Christine McConnell transforms the facade of her parents’ house into a fairy-tale cottage for Christmas.

L.A. Artist Turns Her Parents’ House Into a Fairy-Tale Cottage for Christmas

L.A. Artist Turns Her Parents’ House Into a Fairy-Tale Cottage for Christmas

The Eye
Slate’s design blog.
Dec. 9 2015 12:25 PM

L.A. Artist Turns Her Parents’ House Into a Fairy-Tale Cottage for Christmas

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Artist Christine McConnell transformed her parents’ Los Angeles home into an homage to the cottage from Hansel and Gretel in time for Christmas.

Courtesy of Christine McConnell

Last time we caught up with artist and photographer Christine McConnell she had transformed her parents’ Los Angeles house into a surreal nod to the 2006 computer-animated children’s horror movie Monster House for Halloween. Now she’s worked her DIY magic once again, turning the same façade into a nod to the fairy-tale cottage from Hansel and Gretel just in time for Christmas.

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The house, before.

Courtesy of Christine McConnell

“I've always loved the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale,” McConnell told me in an email. “After watching Christmas Vacation a few weeks ago and seeing Chevy Chase go to such extremes to decorate ... the idea popped into my head and snowballed from there.”

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Courtesy of Christine McConnell

McConnell said she spent a week of 15-hour days making and applying the decorations, as well as sewing the clothes for herself as the wicked witch and children posing as Hansel and Gretel for the photos.

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Courtesy of Christine McConnell

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This is the kind of simple and creative but well-executed DIY Christmas decorating that is an antidote to the excess that has led Christmas decorating to become a televised sport, where neighbors will spend thousands of dollars competing to create the most over-the-top lighting spectacle in the name of holiday spirit.

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Courtesy of Christine McConnell

In fact, what you will not see on McConnell’s understated but thoroughly charming holiday house are the season’s ubiquitous twinkly Christmas lights.

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Courtesy of Christine McConnell

“I LOVE the sparkling icing lights but feel like you see them everywhere this time of year, and I wanted to do something that set this project apart,” McConnell said. “In addition, putting lights directly on the decorations I put up would've make the actual work difficult to see at night.”

Kristin Hohenadel's writing on design has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Fast Company, Vogue, Elle Decor, Lonny, and Apartment Therapy.