Even though so much of today's furniture is made from plastic, there is something about wooden dolls house furniture that adds an air of realism. The warm hues of natural woods create an inviting, homelike atmosphere better than resin or plastic ever could. If you are creating a miniature home as a collector's item, wooden furniture is a must for adding value and an antique appearance.
One of the most important aspects of realistic wooden scale-model furniture is the wood it's made from. Hardwoods are generally more durable, more richly colored, and less likely to splinter than softwoods. Quality wood furniture may not be cheap, but the mini variety is a lot more affordable than its life-sized counterpart. If you're designing a dolls house you hope will last several generations, these woods are well worth the investment. Some of the most popular high quality hardwoods for miniature home furniture are:
As nice as quality woods are, they are just not practical in every situation. A prime example is when you are choosing furniture a small child will handle. No matter what, those charming little tables and chairs are going to get scratched, dented, stained or lost under the fridge. Safety is also more of a concern.
In this case, cheap yet sturdy maple furniture is your best option. Maple comes with an attractive tan color and smooth finish that's gentle on little fingers. Obeche wood is also popular among craftspeople who create miniature furniture. This wood can be dyed to imitate other woods and is generally free of splinters. Pine is another good option, although it tends to splinter more easily than hardwood.
Attention to Detail
Quality craftsmanship is critical for both durability and a realistic appearance. Minimalist furniture designed for young children can still look all right even when mass produced. If fact, that's part of what keeps the price down.
Detailed-rich hardwood furniture, on the other hand, looks best when handmade. If you're a stickler for detail, you can buy a dolls house furniture kit and do the job yourself. Otherwise, look around for miniature home artisans who handiwork appeals to you. Naturally, artisan furniture is little pricier, but worth it if you're creating an heirloom piece.
Planning by Furniture Period
Wooden scale-model furniture is designed in American Colonial, Victorian, Edwardian, contemporary and a number of other period styles. While it's not an absolute must, using one style through the house gives you a better chance of achieving a realistic look. If that sounds a bit too restrictive, try choosing a style for each room or section of the house. An eclectic mix can also work well, but plan your purchases carefully so you do not end up pieces that clash.
Detailed, scale-model furniture is what really makes a dolls house look like a true miniature home. Genuine wood furniture adds and even greater feeling of homeliness. So, before you buy, take a little time to shop around and find scaled furniture that really appeals to you.