Adding whimsy to an interior can often feel daunting. Where classic lines are time-won, playful elements are defiant - departing from ordinary rules and convention to add something unexpected and youthful: a way to spark joy, find fun, add sentiment or even invoke something nostalgic.
Far from being one dimensional, a sense of play can also be executed in thoughtful and subtle ways; through the frivolity of furniture with quizzical lines and art, patterns or colours that convey personality and authenticity through unrestrained free expression.
While there is nothing demanding that we do this, there’s a lightness to the idea of whimsy, to something that doesn’t take itself too seriously and with it, the undeniable appeal of anything unique that avoids the wash of same-same furniture or wholly shoppable interiors.
And so, to make your life easier, we’ve put together 3 rules for adding a whimsical touch to any and every interior...
Pick your place
Children’s rooms are prime real estate for adding elements of fun, being a natural environment through which to integrate something of the fairytale, over-sized, comedic or quirky. From a corn cob side table to a flea market found print, children’s spaces - be it a bedroom, playroom or nursery - provide an open canvas for pops of colour or flights of fancy in sconces, wallpaper and floor lamps.
Elsewhere, thresholds, entryways and ‘the overhead’ offer the perfect opportunity to inject interest into areas that might otherwise be overlooked. While perennially elegant the concertina and organic form of an Arturo Alvarez ‘Tempo Vivace’ pendant light, for example, adds a playful ethereal relief to the reserve and heavy foundations of a Victorian era hallway (see below). Similarly, a colourful reading nook built into an existing cavity uses the quiet backdrop of architectural negative space to create a bright and engaging play area without being dangerously overwhelming.
The concertina and organic form of an Arturo Alvarez ‘Tempo Vivace’ pendant light adds ethereal relief to the reserve and heavy foundations of a Victorian era hallway in a Rachel Donath interior.
A colourful reading nook built into an existing cavity uses the quiet backdrop of architectural negative space to create a bright and engaging play area without being dangerously overwhelming.
Apply an artistic lens
When seen through an artistic lens, flourish and whimsy can be safely expressed through objects - in sculptures, vases and soft furnishings that can be moved, remodelled or replaced. Given they aren’t structurally permanent, to play with different colours, textures and placement becomes both a creative and experimental process; a way to break through the boundaries of a fixed mindset to explore, and ultimately develop, a stronger and more enduring aesthetic.
A sandstone sculpture occupies a landing. When seen through an artistic lens, flourish and whimsy can be safely expressed through objects - through sculptures, vases and soft furnishings that can be moved, remodelled or replaced.
Ultimately, when it comes to design, trust your own judgement. As travel, personal experience and sentiment make objects meaningful, those that depart from our ordinary style or the taste of the times, become quizzical in the difference they strike to the rest of our interior. Rather than fear this, make it a feature - be it an inherited piece, coup de coeur antique, travel momento or striking modern sculpture, honour the beauty (and fun!) you see in the piece and make it a conversation starter.
Make unusual or coup de coeur pieces a focal point and feature.
From the Inventory:
Italian Murano Polkadot Vase. Shop here
The Iconic Wave chair. Shop here
The Wave Fire Screen by Rachel Donath. Shop here
The Arte Mirror. Shop here
Discover The Inventory here.