Designers Embrace Whimsical Home Decorating Ideas

From big beaded mushrooms to giant sharks and seating that looks like it came out of a gym, today’s modern designers are creating fanciful, playful pieces that spark creative home decorating ideas for every room of your home. Never has there been a better time to indulge your personal style in home decor with new levels of whimsy.

Like a scene from a Tim Burton movie or a page from a Maurice Sendak picture book, the Haas Brothers' beaded creations are fun and colorful.View in gallery
Like a scene from a Tim Burton movie or a page from a Maurice Sendak picture book, the Haas Brothers’ beaded creations are fun and colorful.

Design Miami/ in December 2015 was the U.S. debut of the Afreaks collection by the Texas-born Haas Brothers. The twins collaborated with a South African group of female artists who are beading experts. While the women were already creating beaded objects and animals through their Monkeybiz company, they have started calling themselves the Haas Sisters, thanks to their wildly successful collaboration.

Giant beaded mushrooms are accompanied by small, imaginary creatures.View in gallery
Giant beaded mushrooms are accompanied by small, imaginary creatures.
Even the underside of the mushrooms have features crafted to show textures and patterns.View in gallery
Even the underside of the mushrooms have features crafted to show textures and patterns.
Colorful mushroom "gills" agains a spongy textured background are straight out of a childhood dream.View in gallery
Colorful mushroom “gills” against a spongy textured background are straight out of a childhood bedroom dream.
Part chair, part monster ready to com to life, we'd love this piece in in a child's room (or in our own bedroom.)View in gallery
Part chair, part monster ready to come to life, we’d love this piece in in a child’s room (or in our own bedroom.)
The beadwork on this chair, as well as the other pieces in the Freak's collection, is gorgeous.View in gallery
The beadwork on this chair, as well as the other pieces in the Freak’s collection, is gorgeous.
Not ready to commit to an otherworldly chair? How about a fun companion to serve as a whimsical accessory in an otherwise staid room?View in gallery
Not ready to commit to an otherworldly chair? Here’s a home decor idea: How about a fun companion to serve as a whimsical accessory in an otherwise staid room?
Again, the beading by the African artists is three-dimensional, intricate and interesting.View in gallery
Again, the beading by the African artists is three-dimensional, intricate and interesting.
In addition to the beaded furniture and accessories, the Haas Brothers have created a series of mini beasts like this one.View in gallery
In addition to the beaded furniture and accessories, the Haas Brothers have created a series of mini beasts like this one.
Even the ceramic vessels they produces seem ready to come to life.View in gallery
Even the ceramic vessels they produces seem ready to come to life.
Their three-legged stool has three realistic, fantastical legs. It looks like it might walk away on its own!View in gallery
Their three-legged stool has three realistic, fantastical legs. It looks like it might walk away on its own!
Colorful teenage bedroom design from Katie StoutView in gallery
Colorful teenage bedroom design from Katie Stout

In the same vein, artist Katie Stout created an entire room of whimsy that any child would love to inhabit.  The young Brooklyn-based artist creates items like stuffed chairs, tables from paper pulp and rugs with three-dimensional eyeballs.  This room has everything from hand-painted wallpaper to furry bedposts and a seriously overstuffed braided rug. Even if you chose not to go full-on fantastical, Stout’s creation provides plenty of home decorating ideas for a teenage bedroom.

Stout's hand painted wallpaper is very colorful and magical.View in gallery
Stout’s hand painted wallpaper is very colorful and magical.
This braided rug is pouffy and inviting...you just want to jump up and down on it.View in gallery
This braided rug is pouffy and inviting…you just want to jump up and down on it.
While this glittery mirror fits right in, we think it would be a great addition to any bedroom.View in gallery
While this glittery mirror fits right in, we think it would be a great addition to any bedroom.
Each mushroom lamp by Devriendt is one of a kind and were reportedly created during his long study of the mushroom form.View in gallery
Each mushroom lamp by Devriendt is one of a kind, and were reportedly created during his long study of the mushroom form.

Mushrooms also bring a fun design concept to lighting.  These lamps from the Pierre Marie Giraud Studio and are functional as well as playful. Belgian artist Jos Devrient created these interesting pieces.

Elements of the mushroom shape often appear in Devriendt's work. Grouped or singly, these lights are conversation pieces.View in gallery
Elements of the mushroom shape often appear in Devriendt’s work. Grouped or singly, these lights are conversation pieces and a wonderful home decor idea.
More than just a box, the melted design of this piece makes the a truly artful accessory.View in gallery
More than just a box, the melted design of this piece makes the a truly artful accessory.
This kitschy and fun lamp highlights a retro collection of dog figurines, presented by the Carpenter's Workshop Gallery. Don't like dogs? I'm sure you could create a version with cats...or anything else for that matter.View in gallery
This kitschy and fun lamp highlights a retro collection of dog figurines, presented by the Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery. Don’t like dogs? This home decor idea could be created  with cats…or anything else for that matter.
Stools that look like basketballs and lights that resemble gymnastic rings are part of a collection that derives its whimsy from the gym.View in gallery
Stools that look like basketballs and lights that resemble gymnastic rings are part of a collection that derives its whimsy from the gym.

