Sunday, February 27, 2011

Designer: Doris Nathanson

Designer Profile: Doris Nathanson of minimodernistas by Carol Morehead "Truly modern, mid-century, and contemporary dollhouse furnishings. Very cool" is how Doris Nathanson describes her work. And it is! When you use her chairs or lights in your mini house and take pictures people think they are of full sized rooms. You often hear "I had no idea it was miniature!"

                                               photo by Megan Hornbecker
Her work has been featured the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, in Whole Living Magazine by Martha Stewart, and you have probably seen her lamps on the logo of Call of the Small, a modern mini blogger. She gets around.

I first noticed her on Flickr. The pictures of her furniture stood out. She was picked up by the mini blogger Mini Modern and business took off. You can also find her in ads for Elf Miniatures from England.

                                                     minimodernistas' collection Japanese pillows
Doris works mostly in 1/12th scale, but also has a range of items in both 1/16th and 1/6th scales. All the major modern mini bloggers have her furniture. Her clever business name "minimodernistas" has caught the attention of journalists, making her business name almost a catch phrase.

I met Doris when ordering her classic red Long&Low couch, which hit the mini scene like a design earthquake. It opened up a new world of upholstered furniture.

Her lamps and chairs were like putting modern art in your scene. Gone was the stuffiness. Fun to play with, the mini collectors could at last indulge their hunger for modern fixtures.

Doris's color is an important part of her designs

Being a fun and interesting person, she was easy to chat with over the phone and through email. I was lucky to meet her in person last summer at the Design Within Reach exhibit held in San Francisco in September, 2010. She is even MORE fun in person.

(Photo: Megan Hornbecker )

Doris grew up in New York. She attended Syracuse University as an art major. She raised a family and taught print production techniques at Otis College of Art Design. She was long involved in the Los Angeles graphic design community and mini design is her current love. That she made a successful business of it attests to her talent.

Her web site, designed by Doris and Megan Hornbecker of, is You can see the site is as clear and classy as she is.

Her latest creation is the frame chair:

She also creates miniature furniture for children's rooms.

                                                                     Just like full size
What will she do next? I can't wait to see..but the mini design world will be enriched by it and I'm ready to play.

Doris's barrel chairs and table in a scene by Leftcoastmini

Published in Doll Houses Past and Present  Join this free dollhouse group here:


  1. Everything looks incredible and has me yearning for a modern house!!

  2. Her furniture looks like so much fun to play with! KT :)

  3. Loved the article in DHPP. Looking forward to your next one!

  4. Patty just get an acrylic storage box, or just a back drop amd play! C

    Kate, it is!

    Deirder, The pillows are fun to add to plastic furniture too. C

    Mini Dork, thanks. The next one is on Peter Tucker. C

  5. Beautifully done ... every remarkable piece a treasure! Monica