Whimsical interior design is all about bringing imagination to life in a space. Described as fun, fantasy-inspired, and full of unexpected twists, this design style utilizes interesting elements and heavy-handed accessories that you would usually see in a cartoon home or the great outdoors. Think bright and printed walls, era-specific décor spread across the space, and unusual pieces of furniture that still feel comfortable, lived-in, and personal.
Here are some ways to incorporate whimsy into every nook and cranny of your home, without making it too overdone and unlivable:
Start with the empty walls by adding eclectic wallpaper.
Your biggest design piece in your home is most likely the wall in your living space. Using this free space will allow you to dictate the overall design theme you want for your home. If you're looking to go full-on fantasy in your space, opt for eclectic wallpaper that screams outdoorsy or outer space, and anywhere in between.
A mural will also work wonders if you know a great artist and painter - imagine mountain ranges in muted tones in your bedroom for that quintessential cabin feel or rainforest greenery in your kitchen for an au naturel take on dinner parties and meals in.
In order to not make the space look super cluttered, opt for furniture pieces and accessories that use the colors in your statement wallpaper or art. The same goes for prints - it's ideal that you stick to an overall theme when it comes to picking out the patterns that adorn your space.
Lean into the historical.
Drawing inspiration from history and design eras is a fantastic way to get whimsy in your personal space. It's surreal to step into a time capsule of sorts when classical antiquity is involved, and if you're in love with this design style, this is the approach for you.
Traditional interior design from 18th century Europe is a fun start for historical spaces. Envision English Regency dining sets, bedrooms that remind you of Netflix's Queen Charlotte, and lots of adorned window treatments and table drapes. Decorative sconces and furniture frames plus a generous serving of vintage ware amp up the historical factor of a room. By going all out on this type of interior décor, you're sure to create the dollhouse of your dreams in your very own space.
Bring outdoor life into the inside space.
Whimsical doesn't have to be mean unrealistic or unnatural. In fact, many fantasy-inspired homes have a ton of natural elements in them. Plants and water décor like mini fountains are a fun touch to an otherwise enclosed space. It also realizes the imagination that you could be watching Netflix from deep within the forest.
The key is to be generous with the indoor plants, and have them placed in varying heights and spaces inside the home. If you're into the whole "cabin escape" vibe, get a white noise machine that plays the sound of waves or calm animal sounds. Then you can roleplay as Snow White while doing the dishes.
Add a quirky element - or five.
Get creative when it comes to accessorizing your space, because nothing is off-limits when it comes to whimsical design. From artwork to accessories, playful elements render a space more eclectic and fun. Adorable knick-knacks like zebra head cabinet knobs, eye-catching textiles and fabrics like hand-painted pillow cases, and interesting small furniture like Lego-shaped storage organizers are great options to go for when it comes to accessorizing and creating fantasy-inspired interiors.
The best part? Home décor is pretty easy to change up when you get tired of them. That said, you can always go for more permanent fixtures like whimsical lighting and hanging pieces. I mean, just how fun is this monkey wall sconce?
Not quite a maximalist? You can still go whimsical with a neutral palette.
Whimsical decor - while often utilized for maximalist designs - is not limited to colorful and bold pieces that border on cluttercore. In fact, whimsical just means playful and fun - something that can definitely be achieved in minimalist or neutral design style.
Some people aren't a fun of vibrant color palettes and excessive prints, so taking this route might not be ideal for those who want to explore fantasy-themed interiors without the bright reds and yellows. Taking it one furniture piece at a time is a great way to bring fantasy into your home without overwhelming your senses. For example, a swinging bench in the middle of your living room is cozy as it is an unexpected alternative to your comfortable loveseat sofa.
The devil is in the details, so implementing intricate shapes and forms like curved rattan or metal filigree is an equally effective approach in bringing whimsy to your personal home. Stick to less vibrant hues like metallics and muted tones of green and blue (of which are reflective of nature) and you've got yourself the minimalist fantasy space of your dreams.
Don't forget your outdoor space.
Designing a home doesn't end with what's inside. In fact, it's almost imperative that you decorate your exteriors just as well as your interiors so that the fantasy is carried out across the entire space. Pick a bold color for your walls and accentuate with a neutral door and trimming for a flamboyant take, or go the less risky route and keep your exterior walls neutral while choosing a pop of color for your main entry.
Also, make sure to implement larger-than-life greenery in your front porch or entry to really nail that cottage-like, Tuscan style if that's what you think of when you hear whimsical. The more vines wrapping around the body, the better chances you get to design the fairy cottage from your wildest imaginations.
Want to bring your fantasy home to life? Check out move-in ready properties here and get ready to decorate to your heart's content.