Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Guest Post: Modern Fairy Tale Home Decor

Intimate fairy tale style dining via iseecubed
I was recently asked by the home idea and inspiration people at Modernize if our readers would be interested in an article on home decor that was fairy tale themed and my answer was "Of course! Especially if you can bring us something out of the norm, something modern (ie. non-traditional) for design-savvy adults who love fairy tales; something that goes beyond Pre-Raphaelite motifs (as great as they are), showing you don't need glitter, frills and woodland scenes to maintain a fairy tale feel." Jane Blanchard at Modernize took up the challenge and didn't disappoint. Enjoy and be inspired!

Modern Fairy Tale Home Decor

By Jane Blanchard

Anglo-American poet W.H. Auden said, “The way to read a fairy tale is to throw yourself in.” We assume he meant bed, walls and all.

Every fairy tale needs a room. Just as the prophet Ezekiel spoke flesh onto skeletons in the Valley of Dry Bones, so an interior designer speaks second life into fairy tales from the troves of Walt Disney, Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm.

Yet too often, the run-of-the-mill fairytale room suggests that the artist’s craftsmanship long ago outstripped his knowledge of literature. It brims with Beauty and the Beast chandeliers, Sleeping Beauty canopies, that sort of thing. Lots of melodrama. Lots of pink.

Dutch design studio Ontwerpduo took the road less traveled by. Hired to colonize with furniture a room inside a gorgeous 16th century mansion, Ontwerpduo designers made 10 pieces based on different fairy tales. Themes included the secret room, the genie in a bottle, and the princess and the pea. Lighting fixtures overran the ceiling like fugitive plumping pipes. Lilies blossomed out of the carpet rug – and was that a pea underneath the six-stack bed?
Via Once Upon A Blog...Fairy Tale News

Ontwerpduo has its own Fairytale Furniture collection, which showcases a swinging birdcage seat, a warped wooden cabinet, and a handcrafted "Marbelous" maple table with grooves and channels ferrying stainless steel marbles across the surface, down the legs and along the supports. Lewis Carroll would be proud.
Via Designose
The Dutch design studio may be one of the first to homestead the next frontier of home design: modern fairytale chic. Warner Bros. Studio argues that pop culture cinema and television like ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones” will ignite an interest in adult fairytale design, a movement defined by its creativity of scale and emphasis on mood. Aspen bedposts tower over sleeping beauties; intricate glass chandeliers loom over distressed window frames. The style relies upon earthy tones, gothic elegance, rustic accents and mirror arrangements.

But the fairytale design is not new. In the 1920s, architect Hugh Comstock constructed a handful of fairytale cottages in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Now some of the most sought-after properties in Monterrey, California, the Comstock cottages sport rusticated chimneys, pointed eaves, storybook masonry and whimsical arched doorways. A modern Carmel-by-the-Sea home might cost $5,000,000.
Via Tales from Carmel
Sandra Foster devised her own DIY gingerbread house, and it didn’t cost $5,000,000. Stretched by a too-big house and long workdays, she and her husband felt like a pair of Laffy Taffy candies. So they bought a woodland cabin in the Catskill Mountains for $40,000. Foster renovated the 9x10 cabin using odds and ends purchased from antique shops, salvage stores, Craigslist, and the occasional tree trunk. Her refuge, a Victorian shabby chic cabin, cost just $3,000.
Via the New York Times
Now that’s a happy ending.

Jane Blanchard is a blogger, home design geek, and graphic designer from Savannah, GA. She also is a passionate writer for Modernize.com

For more home design tips and tricks, please visit Modernize.com.

Note: This article was written for Once Upon A Blog with permission to publish here, in exchange for a credit for Modernize and link to the company website only. Once Upon A Blog has no ongoing affiliation with Modernize but is happy to say they found the staff friendly, helpful and professional. They were a pleasure to work with.


  1. this was fun! i have enjoyed my pinterest boards that feature lots of fairytale-esque design elements, so this was just up my alley.

  2. Nice idea you have there it catches the attention of many people good job :] form with us entreprise lévisienne