Bored with traditional looks and classic lines? Do wing chairs and chintz upholstery send you running? Lucky for you many of today’s designers feel the same way and have created plenty of funky, unusual pieces that will appeal to those looking for something a little more fun to add to their home decor. Wild shapes, unconventional materials and innovative concepts all make for furnishings that stand out and grab attention. So get your quirk on and peruse these possibilities for adding a whimsical touch to any living space.
Iron bars, glass blocks and velvet – why not? Arcana’s Rion loveseat is part of the Altered Common collection, which is designed specifically to “create whimsy and attention” in a room. Like this loveseat, each piece in the collection alters conventional scales and uses unexpected materials in unusual ways. This is a fresh take on functionality that goes far beyond the common and ventures into the curious and memorable.
Ready for Play
What’s more fun than a ball, especially one that you can sit on? Designed by Mauricio Casini, who has been making exquisite leather products for decades, these Aura sitting balls are ergonomic and beautiful. Handcrafted and durable, they add a bit of whimsy to a room. The interior of the ball includes a weight that gives it stability and the section that is in contact with the floor has an anti-skid coating.
A growing mass constrained by its cage: the Heart Lamp from Färg & Blanche of Sweden is a lighting piece, but also so much more. It’s a sculptural work of art that has its conceptual origins in the spirits of an old family house in Stockholm. The most simplistic explanation is that the Heart Lamp is a piece of mouth blown glass inside a brass basket. The light is cordless and rechargeable, meaning that you can artfully arrange — and rearrange — a collection of them in your space according to your own whims.
A Helping Hand…or 10
Fernweh Woodworking’s coat tree is like a little friend to lend you a hand, or two…The basic cactus shape takes on a creature-like appearance with its extensions meant for hanging coats, jackets or any other items. Whether in the bedroom or by the front door, this guy has way more personality than the typical hall tree. The hefty wood and its blackened finish make it a versatile decor accent too.
It’s not uncommon to feel like a piece of furniture has anthropomorphic qualities, but this lamp quite literally has legs. The golden legs are topped with a super tall lampshade that makes it seem like there really could be a woman hiding under there and the tassel trim gives it the feel of a dress. This whimsical lamp is from Green Apple of Portugal.
For the Fashionista
Style mavens will love this chaise longue, also from Green Apple. The MONS chaise looks like a high-heeled shoe but is actually inspired by the soaring, rugged profile of Portugal’s largest mountain range. The seat is crafted from wood that has been upholstered in red leather, while the base is coated in a high-gloss bronze powder lacquer the color of champagne. So very chic!
The Batiki Sofa from Kohlmaier of Vienna has a very unusual profile that will have guests commenting every time. Named after a faraway South Sea island, the back and sides are the marriage of landscape and architectural design. The shape can be used as a sofa or a chaise longue. Created by Sebastian Menschhorn, the sofa is made from solid wood and features legs of bamboo and brass.
The wood used in this credenza earned its stripes long, long ago. In fact, it was reclaimed from an old ship, which accounts for the darker color that runs along the edge of each plank. Skilled artisans then used this special wood to fashion this magnificent cabinet, positioning the wood pieces to create a one-of-a-kind geometric pattern encompassing the entire piece.
This might be a unique sculpture but it’s also a whimsical bench — and planter — that will certainly be a conversation piece. This is a great example of pieces that can serve a function and still be works of art to be admired and discussed. It’s perfect for a corner in the entryway or living room, where everyone can see it.
Boldly colored and versatile, inflatable chairs from Mojow are also lightweight and easy to move. The Yomi Armchair has clean lines and works with a multitude of other furnishings. The transparent nature of the seat lets other materials shine, no matter what you pair it with. In fact, the seat — particularly the clear one — can be filled with small objects you want to highlight such as feathers, beads, confetti, LED lights, Legos, and so on. The concept of inflatable furnishings extends to loveseats and sofas as well as single chairs.
For a modern home office of living space, these angular furniture sections are a functional and design forward addition. Without the armrests, legs, tufting and other details common in residential furniture, these pieces from Prisma Derlot Editions can be combined at will to create a diverse range of configurations. Unlike many styles of sectionals that are large and sprawling, these are compact, so they’ll work well in smaller spaces too.
While wooden dining tables are ubiquitous, this type is definitely not. Combining pieces of wood with spectacular grain and glossy resin, The Naturalist has created this dining table that is like a puzzle, and totally mesmerizing. The shapes and the resin filler flow from the tabletop through the edges of the pieces for a unified look. This is a table you’ll never want to cover with a tablecloth!
What at first appears to be a simple form actually embodies a much more complex idea. The Paradosso “Let it Go” by New Citizen Design invites those who are very sedentary to take a break, relax and communicate. Originally intended for a work environment, this could also be very useful in a space used for entertaining because guests can lean against it to chat while enjoying the massage of the screen on their backs. “Let it Go” is designed for today’s metropolitan person who is “curious for what’s new and agile to change.”
From the Wild
Straight from the African Continent, this grouping includes the polished kudu inner horn table. The legs of the base are crafted from the horns and support a round top that can be covered in a variety of hides, finished with an ostrich egg mosaic to simply topped with a wood piece. Ngala Trading was launched to promote African design and luxury home decor of all kinds.
Swirly and sculptural, this coffee table from Pandemic Design is part of the Static Dynamic Collection. The table set out to covey a number of opposing forces: erosion and accretion, growth and decay, merging and diverging. Crafted from layers of material that are stacked and laminated, the table presented the illusion that it is changing.
A Tribute to Spoons
Brazilian designer Sergio Mattos created this Bodocongó chair, inspired by the flea markets in Campina Grande in the State of Paraiba. One of the common items sold there are wooden spoons, which comprise the seat of this chair. Quite surprisingly, the spoons create a peacock-effect for the seat and the design exposes the overall construction, which is very interesting,
Do a Donut
Glazed with caramel like a real donut, this coffee table from Soft Geometry plays on the popular pastry for the hefty base. The wood is solid oak, swirled with wood grain, fully visible under the glass top. The designers say that the donuts is also available without the glass top for those who would rather settle into the middle and use it as a seat.
There’s no rule that a floor lamp can’t use colored lights and the Circles Big Light from Susan by Susan is a great example. More a piece of sculpture and mood lighting, the floor lamp has the same colors as the well-known stoplight. This is a wonderful piece for adding some playful illumination to a dark corner or as a conversation piece in the foyer. No matter where you put it, the lamp is a fun addition.
Art on the Move
Design meets kinetic art and technology in this coffee table from Sysephus. Under the glass top, a metal ball drives a computer-driven pattern through the sand inside to create a beautiful and every changing piece of art. Available as a large coffee table or a small side table, the piece is a mesmerizing addition to any living space. You quit literally will not be able to take your eyes off of it.
Simple lines in a striking form are what distinguished products from Vondom, like this bold red bistro set. Like a good deal of the company’s products, the pieces are crafted from materials that make them suitable for outdoor use. This would be equally at home in a kitchen or bar as it would be on a patio or by a poo. The easy-care of this furniture makes it extra appealing.