|Chairs in 1:12 scale (the largest), 1:24 scale and 1:48 scale|
Universally, even in countries which use the metric system of measurement, dolls house scales are always shown in inches. In the ratios given for the different scales, the larger the number, the smaller the dolls house will be.
Imagine you are sitting in a real room that is 12 feet wide. I'll use this imaginary room to show you the difference in the dolls house scales.
1:12 Scale: Also known as 1 inch to 1 foot scale, this is the most common dolls house size. The majority of miniature furniture and accessories as well as dolls houses that are available to buy are in this scale. The 1:12 ratio shows that 1 inch in a model equates to 12 inches in real size.
This means our imaginary 12 feet wide room would make a miniature room 12 inches wide.
In this scale the door of a dolls house is just over 6 inches tall, ceilings are 8 inches high, and a female doll is about 5 1/2 inches tall.
1:24 Scale: The 1:24 ratio is also called 'half scale'. This means that 1 inch in a model would equal 24 inches in real size. Our imaginary room would be scaled down to just 6 inches wide.
Half scale is gaining in popularity. Dolls house enthusiasts who are getting short of space are increasingly turning to 1:24 scale as it takes up so much less room.
1:48 Scale: This 1:48 ratio known as the 'quarter scale' is even smaller with 1 inch on a model equalling 48 inches in real size. Now the imaginary 12 feet wide room is only 3 inches wide in miniature.
Dolls houses in quarter scale are often built of thin basswood, foam core or matboard. They take up very little room and are a good size to sit on a shelf or counter top.
Now if your brain can compute even smaller measurements for a miniature building, think about 1:144 scale! Dolls houses this size can fit in the palm of your hand. The scale is sometimes called 'dolls house for a dolls house' because it is just the right size to be used as a dolls house in a 1:12 scale nursery.
And what about Barbie size? This is 1:6 scale as the size is large enough to fit dolls the height of a Barbie doll into a house. Dolls houses in this size are suitable for young children to play with as they can move furniture and dolls around easily in the spacious rooms.
I think choosing which is the dolls house scale for you depends on your personal preference and the space you have available in your home to work in and display your miniatures.