Your sofa is your carriage.
Your pouf, a toadstool.
Your mirror, the portal to the mystical beyond.
If you want your fairycore dreams to extend beyond the Pinterest screen (yes, that was meant to rhyme!), then you’re just about ready to venture into designing your own fairycore interior design in a room… or your entire home.
I know you’re not like the others– while you love traditional, beautifully designed homes, you want something a little more. You love the whimsy of twinkle lights, or perhaps quirky artwork makes your heart glow.
After all, we all have magic in us– why not let us expand into the spaces we dwell and work in every day?
What is Fairycore/Faeriecore?
This design style (and lifestyle, in our book), captures the heart of a forest nymph, the soul of an earthy sprite, or the gentle kindness of a good witch.
All fairy-talk aside, the fairycore style involves soft and muted color tones, rustic accents, and a fantastical, feminine, whimsical design style. You might find it a little similar to the cottagecore style in its floral tones and soft, nature-inspired touches, but it also has a witchy, moody element to it. After all, the fae can also be dark, mystical, and a little mischievous, which is something cottagecore doesn’t quite capture.
If cottagecore interior design is meant for home dwellers to go back to the simpler times, and a moody interior design is meant for home dwellers to feel like they’re in a tarot card reading shop, then fairycore interior design is meant for home dwellers to feel like they wandered off into the middle of an interdimensional forest, connecting them to the world beyond with a sprinkle of fairy dust.
At its core, fairycore:
- Highlights the more mystical parts of nature
- Connects us to our playful, whimsical inner child
- Romanticizes flowers, mushrooms, and all things naturally quaint
- Encourages you to ignite your most creative self
- Comforts you with soft, feminine fabrics, textures, and colors so you always feel safe and warm
9 Must-Haves for a Fairycore Interior Design Style (For Non-Designers!)
The lovers and dreamers who feel fairycore is already a part of them definitely don’t need an interior design degree to make this a part of their home.
I deem living a “fairycore lifestyle” as being creative, free-thinking, and keeping your body, mind, and space safe and warm, so if you’re living these lifestyle qualities already, then you’re basically halfway there.
However, you might be feeling like your home doesn’t reflect your personality.
If you’re not a designer, you might feel like you can’t do anything other than get endless inspiration from Pinterest and dream of the day you might try to paint your walls.
Or, maybe you’re a renter, or on a budget, and don’t feel like you have the flexibility to make upgrades to your home that better represents who you are.
These 10 must-haves will give you the ability to design a truly fairycore space wherever you’re at in this journey. By the end, you’ll know exactly how to get started (or finish) planning for at least 1 fairycore room in your home.
1. An Earthy Color Palette.
Envision a magical forest: soft, muted hues, with bold, jewel-toned berries, mushrooms, and flowers.
At its (fairy)core, your room will need an earthy color palette.
In fact, this should be the first part of designing this space, as it’s the skeleton of any basic room design. (It’s like the branding of your own space– you can’t create a logo or a website without the underlying palette, right?)
And while I adore pastels, weaving in deeper forest greens, night-sky blues, and wildflower purples can give depth and richness to your design that gives it a grounded feeling.
I have a ton of color palette ideas throughout this blog that you can explore– and here are some below to get the wheels turning!
Remember: when you’re using colors in a room, use the 60/30/10 rule: 60% of the room should be 1 color, 30% of the room should be a second color, and 10% of the room should be a third color. This is where people get really lost and end up having no focus in their room– so this is a really important step you won’t want to miss.
2. Natural Elements.
Mother Nature is our muse, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have a green thumb.
If you are a lover of alive plants, then more to you– feel free to pepper your place with greens galore: long philodendrons cascading from bookshelves, blooming flowers on window sills, and air plants in wall-mounted decor can be your thing.
But if you’re someone who can’t keep a cactus alive, you can still bring natural elements into your home from things through dried flowers and plants, twigs, pampas grass, terrariums, or even botanical prints that bring a zero-hassle approach and all the fairy vibes.
It’s adding that natural greenery, but also adding that extra texture to your space that brings movement to what would be an otherwise flat space.
Ultimately, the key is to create a space that feels like an extension of the magical parts of nature—whether it’s breathing or beautifully preserved. ?
3. Twinkle Lights
I know some aren’t a fan of twinkle lights, but I think they’re one of the biggest whimsical aspects of a fairycore interior.
After all, can you really call it a fairycore space if you don’t have little magical twinkles somewhere? ✨
With twinkle lights, you’ll want to opt for warm string lights (no cold lights!), and really, you can decide where they live. I have twinkle lights wrapped around a coffee bar in our kitchen, on the stairwell wall, and draping on the TV side of our bedroom wall.
They’re clutter-free, budget-friendly, and add that sprinkle of charm and whimsy that’s perfect for any fairycore room.
So, get creative– where can you add twinkle lights in your room? It could be:
- On a wall
- Around shelves
- Around a mirror
- Lining the ceiling
- Highlighting a gallery wall
- Wrapped around a bedpost
- Accenting a bookshelf
- Decorating a canopy bed
- As a table centerpiece
- Under a sheer fabric
- Highlight architectural features (archways, columns, coving)
They’re the perfect clutter-free option for adding a sprinkle of charm without taking up any precious floor space.
4. Vintage Pieces.
This is where it gets fun, and where your inner explorer comes out. That inner child that liked treasure hunting isn’t gone forever– she can find pieces at estate sales, thrift stores, and second-hand shops to find one-of-a-kind pieces that tell a story.
