Creating Miniature Interiors: The Great British ‘Box Room’ Challenge

What is it about miniature interiors that is so intriguing? I’m sure the majority of us have had a dollshouse of some sort when we were little, maybe a Sylvanian families set, a little Wendy house at the back of the garden, or little villages created out of lego. There is something so fascinating about intricate design details that have been replicated in tiny form.

Creating miniature interiors is also a great way to get the creative brainwaves flowing, sparking our minds to think of new and inventive ways to imitate smaller details. Decorcafe expert, Polly Gibbs, has caught on to this trend for tiny interiors, and has created a challenge that gets your interior designer brain whirring: The Great British ‘Box Room’ Challenge!

What is The Great British ‘Box Room’ Challenge?

The Great British ‘Box Room’ Challenge challenges contestants aim to create their favourite interior in miniature, inside a cardboard box. This could be a room in your home, a local cafe, museum, restaurant or your dream interior. Whether you’re an interior novice or experienced designer, this is a creative project that everyone can have a go at.

Why create tiny interiors?

When asked what were her reasonings behind creating such a fun challenge (besides the sheer pleasure of getting stuck into a project), Polly insisted there were two main incentives.

The first, perhaps the most practical, was to use up some of the excessive amount of Christmas packaging that we generate! Manufacturing tiny furnishings can be very material intensive, and why not put all of that Christmas waste to good use.

The other, Polly explains, is “very close to my heart” and was

“…to support mental well-being by providing a sense of community and shared focus during lockdown. I’ve learnt that an occupied creative mind is a healthy one, so when I started receiving messages expressing anxiety and loneliness, I wanted to connect and offer a way to get through.”

“The competition is about being creative and in the moment, trying new things, surprising yourself and having fun. It can be shared with the kids and grandparents – whether you’re an interior novice or experienced designer, this is an affordable creative project that everyone can have a go at.”

Shrinking interiors and making miniature furniture

Honey, I shrunk the lounge! Polly’s miniature version of her lounge is equal parts adorable and impressive. Polly created a wooden floor made from strips of bamboo, a miniature version of her Rockett St George reeded sideboard (made with cardboard and black matchsticks), and her favourite piece, a mini pumpkin chair (Garret Chair from Soho Home) carved from polymer clay.

“It’s so cute I’ve still got it on display!”

The winner of last year’s competition was Mink Yip (@whiterabbitliving).

“Her entry totally blew me away with the sheer level of detail.”

Mink recreated Tony Duquette’s Dawnridge. Making in miniature can be extremely fiddly, so creating a maximalist interior in miniature is another level of insane talent! Every single tiny detail was handmade, from the pottery and paintings, to the cushions and the flowers.

“It really is a feast for the eyes that also features a lift of ceiling with chandelier and birdcages. Pure theatre. Brilliant.”

How to sign up

Signing up is easy, fill in your details on the home page at to access the entry details. Be a part of the insta community too, by following @greatbritishboxroomchallenge for inspiration and share your progress using #greatbritishboxroomchallenge

The deadline is Friday 28/1/22 – lots of time, but it creeps up and Christmas takes over, so start making!

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