There is something magical about the four words: “Once upon a time.” It conjures images of noble heroes, beautiful princesses, and any number of magical creatures.
Most people associate fairytales and folklore with children and rightly so. Fairy tales are essential to the development of children. As G.K. Chesterton said, “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” For children, fairy tales are wondrous adventures that help them learn good values. For adults, fairy tales are comforting and still delightful. Incorporating fairy tale-inspired decor is a unique way to customize your space.
There is a fine line between bohemian style and a more glamorous style, and that line has a name: fairytale-inspired decor. Decor inspired by fairytales is luxe, but whimsical, a combination of glamour and the natural world. It harkens back to days during which none of us lived, but all of us know in some way.
What do the stories of Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, and El Dorado have in common? If you answered that they all involve gold, you would be correct! Rapunzel is traditionally depicted as having golden hair, Rumpelstiltskin weaves straw into gold, and El Dorado is a city of gold. In many fairy tales and legends, gold is, if not an essential element, certainly a recurring one.
There’s also no better way to invoke thoughts of royal palaces and courts than elements of gold. Gold adds a sense of luxury to a room, establishing you as the king of the castle (or whatever title you prefer). Try adding gold lamps or tchotchkes for a subtle touch of courtly luxuriousness. Or, if you’re feeling like an adventurous folk hero, try adding a gold piece of furniture, like a bookcase, or a headboard, as a statement piece that both draws the eye and elevates the decor of the entire room.
There is another element besides gold that many fairy tales and legends have in common: a forest. Usually, the forest is a place of mystery, adventure, and danger. It is a place where anything and everything can happen.
Now, you could take this tip literally, and add houseplants to your decor. It is a solid decorating choice and is good for cleaning the air in your space. However, there are other ways of incorporating the magic of a deep, dark forest in your space. You could use greens in paint, blankets, furniture, or pillows, which mimic the verdancy of a forest in almost any season.
You can also use things like lamps and bowls that are shaped like things found in nature. For example, this branch lamp that looks like it grew from your table and this oak leaf bowl that is worthy of a fairy’s lunch would each be an excellent way to incorporate natural elements into a room.
Bring on the Fire
Another element almost every fairy tale has is romance. Think of the young lad, gallant knight, or handsome prince battling for the princess, using his sword, or his wits, or both. The soft glow of candlelight or firelight is a wonderful way to add romance to a space.
The light from a fire, whether in the form of a candle flame or a roaring fire, is not nearly as harsh or as bright as artificial lights. There were definitely no lightbulbs in the medieval era.
Don’t Be Afraid to get Whimsical
There is always a magical or mystical element in any fairy tale or folk story. It could be magic beans, or a talking fish, or a secret passage to an undiscovered land. A good way to add a similar element to your decor is by adding something whimsical, something unexpected, like the sudden appearance of a wizard on a path, or an unknown and beautiful princess at a ball.
Whimsy comes in all forms, so implementing this tip is entirely up to your own whimsy. You have an infinite amount of ways to surprise people when it comes to decor. You could go the traditional route and add something like little figures of animals or mythical creatures, or you could be more creative. Try hanging prisms in a window that lets in a lot of direct sunlight, something that will sparkle and distribute little rainbows all over your space.
Add More Fabrics
We’ve all heard stories of tents and magic carpets. Another way to make a space feel more ostentatious, and therefore reflect the idea of a fairytale palace, is to add fabrics. In medieval times, castles were cold, as they were made of stone and uninsulated. To combat this, inhabitants hung tapestries and walked on rugs, making the use of them a great way for you to feel like you’re in your own castle.
You, too, can warm up your space, in a visual and a physical sense, using tapestries and rugs. Try tapestries depicting fairy tale characters or creatures or nature scenes. You are not limited by your walls, though. Hang a tapestry on the ceiling for the feeling of a luxurious tent. Another option is rugs, and a good way to mimic the bright colors of fairy tales is to use rugs in jewel tones.