Finding that perfect vintage piece is about doing some process of elimination– what do you currently need (or need to replace) in your space?
I love using as much as I already have to map out a space– but sometimes, there’s something that I know I can find if I do a little digging for it that won’t break the bank and doesn’t need to be all shiny and new.
Here are some little tips on scoring big when looking for vintage items:
- Make a list of the items that you need and a little inspiration board for it. Draw inspiration from any brand you like– including Anthropologie– knowing that you won’t necessarily be getting that exact product at that exact price. This is all about dreaming and envisioning, and you can’t do it if you’re not dreaming as big as possible first.
- Scope out estate sales in your area through Facebook and dedicate a weekday or weekend of thrifting. Make a day out of it– get some warm tea, grab a friend (or make it a self-date) so you can browse through what you want. Start with the estate sales (they usually start early), and then go to 2, 3, or even 4 thrift stores around your area afterwards to try to hunt for what you’re looking for.
- Dress cozy. You don’t need to look fancy for these trips. In fact, it should be like a spa day– cozy, no stress.
And don’t forget these key tips for looking for thrifted finds:
- The bones matter more than the color: When you’re out there hunting for vintage, remember, it’s all about the bones of a piece. See past that ugly shade of brown or the worn fabric and ask yourself: “If it were in the perfect color, would I love it?” Look for quality in the structure—cheap plastic has no place here, but a sturdy oak or mahogany? Could be perfect.
- Ask the right questions: When a piece catches your eye, have a conversation with it—yes, really! What are the first three adjectives that come to mind? Does it shout ‘timeless,’ ‘regal,’ ‘whimsical’? Those are your pieces. Grab them!
- Focus on shapes, lines and potential: Don’t worry about nicks and scratches—those can be fixed with a little TLC. Focus on the shape, the lines, and the potential of each piece. With a little imagination and some DIY, any vintage find can become a fairycore centerpiece.
5. Whimsical Decor and Fairy Motifs.
Fairies in lore are far from the cookie-cutter cuties we see on TV. They’re wonderfully weird, whether it’s a mischievous sprite or a wise old elf and they inspire decor that’s anything but ordinary.
Fun fairy motifs can be mushroom-shaped lamps, paper butterflies on the walls, or even curious paintings.
And if you want something that really speaks to the fairy tale spirit, consider a conversation-starter piece like a bicycle table or whimsical wall sconces.
Curious artwork that makes your guests look twice (and maybe even chuckle) is a definite must.
Plus, don’t be afraid to be pretty literal about this. Find photos of fairies that represent you, be it more popular like a vintage version of Tinkerbell or a little curious and unique like a fairy from the Faerie’s Oracle by Brian Froud.
Remember, your space should be a reflection of the fairyland you’d want to get lost in, whether that’s more feminine, more mischievous, or a little bit of both, and it’s okay to be a little literal.
6. Soft and Round Textures.
The harsh lines of a modern design can’t be too prevalent in a fairycore house– when it comes to furniture, we’re all about the soft, round curves and patterns as much as possible.
This goes for soft textures—rugs, pillows, throws—that add a tactile element to your room, playing with different fabric weights and textures, and even being creative with furniture.
Related: what is fairy cottagecore?
7. A Cozy Nook.
Your inner fairy needs a little corner you call your own, be it at relaxing nook or a canopy bed. The name of the game here is all about a place dedicated to unwinding creatively, so you can fall asleep or doze off and still feel that whiff of inspiration that’s always around the fairies.
Think hanging chairs that cradle you as you dive into your favorite book, or clever little hiding spots of fairies when designing your nook. Nestle a floor couch in a curtained alcove, or drape a canopy of lights and sheer fabric over your bed to transport you to another world.
It’s about carving out a little nook where you can daydream and relax—your personal cocoon– no matter how little space you may have.
When designing this space, you’ll want to make sure you have an abundance of pillows, blankets, and some sort of twinkle lights to add the curious, fairy touch it needs. ?♀️
8. Reflective Surfaces.
A well-placed mirror can transform the light in a room, casting shimmers and shadows that dance like pixies in the sunshine and can add good energy to a space if they’re treated right.
Bring in mirrors* to bounce light around and add an airy brightness to your home. But don’t stop there; metallic elements in decor can have the same effect, with the added bonus of a luxe feel, so think copper vases, or a piece of antique gold-trimmed furniture for that extra glint.
You can also add water features to be a part of this, like little fountains.
*Cleanse any secondhand mirrors to ensure you’re reflecting the purest energy!
9. Color-Changing Lights: Seasonal Magic at the Touch of a Button
Lighting can dramatically alter the mood of a space, and with color-changing lights, you can literally change the entire energy of your room with a little tap on your phone, so you can mimic the cozy glow of autumn, the twinkling sparkle of a snowy day, or the vibrant cheer of a spring morning all within 5 seconds of each other!
I love smart lights like Wiz because they’re simple to set up and have an app with schedulers, presets, and more, so you no longer have to stay with dull, white lights forever and you can actually adjust the lighting to your natural circadian rhythm.
In fairycore, your home is your little retreat. It should reflect who you are, imperfections, quirkiness, inner child, graceful goddess, all in one.
Just like you’d embrace the quirks of a fun little fairy dancing around, embrace the unique elements of your home to share gratitude with it. ?
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