Off to Join the Circus : Decor

"Run away and join the circus" was a childhood cliché I never understood. Dirty tents, lousy travel schedules, washed-up acts, animal (and quite possibly human) abuse. How could that EVER be a better alternative to free lodging, nice commodities (I, personally, had a PS2 and a cat so my childhood was A+), and home-cooked food on the table near daily?

Or so I thought.

I recently read The Night Circus (Amazon, $10) and OH MY GOD I GET IT. It's like Harry Potter and the State Fair rolled into one glorious, beautiful, magical festival that creeps out of the night and blossoms into childhood dreams on steroids.

While I'm not feeling so hot on my prospects of finding a circus that is a) actually magical and b) will take me on, I am feeling inspired to bring some magic and mystery into my living room with these Night Circus inspired pieces.

1. Charcoal Couch

As per M. Le Fèvre's request, a piece of furniture should be predominantly black or white, striking in shape, and luxurious in texture. And all dinner parties should commence at midnight precisely. Consider telling guests to pre-game with coffee so they don't fall asleep in their soup.

2. Victoria Ghost Chair

The circus often walks a tightrope between classy and kitschy. This chair falls somewhere between Victorian Elegance and Barbie's Dream House, so it's basically perfect.

3. Faux Bois Dishware

When a magician is involved, nothing is what it seems. These whimsical dishes are no exception. Just make sure no one tries to carve into them -- that's going to sound about as nice as nails on a chalkboard.

4. Pom-Pom Throw

The only way to make black and white more dramatic is to add a pop of red. Or an actress. You're really not supposed to purchase the latter.

5. Industrial Chandelier

20th-century ingenuity meets 21st century taste, with a healthy dose of 19th-century Romanticism. The real question is, Edison or Tessla?

6. Balancing Time Clock

Magic and machinery is a combo as seductive as heels and dresses, men and suits, nutella and hot sauce... What? You don't do that?

7. Eiffel Stool

To some, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most elegant and sophisticated architectural accomplishments of the modern era. To others, it's "the iron monster." But hey, it makes an iconic foot stool.

8. Night Circus Hollow Book Safe + Flask

For those nights your guests are less charming than Le Fèvre's. You can even hide it from your guests and your classy bookshelf. Clearly it's all that reading that's making you friendlier.

9. Hurricane Candle Holders

The flickering light of candles invites whispered ghost stories, tarot card readings, and lurking shadows. Get enough of them in a circle, and you could have yourself a proper séance.*

*For best effect, invite someone who is superstitious AND terrified of ghosts, as well as a devout skeptic. Add some wine. Let simmer for 1-2 hours.

10. Light-Up Tent

Getting a whole circus into your living room may be difficult, but you could make a beautiful Christmas village style arrangement with these light-up tents.

In case you're wondering it, it does still give you +10 old lady points for having a "Christmas village" of any sort.

11. Night Circus Tickets

Invite your guests over about half an hour before sundown, then insist the circus doesn't open until dark. It'll create an air of mystery, anticipation, and strife. The three ingredients for any good circus tale.

12. Rustic Corkscrew Bouquet

All good things must end. What better way to ponder such profound truth than a still life art piece: the eternal preservation of a single moment that can never be retrieved, but watches as you slowly march toward death.

After all, the circus closes at sun up.