Thursday, 28 February 2013

Edwardian Dolls House Decoration - Part Two

Pale colours and tiles in a dolls house bathroom
As promised, here is a room-by-room guide to colours for an Edwardian dolls house.

  • The Kitchen: walls were white or cream. Skirting boards and cornices were stained or painted dark brown. The scullery and pantry were traditionally painted pale blue, as it was thought this colour discouraged flies. Around the wet areas tiles in cream or white were often used.
  • The Bathroom: walls were a light colour, often pale blue or white and some bathroom walls were partially tiled. A cheaper method of lining the walls was to use enamelled zinc which could be painted over. You can replicate this in a dolls house by using embossed wallpaper.
  • The Nursery: the Edwardians believed that a child's sensitivity and intuition were developed by its environment and so the nursery had to be light, bright and clean. Striped wallpapers gave a crisp, fresh look. Paintwork on walls and nursery furniture was white or cream. Wallpaper friezes of nursery rhyme characters and alphabets were popular as were whimsical motifs such as crescent moons with smiley faces, circus figures and fairytale characters for decorating the walls. Dolls house suppliers often have Kate Greenaway wallpapers and friezes for sale.
  • The Bedrooms: floral wallpapers were popular (I used a floral fabric for the walls in my Edwardian dolls house bedroom). Fashionable paint colours were white, pale pink, sea green, soft blue and grey. Stencilling was in fashion to add decorative paint effects as a frieze around the walls or around doorways and windows.
  • The Dining Room: here you can use striped wallpapers in richer colours such as dull green, dull blue and soft red. Some rooms had oak panelling on the walls. A deep frieze round the tops of the walls would be a different colour or design. Ceilings might be embossed tiles or plaster work and the light would be suspended from a ceiling rose, painted white or cream.
  • The Drawing Room: this was the most decorated room in the house as it was where visitors were entertained. The family's most important furniture and ornaments were displayed here, set off against fashionably painted or wallpapered decor.
It is easy to replicate an authentically decorated Edwardian interior, a change from the dark decor, overly ornamented and cluttered rooms of Victorian times. When decorating your dolls house in Edwardian style, keep thinking of lighter colours and fresher looks and you can't go wrong!


  1. Thanks Wendy for your neat period notes, they are very useful. I have an Edwardian style shop/house that I'm setting in the year 1948 but naturally it carries many Edwardian 'echoes', so it's good to be reminded of the period features that I could point to.

    1. I've been reading your blog too, Chas, & I like the way you go for realism. I think putting a bit of effort into researching the different periods really pays off so you can get an authentic look in miniature.