About

Hi, my name is Courtney McClung and once upon a time, I had a dream to create a home that made me feel like my favorite fairy tales. In the last two years, I have had the amazing opportunity to make that dream come true. That has inspired me to help others infuse their favorite stories and characters into their own home decor and design style in simple and budget friendly ways. Whether you are just looking for inspiration or a curated list of products to help you decorate or design a home that connects you to the stories that bring you joy, A Fairytale Life is the place for you! After all, it is YOUR story, why not make it a fairytale?

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Growing up, I was that little girl that lived in her own dream world-going on crazy adventures in her imagination and reenacting her favorite parts of movies with dolls. Naturally, this translated into a love for Disney, Harry Potter, and superheroes, along with a constant desire to visit any theme park so I can live out these adventures in real life. Now, as a mom of 2 boys living in Bowling Green, Kentucky, I get the chance to share this passion with my own family but, with the responsibilities of adulthood and being a parent, sometimes getting my fix of adventure and the joy I feel from my favorite stories has been a challenge. And this is where my journey to create my fairytale life began! 

My husband, Andy, and I built our first home in 2014. I drew the floorplan and front facade out on graph paper using the side of an iphone case as a straight edge and my 1 theater set design class from college as the “expertise” I needed to keep it all from falling to the ground. We saved up every penny to build that house and lived in a 380 sq. foot cabin in order to do it. For 5 years, that simple house amongst the trees helped us raise our two boys in the beautiful, quiet Kentucky countryside. 

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Fast forward to 2019, our oldest was getting ready to start school and our little oasis in the country was not the most feasible set up for engaging our kids with friends and activities. We decided to take a leap and move to a sub-division in the next county. We bought a beautiful white brick home in a new development that sat on a dead end street next to a farm. It felt like the best of both worlds-country to one side and neighborhood life to the other. 

Design trends and the world in general were shifting dramatically at this time: Neutral, modern farmhouse decor was all the rage and a pandemic of epic proportions was brewing on the other side of the globe. Our new home was the perfect example of the transition from traditional to farmhouse design and that was what drew me to it in the first place. We moved in late November 2019 and less than 5 months after, the Covid lockdowns started. Nothing makes you focus on settling into a new house more than not being allowed to leave it for weeks. Decorating this new house became my stress reliever during such a time of uncertainty. I realized pretty quickly though that a neutral, simple design palette really did not feel like my style and hence, I decided to lean into creating a home that was uniquely me, whether it was on trend or not. 

It all started with a chair. A chair with an array of colors and every forest animal you could think of on it. In a sea of white and gray, this chair brought me back to the feeling I had watching Snow White as a kid (my very first fairytale obsession) and I knew I had to have it in my house. 

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In 2022, Andy and I started on the next chapter of our story and decided we needed to build a home to future proof any and all possible living situations that may be needed to take care of his family in the future long term. We had a laundry list of needs and wants for the function of this new house to ensure the most flexibility for our immediate, extended, and future family so I again went back to the graph paper to hand design the floorplan that would accommodate our unique set up. With design trends in 2022 and 2023 spanning everything from farmhouse to mid-century to cottage core and what felt like everything in between, I went into designing our (hopefully) long term home with one plan in mind: 

This home is our story and no one else’s. Our story is magical, whimsical, colorful, cozy yet grand, and above all, our fairytale. It’s a little bit regal, a lot charming, and a little bit goofy and a lot brave. It’s a work in progress but most of all, it makes us unapologetically happy and that’s what it’s really all about. 

A Fairytale Life was created to inspire those people looking for ways to connect their homes with the stories and characters that bring them joy. Through sharing my own design story and creating design inspiration boards that anyone can use, I hope to provide simple, subtle, and budget friendly ways to bring a little magic into your space and daily life. 

I believe when it comes to decorating and designing your home…

  • Do not be afraid to draw decor and design inspiration from things that bring you joy, even if it’s not trendy. 
  • You do not need to spend a fortune to create a space that makes you feel happy. 
  • Connecting your home decor style to your favorite stories, characters or fandom can be done in sophisticated and subtle ways. 
  • How elaborate or how subtle you want to go with your fairytale design is up to you.
  • Sometimes you just need one item that is the spark of inspiration to build from.  
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With my design inspirations, my goal is to select items that can be utilized in any combination to create the version of the design that feels right to you and your space! For most designs, I will provide 2 levels of design based off the level of commitment and effort you want to make to the space. 

  1. Level 1: Staging Level Design
    1. This level of design focuses on elements that do not significantly affect what is on or attached to the walls of your space. In this level of the design, I will include things like: furniture, bedding and soft goods, decor pieces, lamps and non-structural lighting, and wall art and decor. 
  2. Level 2: Structure Level Design
    1. Tips and Ideas included here can be used if you want to commit to a more full scale room design. At this level of the design, I will include paint swatch suggestions, wallcoverings, trim and wall accent ideas, and structural lighting elements. To ensure you don’t feel the need to hire out sub-contractors to complete these design elements, I will favor products and suggestions that are do-it-yourself as often as possible. **Of course if you want or need significant work completed to adjust or place new plumbing and electrical fixtures to implement design suggestions, please ensure to pull any required local permits and hire a professional to complete these changes.**

I am so happy that you are here to share in this journey with me and I hope you find the spark you need to start your fairytale space in your own home!

Want to see more A Fairytale Life inspiration and content. Connect with me on:

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Do you have a design idea that you want help with? Please reach out to me at contact(at)afairytalelife(dot)com. I would like to work with you to design your perfect fairytale space.