Secondome of Rome  is a design platform that focuses on worldwide emerging designers and innovative projects. The studio’s exhibit at Design Miami/ features Body Building by Milan-based Italian design duo Alberto Biagetti and Laura Baldassari.  The show “explores the idea of the body, its potential and the discipline of perfection…The Body Building “antigym” consists of unique pieces made of precious materials and exquisite details, executed with the incomparable precision synonymous of the excellence of Italy’s hand-made tradition,” says the gallery’s description.

Stylized free weights serve as the supports for a pink glass table, called the Mirubeni table, juxtaposing the masculine and the feminine.View in gallery
Stylized free weights serve as the supports for a pink glass table, called the Mirubeni table, juxtaposing the masculine and the feminine. It definitely opens the door for other home decor ideas for glass table tops.
Is it body parts? A morphed body? A creature? Designer Satyendra Pakhalé created this chair. He calls himself a “cultural nomad” having grown up in India, trained in India and Switzerland, and worked internationally for two decades.View in gallery
Is it body parts? A morphed body? A creature? Designer Satyendra Pakhalé created this chair. He calls himself a “cultural nomad,” having grown up in India, trained in India and Switzerland, and worked internationally for two decades.
Fiona Blackfish certainly got a lot of attention at Design Miami/. She has a leather exterior ands a furry pink tongue-shaped seat. The teeth are made of leather too.View in gallery
Fiona Blackfish certainly got a lot of attention at Design Miami/. She has a leather exterior ands a furry pink tongue-shaped seat. The teeth are made of leather too.

Created by Porky Hefer, the hanging chair Fiona Blackfish is just plain awesome. Hefer has been called one of South Africa’s most awarded creative people. During a 16-year career in advertising, he has worked with big brands like American Express, Nike, Coca-Cola and Durex. Hefer currently works as Porky Hefer Design creating unusual pieces that are exceptional home decor ideas.

In person or in photographs, it's impossible to tell that these stunning pieces are made from clay.View in gallery
In person or in photographs, it’s impossible to tell that these stunning pieces are made from clay.

At first glance, this looks like a wooden vessel, but it’s actually a trompe l’oeil piece made of ceramic by Eric Serritella. This masterpiece of clay is one of many Serritella has created, several of which have been added to some of the world’s most important modern and contemporary art collections over the past three years, according to Jason Jacques Inc.

Simonsson's biography says that he combines the innocent with an odd agenda, and that "although the technique he uses is traditional, the way he gives the material a soul is unique."View in gallery
Simonsson’s biography says that he combines the innocent with an odd agenda, and that “although the technique he uses is traditional, the way he gives the material a soul is unique.”

Like little garden fairies, these Moss People by Kim Simonsson are playful and mischievous at the same time.  Either as garden culture or as modern home decor ideas, the nylon-covered figurines evoke a dark side as well.

Artist Kang Myung Sun is known for using the traditional craftsmanship used for lacquer work inlaid with mother-of-pearl in innovative ways. Her sofa is part of the unusual "From the Glitter" collection.View in gallery
Artist Kang Myung Sun is known for using the traditional craftsmanship used for lacquer work inlaid with mother-of-pearl in innovative ways. Her sofa is part of the unusual “From the Glitter” collection.

Seomi International, is a South Korean Gallery that has “introduced contemporary design that captures the values of Korea’s naturalistic aesthetics and artisanship.”  Most of their pieces look to have been created with a touch whimsy, if not an outright goal of being unusual.

The same "From the Glitter" series includes this wall piece that opens to reveal a black lacquered shelf.View in gallery
The same “From the Glitter” series includes this wall piece that opens to reveal a black lacquered shelf.

Seomi Bathroom SettingView in gallery

This bathroom is nothing if not whimsical. Designer Lee Hun Chung creates these ceramic pieces by hand and fires them in a hand-built kiln, using glazes developed in the 15th century.  According to Artsy, he “thinks of his ceramics as ‘three-dimensional landscape painting,’ imbued with the colors of his native Korea.” If the entire bathroom is too much for you, using one of the pieces would be a creative home decorating idea.

