Faeryn Thorn is a CosPlayer, Creature Creator, and Teller of Tales.
We caught up with her to ask her to tell us her secrets for creating a Fantastical Living Space.
Let's see what secrets she's been keeping:
My initial passion for fantasy, and still my biggest draw to it, is simply storytelling. From reading incredible novels, to watching vast series and epic films, to playing video games, D&D or Magic the Gathering or even telling my own, it always comes down to the story, and most importantly, the characters within them. Characters, especially creatures, are the thing that draws me into any fantasy universe first. I want to know details of the characters that may never even make it into the final cut of the film or game. I love giving all my D&D characters tiny details that might not come up whilst playing. I love everything that really fleshes a character out and makes them feel real and believable even if they are from a fantasy world.
From a young age, I have also always loved Brian Froud and Jim Henson, and especially the magic they create together. Films and TV shows like Labyrinth and The Storyteller, really shaped who I was as a kid and then into adulthood, giving me my passion for fantasy, creature design, puppetry and the power of storytelling.
It’s hard to pinpoint an exact date, as I LOVED dressing up as a kid and teenager! In terms of cosplaying, in 2008 I wore a terrible closet cosplay of Tifa from Final Fantasy when I attended my first ever convention - thank goodness smart phones weren’t really a thing back then to document it! The first costume I actually made was Holo from Spice and Wolf in 2012. I’ve been very sporadic with my cosplays over the years though, and rarely ever cosplay pre-existing characters, as I tend to create original characters/LARP based costumes. I do have quite a few plans for more well known characters coming up though!
3. What is your favourite cosplay that you’ve created?
Holo will always be special to me as it was my first one and I adore the character, and I would LOVE to remake her at some point. My Skyrim character is another favourite as the helmet was so much fun to make. In terms of a costume, I love wearing, it has to be Filowyn, my OC Mushroom/Herbalist Witch! I’m very excited to start working on my cosplays for this year and would love to tackle some big builds, like a humanoid dragon from World of Warcraft.
It actually started at an early age, when I had multiple themed bedrooms. Luckily I have an extremely understanding and creative mother who encouraged me and even aided in my whims, by helping me turn my bedroom (at age 11) into a completely magical themed room. We hung dark purple organza from above the bed, the ceiling was covered in glow in the dark stars, there were toy snakes dotted about and I even had a potion making station! I LOVED everything about it and I’ll always be grateful for my Mum letting me explore that side of myself.
As I got older and started living by myself, I quickly learned that that kind of thing doesn’t have to be left in childhood, and you can make your home into anything you want it to be at any age! When I first started decorating my home as an adult, I knew I wanted it to feel like a mix between a classic fantasy tavern, a Hobbit hole, and a cosy Witch cottage!
5. Which room or space in your home did you transform first?
My desk. This was a few years ago now, when I started working from home more, and I knew that if I was going to spend a lot of time sat in one place, then I wanted it to be somewhere I was excited to sit down at. I have always been a massive Skyrim fan, so this was the starting point for my desk nook. I hung up fairy lights and ivy, used two outside wall mounts for hanging plant pots to suspend lanterns from, hung a massive Skyrim map and then decorated the rest with figures, crystals, and little nick-nacks that suited the space. I even got a green mouse mat that looked like moss and set all my PC/keyboard lights to green to match the rest of the aesthetic.
My biggest tip, is don’t be afraid of what other people think. As long as you (and to an extent, any other people you share that space with) love it, then that’s all that matters. Guests will come and go, but it is YOUR space, so fill it with things you love even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else. Don’t be afraid of seeming childish or weird, because most people will think its wonderful, and those who don’t, don’t matter.
If changing your space into something more immersive or fantasy based feels daunting at first, start with a small section. A bookcase would be perfect as it is a contained space, you already have shelves, and if you are into fantasy, your bookcase probably already has a few fantasy themed things on it! Add ivy and fairy lights to everything for a cheap and easy way to instantly make any space feel more fantasy! Buy second hand furniture where you can. Not only is it much better for the planet, but it’ll already look more in theme than brand new flat pack furniture. If you already have furniture that you want/need to use, you can distress it. The furniture in my living room is all old dark brown wood, but I couldn’t find a TV cabinet in that style, so I stained a more modern looking piece. I also bashed it with a hammer and chipped small parts away to make it look older!
My favourite statement pieces are my weapons. I now have a mini armoury of a collection of real, replica and prop axes, swords, shields and bows!
Definitely, where I can. I have a bit of a tea obsession and have built up quite the collection of loose-leaf teas. I then decanted them each into glass jars with wooden lids and made new stickers for them that look like potion labels. This now means every time I brew a cup of tea, I feel like I’m in my own personal apothecary.
In my bathroom, I want it to feel like I’m bathing in nature, so I have lots of ivy (as with the rest of my house), real plants, and then lots of natural wood. I think the key to immersion is to include all the senses, so I replaced my regular taps with waterfall taps so it sounds more like a running stream and looks like a natural water flow - despite being hooked up to London’s water network! I also have a carved-out boulder/rock for my sink which definitely helps aid the illusion of being in nature!
With my sculpting desk, I use many small wooden drawers and trinket boxes. This not only helps keep my tools and supplies organised and tidy, but also makes me feel like I’m a gnome working away in my workshop! I also try to keep the creatures I’m working on, or recent creations nearby, so I feel immersed in the world of Fell Moss Hollow – where my creatures come from!
As a final note, you don’t need a lot of experience, knowledge or money to make your home feel more immersive. Most of the spaces in my home I have transformed have been done on a tight budget and hoping for the best! Try not to compare yourself to others. The photos I’ve shared are just a glimpse, and don’t show you the very ordinary, (and often messy) other parts of my home. Even now, the spaces I've shown here are not exactly how I would like them. They don't look like the perfect images you see on Pinterest or Instagram. They're just small ways of bringing some fantasy into my everyday life!
Fantasy is incredible! It can be a much needed escape for so many of us, and by making your home feel magical, you can bring those fantasy realms into your everyday life!