A Royal Fairy Tale

by Carys - Stylist for The Prop Factory

Tuesday 5th November 2019 09:24:46


There's something about moving furniture outside which adds a bit of magic - think vintage sofas that you would expect to find in a sitting room installed in a dappled woodland with the bright velvet upholstery contrasted against the trees. Or a dinner table finding its way out of a dining room and into the landscaped gardens of a country retreat hotel for a fairy dinner party - as we created for this styled photoshoot.We used the beautifully textured castle-like walls and public gardens of Hotel Endsleigh, here in Devon, as a backdrop to create something very special with our farmhouse tables and benches. We used the colours and textures of autumn for regal opulence with a medieval touch to create a feast for the eyes. An abundance of faux fruit and veg - russet red apples, over ripe pears and clusters of shiny black, red and green grapes - created a striking centrepiece running down the centre of the table.This table was a high end feast for pixies and woodland creatures! We love how you can create something so styled without the huge price tag of hiring everything. Making use of found objects and reusing junk shop finds is a bit of a passion of ours that we were able to put to good use for this shoot.The plastic fruit and veg had been collected over time from charity shops and car boot sales by Prop Factory director, Carmen. It's amazing how realistic the grapes and apples looked through the camera lens. Once arranged, we found that spraying the fruit with water from a spray bottle gave it a more natural shine.The fruit sat sumptuously on a long off-cut of satin that was used as a table runner and was styled around oversized vases that had been salvaged from recycling centres and sprayed a rich gold. The same technique was used for the candlesticks, transformed from rusty old unwanted clutter into luxurious, and very royal looking, candle holders. Think of all the other items that could be transformed with this tip! If you didn't want to spray your own candlesticks we have gorgeous industrial brass candelabra's ready to go.All of the floral arrangements - the stunning red and purple autumn leaves mixed with ferns, pine cones, spindly twigs and occasional white berries - were created using wild foliage from the hotel grounds. Pops of green kept the table looking fresh although, at this time of year, this colour was hard to come by within the woods. It's amazing how wild flowers and cuttings from woodland bushes could create something that so perfectly fitted our theme.The tableware was also a mix of junk shop finds and plates brought in from home. The wooden-handled vintage gold tableware added to our regal display and we had enough to dress eight formal place settings including starter forks, knives and spoons - very elegant! We made our own napkins from rich red velvet curtain fabric cut into squares, neatly folded and kept in place with a red glass jelly dish at each place setting. This also added height and an extra level of layering to the table dressing that you will almost always see on a royal tablescape.Our farmhouse tables comfortably seat eight adults - four on either side on our matching farmhouse benches or wooden folding chairs. The rectangle embroidered floor cushions that we placed on the bench to mark each seat placing are authentic Devon church kneelers with hand sewn detailing.These echoed our medieval theme and were perfectly in keeping with the autumnal colour palette. We now have two grand gold throne chairs in our inventory that would have entirely suited this photoshoot and I would most definitely use them if I was re-creating something similar now. As it was, our pair of embossed leather grand chairs were more than suited to the task. They are statement pieces that always stand out when used on their own or teamed with other vintage furnishings.The last, and possibly most magical, element to this shoot was suspending the brass chandelier above the tablescape. We hung this from a tree above the table and were fortunate enough to have a still day as wind could have created a real problem otherwise. If you don't have a handily-placed tree to help, you could use wooden bunting poles and boxes to create a frame to hang the chandelier.

We love to create tablescapes to show our customers the versatility of our furniture. There is a constant demand in the events industry for themed events and the props to go with them.Although we don't hire tableware, we do create furniture that can be used as the base for events of all themes and styles - just browsing our blog will show you our farmhouse tables styled for a nautical themed event, a Harry Potter banquet and a cosy Christmas. Being a creative company we are passionate about setting up and cataloging these gorgeous photoshoots to provide you with inspiration. Meg from Mimosa captured this one beautifully!

See all the props used in this photoshoot here.

Carys x

Tags: A Royal Fairytale Fairytale Fairytale Dinner Party Tablescape Fairytale Party Party Props Event Props Table Inspo Dinner Party Inspo Furniture Hire Event Hire Event Seating Party Decoration Event Decoration Unique Event Decor Autumn Party Autumn Wedding Autumn Events Autumnal Theme Woodland Party Pixie Party Gold Throne Chairs Rustic Tables Rustic Benches Medieval Banquet Medieval Dinner Party The Prop Factory