The glazes the artist uses are unpredictable, resulting in different color expressions, which only add to the unusual nature of the sink and mirror.View in gallery
The glazes the artist uses are unpredictable, resulting in different color expressions, which only add to the unusual nature of the sink and mirror.
Here's a closer look at this one-of-a-kind washbasin.View in gallery
Here’s a closer look at this one-of-a-kind washbasin.
Colorful and with plenty of depth -- both physically and artistically, this bathtub is like no other.View in gallery
Colorful and with plenty of depth — both physically and artistically — this bathtub is like no other.
A far cry from the sleek, white models most people have in their bathrooms, this tub is just "wow."View in gallery
A far cry from the sleek, white models most people have in their bathrooms, the tub is just “wow.”
In a quirky form of taxidermy, Parisian-born Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos covers objects, particularly animal pieces, in crochet lace.View in gallery
In a quirky form of taxidermy, Parisian-born Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos covers objects, particularly animal pieces, in crochet lace.
These glass cubes are a grand example of how Zimmerman's pieces exploit the techniques of advanced glassmaking and the defining properties of glass itself. The might be solid, but they evoke movement and the molten qualities of metal or glass.View in gallery
These glass cubes are a grand example of how Zimmerman’s pieces exploit the techniques of advanced glassmaking and the defining properties of glass itself. The might be solid, but they evoke movement and the molten qualities of metal or glass. Using one of more of these — even in a more conservative room — would be a novel home decor idea.

Jeff Zimmerman, master glass artist, “belongs to a group of daring contemporary artists who employ the ancient material as a means of expression rather than an end in itself,” reports Zimmerman’s biography. His objects and lighting fixtures are all whimsical, whether they are practical or not.

Zimmerman's cubes shimmer, reflecting light like pools of liquid.View in gallery
Zimmerman’s cubes shimmer, reflecting light like pools of liquid.
Ping pong anyone? We can;t think of a more perfect mirror for a fun family room area than this one from Gallery Kreo.View in gallery
Ping pong anyone? We can’t think of a more perfect mirror for a fun family room home decor idea than this one from Galerie Kreo.
This piece showcases the amazing manipulation of wood that is possible in the hands of talented artists.View in gallery
This unusual piece showcases the amazing manipulation of wood that is possible in the hands of talented artists.

We’d call this shelving with a twist!  More art than function, this piece from the Sara Myerscough Gallery is by Irish designer Joseph Walsh. Walsh writes: “In the Enignum series of work, I have stripped wood into thin layers, manipulating and reconstructing them into free form compositions. I then shape through these layers to reveal not only the honesty of the structure but the sculpted form which is a unique collaboration of man and material. The title derives from the Latin words Enigma (‘mystery’) and Lignum (‘wood’), for me they sum up the series: the mystery of the composition lies in the material.”  (Joseph Walsh)

wood kreo boat bathtubView in gallery
Cool Wood Boat Shaped Bathtub

Rub-a-dub-dub, a boat for a tub. How much fun is this freestanding boat-shaped bathtub from Galerie Kreo in Paris?

Patrick Denom Lips SofaView in gallery
Patrick Denom Lips Sofa

This piece brings new meaning to the term love seat.  The Patrick Derom Gallery presents this awesome sofa made to look like lips.

Artist Barnaby Barford created this jeweled monkey hanging from a large chandelier, yielding a kitchsy lighting fixture.View in gallery
Artist Barnaby Barford created this jeweled monkey hanging from a large chandelier, yielding a kitchsy lighting fixture that conjures up all sorts of home decorating ideas.
Lighting is an easy way to add whimsical features to your home decor. This moth light fixture is created from hundreds of individually crafted brass moths. Actually, Limited moths is part of the RealLimited series, which points out limitations in reality. The design is a portrait of the moth species Catcall converse, which is highly endangered in Austria.View in gallery
Lighting is an easy way to add whimsical features to your home decor. This moth light fixture is created from hundreds of individually crafted brass moths. Actually, Limited moths is part of the RealLimited series, which points out limitations in reality. The design is a portrait of the moth species Catcall converse, which is highly endangered in Austria.
ToddM alligator leather stoolView in gallery
Erin Sullivan Alligator Stool

Either as a stool or a small table, Erin Sullivan’s sculptural furniture features realistic features of organic subjects. She uses the lost wax method, often used by jewelers, to create her striking pieces.  Many stools are fun pieces, but this one is realistic as well as quirky.  We adore the feet!

Soda tab chair designView in gallery
Clare Graham’s Pop Top side chair

Clare Graham’s Pop Top side chair, from 2000 is an attention getter. We’ve seen lots of examples of up cycling, but this is a very artistic — and functional — creation made with found materials. Upcycled materials plus imagination can yield distinctive and different home decorating ideas.

A close-up of this unusual -- but comfortable -- chair.View in gallery
A close-up of this unusual — but comfortable — chair.

Whimsical pieces have long been a part of home decor ideas, but never has there been more variety.  The main luxury of having your own space is the ability to express your own style through furnishings and decor, and that includes as much whimsy as you want.