Each dollhouse is its own unique creation. No dollhouse will be exactly like another, nor should it be. Nevertheless, there are certain steps to the process that, if followed, will help each dollhouse to become a harmonious and balanced whole. Of course, rules are made to be broken, so any of these tips may not apply to your particular design. Just be aware of the purpose behind these guidelines. That will ensure that your unique ideas work in harmony with the principles of balance and design.
1. Be aware of the purpose and function of the dollhouse.
Before you ever begin dollhouse construction or even planning, it is important to make an overall assessment of the project. Who will own the dollhouse? Will it be a toy or a display item? Where will the dollhouse be located? How much space is available for its display? What are the interests of the dollhouse owner and how will these interests be incorporated into the design? What will the style and era of the dollhouse be? If the style is eclectic, what overall theme will tie the individual rooms together? Be sure that you narrow the focus of the project before you begin.
2. Determine the structure and style of the dollhouse.
Choose a scale for the miniaturization. The most common scale in the United States today is 1:12, where one inch of dollhouse equals one foot of a full-sized home.
The most popular option is to purchase a dollhouse kit. This will give you all the precut pieces necessary to build the model of your choice.
If you decide to design the dollhouse yourself, determine which building materials you will use and how large the finished product will be. Now you will need to draw the layout. Dollhouse layouts are can be created on paper or with the help of software. From a simple shareware program to AutoCAD, many programs are now able to give you a three-dimensional layout of the dollhouse before you begin.
3. Design the interior of the dollhouse.
Keep in mind the form and function of the dollhouse as well as the architectural style when planning your interior decorating. As with the exterior design, be sure to lay out the interior carefully before you begin decorating. Decide on a cohesive theme for the interior, but design each room individually. Draw up a floor plan on the same scale as the exterior shell. Be certain to mark out existing architectural features such as doors, windows and any special elements. Choose a focal point for each room and design the rest of the room around that focal point.
4. Pre-wire the dollhouse for electricity before furnishing the interior.
Lighting can be an exciting part of your interior design plan. Be sure to wire the necessary electricity before adding any other interior features. In this way, the wiring can be hidden behind paint, wallpaper and flooring, creating a much more realistic look.
5. Decorate the interior of the dollhouse.
Follow your interior design plan but leave yourself room for inspiration and imaginative creativity. Expect this to be an ongoing process, not something completed in a weekend. Enjoy the process of shopping for just the right furniture, flooring and all the little details.
6. Decide who will live in your dollhouse.
Some dollhouses are left empty, functioning strictly as design showcases. However, adding a few doll occupants will give your dollhouse a feeling of warmth and life. Take your time deciding on the perfect doll occupants.