How to make an upholstered daybed

Dolly-hobby Room make-over reveal

Dear Diary,

Like I said before, our homes are constantly changing, evolving to be more efficient, double up in function and just generally work harder for ever-changing families.   Smaller, more efficient  homes are more in demand and with this comes a whole set of problems.  How to fit all our lives, hobbies and work into a smaller home.  For the last few weeks I have been helping a retired couple do just that.  Renovating and improving the functionality of their small cute cottage.  In their spare bedroom make over, I have showed you how I made an upholstered daybed that functions as a sofa as well as a bed, and recovered an antique chair to match the theme.  Now, let me show you the Dolly-hobby room make-over reveal!

The room was already being used in multiple ways, but lacked two things;- extra sleeping space for guests (something small homes always need) and a cohesive, pretty design to work with the hobby of dollhouse building.  The owner also displays her own dolls from her childhood, dolls from her granny and special doll gifts in a beautiful french display cabinet in this room.  She spends a lot of time here building the most beautiful dollhouse I have ever seen…….Did you watch Downton Abby??  Well, this is IT in dollhouse size!…..ok back to the room.  I will show the doll house later!  Here is the before.  She used part of the room as a study, which took up way to much precious space in my opinion.  I relocated and simplified the study else where in the house and this opened up much-needed space for a bed of sorts.


As you can see, the dollhouse takes up a lot of room, but there was room for a single bed, it just needed to be more than a bed.  I made a daybed for the space.  Because the rest of cottage has an English Country feel,  and the fact that she adores floral fabrics, I decided an upholstered daybed would be great and a fantastic opportunity to use some florals! (See my tutorial here for the bed)

Stunning don’t you think? 😉  It’s also a great place to display some antique, collectors bears and her mom’s antique throw blanket.  We are all sentimental creatures in some way, and why not showcase the pieces in a decorative way?  Just look at some of the dolls in this display cabinet, a few dates back to the 1800’s!

If you remember from my last post, the newly recovered 19th century Victorian wingback now proudly lives with the sofa daybed in a cosy space in the room.  The owner will have many happy hours putting her dollhouse fittings together in this comfy new chair whilst looking at that fabulous dollhouse.  The round table and lamp doubles as a bedside table as well as a coffee table for the reading/ hobby chair.

Oh that dollhouse makes me want to be a little girl again!  The curtains were sourced from and is a beautiful lightweight linen.

Quite a challenge photographing such a tiny room, as the wide-angle lens will always distort the image a little, but you get the idea.  The room is more cohesive in the buttery yellow that I pulled from the dollhouse and walls, but added the minty green to counter balance and splashes of pink for the girly element… it is a dolly room after all!!

If you already have decor elements in a certain colour (as the home owner had pinks here), repeating the colour creates rhythm and a harmonious feel.  I found a floral fabric with the same pinks, buttery yellows to help with that rhythm.

Don’t go to crazy with lots of colours in this type of scheme or small rooms, as it will feel extremely busy. Strong colours (in this case pink) we’re used sparingly and as accents only.

The Downton Abby dollhouse. 

You want to come play don’t you?!  I know you want to!  I wish I could show you the inside!!  There are working chandeliers, crackling fireplaces, set dining tables with all the porcelain and silver ware, perfume bottles and hair brushes on the vanities, servants quarters, footmen waiting to receive the mail, plus unloading the luggage from the motor and even Carson waiting in the lobby! Truly amazing and very much a labour of love!

Well, there you have it,

from drab….

to Fab!!

I hope you enjoyed the transformation of this spare room to a wonderful Dolly-hobby room, I know the owner sure did!

till next time,


Article by Teresa

Australian Interior Designer / Decorator & Photographer. I share my style, my creativity and love for all things decor.

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