A dolls house is a toy home made in miniature. English speakers in North America commonly use the term dollhouse, but in the United Kingdom and other English-speaking countries, the term is dolls house but the spelling is interchangable.

The history of today’s dolls houses can be traced back about four hundred years to the baby house display cases of Europe, which showed idealized interiors. Smaller dolls houses with more realistic exteriors appeared in Europe in the 18th century. Early dolls houses were all handmade, but following the Industrial Revolution and World War II, they were increasingly mass-produced and became more standardized and affordable. Doll’s houses can range from simple boxes stacked together used as rooms for play, to multi-million dollar structures displayed in museums.

Contemporary children’s play dolls houses are mostly made to a 1:18 (or 2/3″) scale, while the 1:12 (or 1″) scale is common for dolls houses made for adult collectors.

Pictured here is Queen Mary’s Dolls House. Which was built between 1920 and 1924 for Queen Mary wife of King George V. It is absolutely breathtaking in its details and the incredible range of the objects within it, many of which are perfect 1:12 scale replicas of items in Windsor Castle, the royal’s own home at that time. Not only is it remarkable for its size and detail but everything in it works including all the lights, running hot and cold water and working lifts.

To help you decide which period to base your house on, here is a quick recap of historical periods, Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and Modern eras.

The Georgian Dolls House – period 1714 – 1830

This covers the reigns of the first 4 Hanoverian Kings, George I, George II, George III and George IV. The Georgian era is well known for its elaborate architecture. Porticos, and Sash and Dormer Windows are also characteristic of this period in time. Home décor in these years was sparse, many things we take for granted were yet to be mass produced (which came with the Industrial Revolution and Victorian factories). Fashion, leisure time and grand houses were the privilege of society’s elite. If you choose to decorate in Georgian era, best opt for “grand style and opulence”.

The Victorian Dolls House – period 1830s – 1900

Victorian era of British history covers the period of Queen Victoria’s reign from 20th June 1837 until her death, 22nd January 1901. She was reigning monarch for 63 years and 7 months. The Victorian era is well known for scientific invention and fashion, with the Great Exhibition of 1851 showcasing the greatest innovations in both these fields from around the world. Victorian Home décor was simple but as Victoria’s reign progressed, fashions became more elaborate introducing heavy drapes, dark carpets and dark patterned wallpapers. Homes also had many ornaments and assorted collectables.

The Edwardian Dolls House – period 1901 – 1915

Edwardian era covered the reign of King Edward VII extending to include the years preceding commencement of the First World War. In contrast to Queen Victoria who, by this time had withdrawn from society in 1861, following the death of her beloved husband Prince Albert, King Edward embraced the society and fashions of Continental Europe with these and home décor changing dramatically from preceding Victorian times, when a new movement call Art Nouveau evolved. Furniture, carpets and curtains were made of lighter material and colours, natural light being important when designing the layout of a room.

The Modern Era 1945 – present

This is anything post Second World War. There have been many exciting changes and progression since the end of wartime years. In regard to home décor having passed the austere 1950’s, the swinging 60’s followed by the 70’s and technology obsessed 80s to 2000s eg: (innovations in cooking with the microwave) with the 1990’s bringing us cheap consumer goods.

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