Interior Decorating

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Reflected Color: Rik Pierce can always be depended upon to give good, factual and easily understood instructions on any given topic. Regarding the color scheme for the interior walls of a home, please remember that the walls reflect each other. This results in a deeper shade of color than you may have originally intended to use. If you are choosing color from a wallpaper swatch or a fabric or carpet - sample select a shade half as light as the finished color you desire. A soft pink, so light it seems to vanish will become a true baby pink when applied to three walls in the room of a house.


Choosing Colour Schemes: A little while back one of our members had posted concerns about choosing a series of colours to paint the exterior of her dollhouse. Now, on the other side of the spectrum, as a web designer, choosing colour schemes can drive me nuts, especially when I'm stuck for something very new and/or very different.

The following link may be of some help to you when deciding on a series of colours in miniature decorating:
The colours you will see there are known as web-safe colours, however, they are basic colours and when you click on any of the small colour boxes on the left hand side of the screen, the right hand side of the screen will then display a colour scheme (of 16 colours no less!) that you can work with

For me, it's not only handy for web design, but also very handy for mini design. I have found this site so useful in trying to decide on
- DMC colours for a x-stitch carpet
- x-stitch pillow colours
- the interior colours of a room
- dressing a doll...colour fabric choice
- selecting colours for a miniature fairisle sweater, etc
Now, granted, these colours do not reflect actual colours by the colour name or colour number of acrylic paints or DMC floss numbers, but a dark hunter green is a dark hunter green, so if that is your preferred main colour, select the dark hunter green and you'll see all the other 16 colours that come up for you to work with. There are also 2 links in the Select Colour box where you can Lighten All or Darken All the resulted colours. This is also very good because if you do not like the results of your dark hunter green, you can select Lighten All and you get another range of colours, but a bit lighter.

Joy in Pointe Claire


Inexpensive wallpaper: Saw the note about wallpaper/paint for finishing rooms and a   response saying most people wallpaper which is true.   Also said wallpaper really isn't expensive which is debatable depending on the state of your pocketbook! :)   At $2.50 per sheet retail and assuming you use three sheets per room so you don't have to do any piecing, that can add up if you're doing a house with 6 or 8 rooms.   Anyway, I just wanted to suggest that you think about very tiny print "real" wallpaper that you can buy closeouts on usually for $1.00 per roll.   But even better (cause you don't end up with 6 or 8 huge rolls of wallpaper when you're done) is looking at fabrics as wall coverings.   The colors, prints, etc., are limitless and it is very inexpensive to use.   If you your rooms have 8" high walls, you can buy a quarter of a yard (9") of a 36" or 44" wide fabric and have enough to do the entire room for just a dollar or two depending on the fabric you select.   When I paper with fabric, I use double sided carpet tape on poster board panels and then glue the panels to the walls but there are various other methods also.

Mary Lynne in Huntington, WV

Chicken pictures: For people interested in chicken pictures for a kitchen or somewhere, Jan Brett has some nice borders, etc. They would have to be reduced before printing.

Laura, Calgary

Gift Room box ideas: Just choose the one thing that really makes her happy, her greatest interest. I'm planning to do a box for my mom on her favorite pastime: community theater. I want to do a birds-eye view type of layout that encompasses the front stage with a curtained stage and a row of seats, and a behind the curtain area with all the stacked props and backdrops, and a door to the "stars" dressing room with all the mayhem that goes on before a performance evident (ex: costumes and a make-up mirror cluttered with scripts and make-up, theater posters, etc.)

I'm also working on a Disneyesque nursery roombox for my best friend who just found out she's expecting and being a Disney fanatic will of course be doing her baby's room in that motif. I only have 7 more months to complete it! If any one has any ideas for either of these themes, please let me know.

Diane in Holtsville, NY

Decorating Ideas:


Wallpaper/Fabric on Exterior: I have an Arthur that gave me such a fit when I got ready to shingle it (you know how easily the tab & slot houses get "out of square") that I wallpapered the roof with a pattern of climbing roses and cut out climbing roses to glue onto the sides so they looked like they climbed up and then just ran amok on the roof. I then painted it with three or four coats of modge podge to give it a bit of "body" (and overcome the "wallpapered" look), and was very satisfied with the results. I don't know why you couldn't do the same thing with the whole house, and imagine on a small house like the sweetheart it would give a wonderful "fantasy finish". I have a fat square from Joann's that is a pond scene (non-repeated) that I can envision being used for just such a purpose, and of course there are some pretty interesting full-sized wallpaper borders out there that feature scenics. We were in SC recently and I saw another small house in a shop that had been painted a very dark green all over and then had one-stroke roses and other flowers painted all over it -- it was really striking, and made the little house quite an impressive "residence." I think I'd give your idea a try -- and if worse comes to worse and you don't like the effect you can always pull off the paper or fabric. Build On!

Dayle in MD

Acrylic paints: I read about many techniques used with acrylics, but one way to keep the paint from drying out is to use a Masterson's Stay Wet Palette. You wet the sponge and the paper. When you use flow enhancer in the paint on this wet paper, the paint stays wet longer. I used this when I painted full scale landscapes with acrylics.

Susan Robbins

Most of my dhs have stucco exteriors. I live in south FL so this is the way most real houses look here. I use textured wallpaper in any color because I paint it or sponge on a "natural" finish. It hides many errors in my assembly or kit bashed dhs.

