It’s all about Scale !

Hello Everyone –

While I am busy working on orders for the chaise sets, I thought you might enjoy a repost of an article I wrote for Fashion Doll Quarterly Magazine ( in 2012.

I tend to be most comfortable working in 1:6 scale. Although, when I tell people I work in miniature, their first reaction is always – “Oh, dollhouse furniture?!” This is what prompted me to do an article about the difference.

I hope you enjoy the re-post.



From the archives – 5/2012


Learning about Scale

1:12  vs. 1:6

Text photography and set design by Maryann Roy

When people ask what I do for a living, and I respond with the short version – ” I design furniture in miniature”, usually the next comment is – “Oh, dollhouse furniture?”

For those who don’t necessarily deal with miniatures, but are familiar with doll houses, this of course would be a common immediate response. A visual, you might say. Most doll houses are made in what is known at 1:12 scale.

The term scale , used in relation to what I do, means: –  a representation of a measurement or a relative size or scope.

Fashion dolls, who are typically 12″ in height, are known as 1:6 scale. This is the size that I work in . The term play scale  is also used when referring to 1:6, as is the term  doll house used to describe 1:12 scale.

The rule of thumb as far as relating or comparing scales to people would be 1″ = 1′.

This is a basic as far as measurements are concerned, because if you apply that formula to 1:6, we humans would all be 6 feet tall. But again, this comparison gives you a visual.

As mentioned, I typically work in 1:6 scale. However, always fascinated by dollhouses myself, I recently decided to try some furniture in 1:12.  I saw a lovely vintage, miniature Japanese living room set on EBay with inverted “U” shaped legs and the sleek styling that I love so much.  Inspired by this, I created my own set incorporating some of those elements.

I liked the results of the 1:12 design so much, that I decided to make this sweet set in 1:6 scale as well. Presented here are the two sets.  One in 1:12 scale the other, 1:6 scale.  The same materials and components were used in both, including the pieces I used to make accessories like lamps and rugs.


1:12 Living Room :



1:6 Living Room :


Look carefully to see how sometimes scale can fool the eye.  Although 1:6 scale is twice the size of 1:12, some of those larger pieces work well in a smaller setting too!

For instance :  The area rug is the same one used in both of the sets. The design is what makes this work so well regardless of the furniture size.  And that’s because the scale  of the design can go either way – A large patterned area rug for the small set, or a medium patterned area rug for the larger set.

Take a look at the lamp in either set. It is literally the same lamp, however, in order to make the scale work in 1:6 , I added an element to the bottom of the lamp. Thus making it taller, but that’s the only difference. No larger shade or thicker base.

Sometimes, less is more. Yup, say that again – LESS is MORE when working in miniature.  Take a look at the coffee table in these two sets.  The larger (1:6 set) has two crystal jars displayed on it’s table.  however, in the smaller set (1:12) only one is needed for visual display.  It’s still exactly the same jar, but two are not necessary in the smaller space.

The folding room divider is another scale example.  The same paper was used in both sets.  It’s corrugated design works well for either size. However, in this case, I did cut the height for the smaller set. Same paper though.

For further perspective on scale,  take a look at my hand in these photos. It shows the difference  between the two sizes, and also shows the size (scale) in relation to people .


1:12 Scale :



1:6 Scale :


plyscl6 copy


From a different angle showing the folding screen and interior space .  1:12 scale :





Same angle only with the 1:6 scale set.  Notice the room setting/walls are the same, as are the area rug, room divider and lamp.



One last visual.  A 12 ” doll lounges in the 1:6 scale set.plyscl5dup


Obtaining an eye for proper scale takes practice, but the more you do it, the better you will get at it. After a time, you will automatically know, just by eyeing a piece whether it will work in 1:6 scale,  1:12 scale  or  both!

Maryann Roy is the Owner/Designer of “Welcome Home ” Furnishings and Set Design and can be found on the web at:



You can now follow Me on Instagram ! :


Welcome Home  – “Add a little LIFE to your display”

* Welcome Home is a registered/trademark business. All content including designs, photos and text are the property of the Artist, Maryann Roy, and may not be copied or used without written permission.




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