T HE WASHINGTON area has many shops that sell miniature furniture and accessories, as well as museums with doll houses and miniature displays. You should telephone the shops in advance to be certain they are open. This list was adapted by Esther Robertson from a list prepared by Miniature Collector magazine. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Washington Dolls' House and Toy Museum, 5236 44th St. NW, (202) 244-0024. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The sales shop in Flora Gill Jacobs' well-known museum has been called one of the best-stocked miniature shops on the Eastern seaboard. It carries a dazzling array of miniatures, at all prices, by contemporary artists.

Smithsonian Institution Museum Shops, on the Mall, (202) 357-2700. Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Natural History Museum offers native American miniatures (baskets, etc.). The National Museum of American History has two doll houses on exhibit (see museum listings, page 2) and sells doll-house furniture for all periods and at all price ranges. The shop in the Arts and Industries Building specializes in Victorian and Shaker doll-house furniture and also has books on doll houses and miniatures.

MARYLAND -- Carol and Company, 13460 New Hampshire Ave. at Randolph Road, Silver Spring, Md. 20904, (301) 384-0670. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Complete line of miniatures plus building supplies.

The Company Mouse, 4922 St. Elmo Ave., Bethesda, Md. 20014, (301) 654-1222. Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This shop stocks miniatures exclusively, selling reasonably priced merchandise in all categories. Closed in August.

Craft, Kit & Caboodle, 10400 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda, Md. 20014, (301) 530-9030. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Monday and Thursday until 9 p.m.). Large selection of miniatures, complemented by classes and workshops conducted by miniatures-maker William Robertson and others. Hundreds of trims and moldings, and hard-to-find supplies. A working miniature greenhouse is on permanent display.

Favorite Things, York and Monkton Road, Hereford, Md. 21111, (301) 343-0400. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. This shop stocks 90 percent miniatures, selling a wide range of pieces and prices. Carries work by 25 artisans. A gnome house built into a tree trunk is on display.

Just Stuff, Inc., 4505 Queensbury Rd., Riverdale, Md. 20840, (301) 277-0666. Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Catering to both collector and hobbyist, this shop carries mostly miniatures, including handcrafted pieces by several local people.

Lowen's, 7227 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, Md. 20014, (301) 652-1289. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Monday and Thursday until 9 p.m.). This 12,000-square-foot toy store gives less than 10 percent of its display space to miniatures, yet claims the biggest selection of doll houses in the region.

Millison's Dropstitch Studio, 509 W. Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, Md. 21210, (301) 889-1124. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Millison's is one of Baltimore's top children's stores, incorporating clothes, gifts and miniatures. Highlights are a furnished Noel Thomas house and the lumber and supply department.

Only Yesterday, 11212 Triangle Lane, Wheaton, Md., (301) 949-2171. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. In July and August, the shop is closed Mondays.

P.D. Craft House, 8701 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md. 20910, (301) 585-4224. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Monday and Thursday until 8 p.m.). A general hobby store with a miniatures section oriented to crafts, this shop features exclusive Ultrasuede Oriental rugs and landscaping materials.

Patowmack Toy Shop, Columbia Mall, Columbia, Md. 21044, (301) 730-0977. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. This shop has carried miniatures for 12 years. Presently 20 percent of the inventory is miniatures covering a broad range from houses to accessories.

Potpourri Miniatures, 7811 Montrose Rd., Rockville, Md. 20852, (301) 762-4312. Hours: Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A large selection of miniature dolls and hand-crafted pieces from around the country are the main attractions of this 15-year-old miniatures shop.

Village Dollhouse Inc., Severna Park Mall, Severna Park, Md. 21146, (301) 647-8288. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For both collector and hobbyist, this store carries a large stock of lumber, as well as hand-crafted pieces by local artisans. It also sponsors a Dollhouse Doctor, who assists customers every Saturday. VIRGINIA

Harthea's Miniatures, Wigwam Village, U.S. Hwy. 1, Glen Ellen, Va., (804) 798-9490. Located six miles north of Richmond (Atlee exit on I-95), this recently opened shop carries a wide selection for the miniature hobbyist.

Little World Miniatures, 409 Bypass Rd., (Route 60), Williamsburg, Va. 23185, (804) 229-7046. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. This shop specializes in handmade miniatures for adult collectors. Currently they stock pieces by more than 95 artisans from around the country. It also sells an exclusive line of four Williamsburg-style houses in kit form.

Mountain Valley Miniature Shop, 201 Union St., Occoquan, Va. 22125, (703) 494-8565 or 690-1144. Hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Part of a riverfront village restoration, this shop has a large selection of building supplies and furniture. It specializes in custom houses and offers a catalog service for collectors (call for details).

Petite Gallerie, Village Center, Great Falls, Va. 22066, (703) 759-2955. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Doll houses, kits, etc.; also hand-crafted miniatures by such artists as Mel Prescott and Betty Valentine.

Sullivan's, Tysons Corner Shopping Center, McLean, Va. (703) 893-6660. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. This toy store displays 22 different houses and stocks five cases of furniture and a lumber section. It also carries some local hand-crafted pieces.

The Tiny Dwelling, 113 King St., Alexandria, Va. 22314, (703) 548-1223. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Carrying exclusively miniatures, this shop caters to both collector and hobbyist, with a good selection of supplies.

Why Not, Inc., 200 King St., Alexandria, Va. 22314, (703) 548-2080. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The miniatures section of this shop includes houses, furniture, accessories and some local hand-crafted pieces; also carries women's and children's clothing, toys, books and gifts. DELAWARE

The Little White House, 2100 West 14th St., Wilmington, Del. 19806, (302) 656-9486. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Located near Winterthur Museum, this full-line miniature shop regularly stocks handmade items by more than 25 artisans, including miniature flower arrangements and paintings.

(This material appears with permission of the Miniature Collector magazine, Acquire Publishing Company Inc., 170 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10010.)