I use greeting cards cut like fancy windows for roomboxes. I wait until the scene is nearly done to get the best placement and style. Pearl's sells a pack for under $6. Most of the dhs have exterior chimneys too. Hobby builders supply sells a block kit which I fit to each dh and cover with textured wallpaper which has squares in the pattern, then I paint it to look like brick and stencil tiny ivy to the finished piece. I suppose thick pieces of Styrofoam could be used for the base too. The square imprinted paper makes excellent tile floors and walls for bathrooms and other rooms where 4x4 tiles are used in real life. I splurge on working windows and other items with the $$s saved on the stucco and bricks!

I splurge on fancy wallpaper and accessories when I use paper windows in the roomboxes. Rhett Butler (by Peggy Nisbit) has a real leather top desk and resin office chair with a leather saddle in the corner of his study with Brodnax wall cover in jungle pattern. His antique celluloid St. Bernard is by his side. I'm still "placing" the paper window. All of the office thingies like folders, etc., are from Jim's printable minis.


Printing wallpaper: Firstly, to get wallpaper, or any full-size printie into the right scale, you would first download the picture and save it. Then insert the picture into a Microsoft Publisher document. Publisher enables you to decrease the size of the object/picture (or expand it if need be) to whatever size you want, and the rulers on the left and top of the page are a great help. Once you have the object the right size, you just have to print it.This leads to your next question re printing 11" wallpaper. Here I would make a copy of the picture in the file you have saved it in so that you have two. Using suitable software (I use ArcSoft Photo Studio 2000) you can then open the copy picture and crop it so that the piece you are left with can be added to the bottom of the original wallpaper (here you have to take care to ensure you don't crop off too much and that the pattern matches).

You would then go into Publisher, insert your original wallpaper and then insert the second cropped section of wallpaper below it, print and TA DA!

Another alternative is to print your own from scratch, either by scanning real wallpaper/wrapping paper or whatever and downsizing it, or you might find something on the Net. I'm a William Morris devotee and the dolls house I'm currently decorating is a Late Victorian one. I papered a couple of rooms with shop-bought wallpaper but wasn't entirely happy because I wanted something really special. Then, in my quest for the ultimate wallpaper, I discovered that quite a few William Morris sites have samples of his wallpaper, even giving the pattern repeat which means you can downsize the sample to a perfect 1/12 (in my case) scale. Before inserting the samples into a Publisher document, downsizing, and then copying and pasting to fill a page, some of the samples had to be cropped so that the pattern could be properly repeated. The result is that I now have done three rooms in William Morris wallpaper, and am working on the fourth, and now that I have fuzzy paper, I can complete the look with carpets. I'm in heaven!

Heather Heatherbee Miniatures, Perth, Western Aust

Raggedy Ann & Andy Wallpaper: I have ordered some wonderful Raggedy Ann & Andy Wallpaper from

Nancy Faye Roach - Port St. Lucie, FL



Fuzzy paper can be had at:

Alice Zinn- Pt. St. Lucie FL

Murals: Who ever was looking for a source of murals, check out


Cobwebs: That fake spider web stuff that you can buy everywhere around Halloween time (looks like a ball of white cotton when in the bag) makes good cobwebs or spider webs. You can pull the tiniest strands. To make a web you can carefully glue the strands unto waxpaper to form your web. When completely dry it should be stiff and you will be able to carefully peel it off. Tedious Job!

Brooke, Wa

Cobwebs: What I would do is with an eye loupe take apart a length of string or thread (depending on your scale.) Follow the photos in any text and make your own spider (cob)web.


Cobwebs: Assuming you can find one, a snip of old hairnet makes great cobwebs. Another thing to use would be the "strings" that result from using hot glue. I frequently get itty bitty "cobs" in my dollhouse, but they never seem to put their webs where I need them!

Dani, in Bradshaw, MD

p>Cobwebs: Do you have any of the white stretchy stuff left from Halloween that you use for decorative cobwebs? I have used very small pieces stretched very, very, very thinly and glued lightly in place with Tacky glue {use a toothpick}in past. Works great.

Patricia / Redwood City, CA

Patio floors: I finally have my patio floors available in 1/2" scale and 1/4" scale. The 1/2" size is 6" by 6", the 1/4" size is 3" by 3". Both are equal to 12 feet square in life size. To see the two styles available, please go to my website. Click on Old World Tile in the contents, then floors, then scroll down to see the patios. These are so new they're not listed on the site yet.

Beth, In A Miniature Manor

Wallpaper: I also had problems finding wallpaper that I liked here in the UK, on a visit to my local DIY shop (focus) I found a solution. The DIY shop had a sale on full size wallpaper, so I bought some rolls with a very small pattern on and some with a stripe and some with a self coloured pattern, I also bought some borders that were also reduced in price. With the borders I did not use the whole thing but at the edges of the rolls was a mini sized design so I cut the edges off and used these as my 'mini' borders, the middle of the border I threw away, so for around 1 per roll I managed to decorate my house with lots to spare, I also was able to buy some paper with a small embossed pattern on which I used for papering my ceilings they look great. I used two different types of wallpaper for each room one at the top and one at the bottom with some of the 'mini' border in the middle. So have a look around the DIY places in your local stores, its worth a visit.

Ann Littler, Oxford UK

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