Today I’m the grandmother of a young girl and I’ve been thinking of a dollhouse for her, I think she will love to have one, and I’m glad I found your website as I’ve never thought about buying a kit to make one dollhouse, you gave me a great idea.

    Making a Victorian dollhouse for my grand daughter will be a good idea as we keep living in quarantine!

    Reply
    • Hello Alejandra !

      Thank you for reading my article about Victorian dollhouses and I hope you and your granddaughter will have a great time building and enjoying a fantastic dollhouse !

      I am sorry to hear that you still are in quarantine, but yes, a miniature kit will keep you busy during tough times!

      take care ,

      Lizzy

      Reply
  2. It’s really given me so much joy seeing more about these miniature houses and I really like how you describe them to us all because there are people who have no knowledge of it and from there, they can all get to see what this miniature is really and I like the contents of this very nice site.

    Reply

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