by Megan S.
It's my birthday and I'll decorate if I want to! Every year, I use my birthday as an excuse to get creative and change things up a bit at home. This year's theme was Snow White and I used the beautiful, bleak look of Once Upon a Time as inspiration. Come take a peak. I have a few tips on how you can achieve the same look.
The thing I enjoy most about Once Upon a Time is the aesthetic; the set design never fails to appeal. I especially enjoy the bleak but elegant look of Regina's home office and the diner.
The stark birch tree and sparse forest wallpapers, along with the neutral pallete of black, white, and brown, allow any hint of red to really stand out, so that's what I attempted to emulate with my color scheme.
I wanted to do mini scenes around the house. For the kitchen table, I went with the Huntsman. I kept it pretty simple with a pewter candelabra, silver stag's head bowl and moose head shot glass (I find the weirdest/best things at off-season sales), a horn handled carving knife (don't worry, it's an heirloom), a glass heart decorated with a snowflake, and a runner in red, black, and white plaid.
All fairy tales have at least a few iconic components, and including them in your decorations completes the effect you're trying to achieve. In Snow White, the queen orders the huntsman to carve out the girl's heart as proof of her death. Though he doesn't actually follow through on the order, I still incorporated it for effect.
I made the runner using an inexpensive piece of flannel from Joann Fabrics (woohoo off-season sales!) I'm pretty crappy at sewing, so I hemmed it using double sided sticky tape. Of course, if you wanna be all high and mighty about it, you can use actual fabric tape.
On to the next mini-scene, the evil stepmother! The two most classic symbols associated with the evil queen are the apple and her magic mirror, so the pair took center stage. I couldn't pass up using a sparkly apple but a real one would have worked just as well. I "floated" it on the candy dish using a roughly cut scrap of black tulle scrunched up beneath it, making sure to position it so it was higher in the back, and did the same with the heart in the huntsman's scene. I think it gives it sort of swirling smoke effect.
As for the mirror, I didn't want to bother with an actual one so, after trying out a few different ideas, I used aluminum foil. The semi-crumpled piece reflected just enough of the flickering candlelight to make it interesting.
Lastly, Snow White's scene on the mantle! I think the item most associated with Snow's story, other than the apple, is her glass coffin. I used a mix of crystal and mercury glass to evoke the coffin as well as candles and lights made to resemble trees for the forest (you can find the willow branch lights at Target). The dwarves are my favorite bit; they're really salt and pepper gnomes, but I think they're perfect.
When attempting a project like this, take stock of what you already have on hand to achieve a similar look and think outside the box for suitable substitutes. I raided our Valentine's, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's decorations to find most of what I needed. I also let what was on hand help dictate decorating choices. I planned to do a swag of branches below the mantle, but scrapped the idea because I didn't want to buy one. It'll help keep costs down and it's a fun challenge.
One more tip. I think it's important to carry over elements from one mini scene to another to help tie the whole thing together. The color scheme does most of the work here, but I also made sure to use crystal, candles, and black tulle in the scenes.
So, what do you think? Are you up to trying something like this? I'd love to see photos!