Top Miniature Buildings, Cottages, and Villages

Decorating with miniature cottages, villages, and architectural models can turn any room into a delightful dreamworld. Some collectible styles include historic cottages, landmark buildings, and replicas of the ​world's most magnificent architecture. Christmas-themed collections are especially prevalent, and some Halloween villages are also available. Many different companies make these collectibles, and several even offer collectors clubs.

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    Department 56 Villages

    Department 56 began creating village scenes in 1976, and they launched with a six-house Snow Village collection as their premier product. The company is now owned by Enesco and they are still producing miniatures today. Their collections include The Alpine Village, Animated Snow Village, Original Snow Village, Dickens Village, New England Village, Christmas in the City, The North Pole, The Holy Land, Historic Landmarks, and several others including some Halloween villages.

    If you're interested in finding a collectors club near you, the National Council of Department 56 Clubs can connect you with a local group.

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    Domenique Gault

    Dominique Gault miniatures are collectible houses made in France featuring typical buildings from Paris, Provence, Tuscany, and Alsace. The miniatures come in two distinct product lines, their original high-end ceramic collection and the J. Carlton resin range.

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    Hawthorne Village

    Hawthorne Village is a division of the Bradford Group, which sells a wide variety of cottage and Christmas villages both individually and through subscriptions.

    Their offerings include Thomas Kincade's cottage collections (Christmas village, Seaside Winter Village, Lamplight Village, Victorian Christmas Village, Hometown Village, Mistletoe Mountain), as well as more unusual themes such as Dale Earnhardt's Christmas Village and Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas Village. Prices for their lines range from $50 to $135.

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    Lemax Village Collection

    Lemax produces a wide range of houses for Christmas and Halloween villages in several collections, including Vail Village, Caddington Village, Plymouth Corners, Santa’s Wonderland, Sugar N Spice, Carnival, and Spooky Town. These buildings come in lit and unlit versions, and prices start at $15.

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    Miniature Building Authority Collectible Buildings

    Miniature Country Cottage designed for wargaming.
    Photo ©2007 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

    The Miniature Building Authority has an extensive line of collectible miniature buildings and accessories. In addition to village collections, they provide products for wargamers and model railways (in 0 and S scale). These tiny, sturdy miniatures are cast from resin (with clear mold lines) and finished with textures and paint.

    The buildings are complete with roofs that lift off to expose the inner rooms, and most feature detailed interiors. The floors lift out in buildings with more than one story. Some buildings even divide to be used as destroyed structures, making them useful for spooky Halloween scenes.

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    Timothy Richards

    Timothy Richards produces handmade fine plaster miniatures of famous buildings from around the world. His designs are available as bookends, architectural models, and limited edition collector pieces. The building detail and soft uniform finish make these truly remarkable pieces.

    The range includes items as simple as a traditional British post box, to famous historic buildings like the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His stated purpose is to leave behind a legacy of models that define and catalog the pivotal buildings of architecture.