In a “Valentine” mood…

New items coming soon!  In the meantime…

Red and Pink ! A romantic look, whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not .  Here is a reprint of my article “Art of the Diorama” featured in Dolls magazine in 2012.

Enjoy !



The Art of the Diorama 

Text, photography, and furnishings by: Maryann Roy

 Doll collecting has come a long way in the last decade. It has evolved into something more spectacular than just capturing our childhood memories.  I see this the most when it comes to the “fashion doll”.

The mere explosion of  new sculpts, couture clothing, articulation,(which, of course, equals life-like posing and movement) has sent our collecting experience down a whole new avenue!

 We are no longer content to see our dolls stand like little soldiers on a shelf.  No more will we spend our hard earned doll money on beautiful models and just leave them waiting for something to do !

 Since our lovelies can now pose more human-like than ever, it makes perfect sense to enjoy them in another dimension.

 Let me introduce you to,  The ART of the Diorama

  The word diorama has several definitions ( albeit all very similar,) the most common, from Webster Dictionary:

 A scene, often in miniature, reproduced in three dimensions by placing objects, figures, etc. in front of a painted background.

 While that’s basically it in a nut shell, I tend to take this a bit further. Since my dolls are more life-like than ever, it is my intention to have them housed in the most life like way.

 Dioramas for me are a unique perspective on the way I look at and enjoy my dolls.  It’s a visual art that blends talents like painting, drawing, and design  in a way that no other medium can do.

 Remember grade school and our little “shoe box” dioramas? These were elemental, yes, but it taught us to take a closer look at and learn a little more about the subject we were creating for.


  On a higher level, dioramas can still do that for our dolls. You can take your favorite doll, and place her in an entirely new situation.  Imagine her anywhere, just by creating a miniature world around her.

 This happened for me, while writing about and photographing my dolls. I wanted my pictures to have a more interesting composition than just the doll itself. So, I decided to make some props to utilize in these photos. To my sheer delight, I found out that not only did I enjoy making these pieces but the interest grew into learning about a whole new area of design. – Furniture!

 When I put the two together (dolls and pieces of furniture), it was like looking at a new dimension, or perspective to my collecting. I realized that my love of these two things, actually made a good marriage !


 My photos looked more interesting. My dolls, more beautiful, more life-like, MORE entertaining! It wasn’t until I got a little carried away with creating suites of furniture that I decided it might be time to offer them for sale. This began a new direction for me on a business level


While I know that not everyone has a talent for design or crafting furniture, there are resources, such as myself, to help you in your endeavor to pull together a diorama of your own. Here are some tips that may help you along the way.

 You may feel intimidated by where to start.  Well, start out small. Choose a piece of furniture rather than a room. A great chair, or a dresser is a good place to begin. These pieces will help when posing the doll or giving her “character”.

 Whenever possible, utilize natural light.  This is one of the best ways to get a realistic looking scene.


LESS is MORE!  Don’t over accessorize a room with little knick knacks. Clean lines and a few carefully chosen pieces are all that’s needed to bring a room to life! The dolls will stand out more if there is not too much going on in the scene.

 I want you to notice in my photos, how I have used these tips.

  Natural daylight is streaming through the windowed walls .  

I’ve used two of my favorite colors (red and pink) to  create a really feminine setting.


 The furniture is the main staple in the room, and nothing but a beautiful crystal lamp is on the table.

 The windows frame the walls, as well as the doll. She is naturally posed on the sofa, standing in the room and leaning on the chair, while the room makes the composition of each photo come to life.



 When you look at these scenes, they are pleasing to the eye.  You enjoy not only the doll, but the entire setting. I personally can see how people get lost when gazing at paintings, or photographs, or miniatures . Dioramas can transport you the same way. It’s an art form. It’s a creative dance between the love of something you treasure and your want to show it off.


 The idea of “play”, as an adult collector, takes on a whole new meaning when you apply it to dioramas and places to house our collections.

 An enlightening thing – this idea of recreating our lives in miniature. Perhaps your dioramas will take on the look of your own living space. Maybe they will capture a past memory. Or, there just might be a new style  of decor you were thinking of trying. What ever the reason really doesn’t matter.  You love your dolls. You  collect them for your own reasons. And, if you want to enjoy them even more, you may take it to the next level. A New Dimension. The Diorama.


  The Author is the Owner of  Welcome Home:  Neo-Retro furnishings and set design in 1:6 scale.  Where does YOUR doll live?”

 To reach Maryann Roy:





 ** Welcome Home is a registered/trademark business. No part of this blog, writings, photos, designs or ideas my be used  or copied without written permission.  Welcome Home copyright 2008. **



3 thoughts on “In a “Valentine” mood…

Add yours

  1. Where did the cherry blossom wall hangings come from. I am currently trying to create one, and I saw yours and I must know where you got them! Great article, as well. I tend to over-accessorize.

  2. Hi Maryann, Happy Valentine’s day! Your diorama information is helpful. I especialy enjoy when you share
    your personal thoughts on design & decor. The room you created showcases your doll & the beauty of your creations.

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