Raise your hand if you’re just a taaaad wary of bright color, funky furniture, and major design elements like large print wall paper or painted hard wood floors. I’m assuming I’m not alone, here. Though, not unlike hanging at the precipice of a black diamond ski run, and regardless of the uncontrollable pounding of my heart, I’m still one to push off and risk the design equivalent of the dreaded skier’s “yard sale”. After all, we are talking about decorating…what’s the worst that could happen? With that said, and I must say with a bit of a cotton mouth, I hope y’all are with me when it comes to today’s decoration exploration: wit and whimsy – design that takes chances, but also doesn’t take itself too seriously.
So how do we hand-raisers begin venturing into this decor direction? First, let’s take a look at some examples below and pinpoint what makes them witty and whimsical. Next, follow what most professional designers suggest, attempt the “bunny hill” technique of starting small: pillows, an upholstered chair, a focal wall with fun paint or paper, a single unique sculptural element, etc. Soon you’ll be taking all kinds of risks with your space like a double black diamond expert. After all…why not?
Hat tree: this one’s a bit obvious, but it’s also quite fun and doable. Some of us may want to leave the antlers to more daring decor types, but the idea is to think outside the “rack” when it comes to featuring your fedoras and Windsor caps. Large in scale can really pull attention in a fun way. Accessorizing, like this vintage suitcase, adds another layer of whimsy.
Striped rug piano room: at first glance, this oversized, colorfully striped rug is the whimsical star of this space. If we take a closer look, the eclectic chorus of the sculptural, wood slated chair, Napoleon wall hanging, mid-century mod green lamp and musical instruments, all add up to an indulgent, yet “kick off your shoes and relax” kind of room.
Graphic chair and wall paper: graphic patterns are both fun and daring. Try using fabrics or wall paper on small furniture pieces and spaces to start, then add more from there.
Boat on the ceiling: no doubt, this is a ceiling show stopper and can be tried with all kinds of objects like bicycles, kites, even large scale model air planes. The key is to have fun and go with the unexpected.
Lips living room: Antonio Ballatore, rock star designer for HGTV’s The Antonio Treatment is the king of wit and whimsy decor. His fearless abandon and fun approach to every room leaves most decorators secretly raising their flicked BiC lighters in respect. This subtle-but-not lips wall paper adds the unquestionable IT factor, seemingly attempting to seduce its companioned tangerine wall. I’d definitely call this a whimsically sexy space.