Whimsical decor ideas

Whimsy is unexpected, intriguing, magical, even mysterious. Creating a home with your personal style, with layers and details takes time. We’ve lived in this house for six years and here are some ways I’ve tried to add a touch of whimsy.

Unexpected color

DIY painted pink ombré tile wall - Coral Gables - How to paint tile with oil-based enamel - Girls bathroom ideas-62

This was old beige tile in my daughter’s bathroom. I decided to spice it up with paint, creating a coral ombré pattern. It only cost $60 and it’s a fun surprise for guests.

green lanai exterior doors

I love painting doors and moulding fun colors as well. It adds personality and drama.

Plant support stakes that blend in with the plant - a moss tower alternative

Furniture, like this vintage dresser (I found by the side of the road!), is a great opportunity to add in another layer.

Girls bedroom with green chinoiserie mural, white daybed, shelves, desk and macrame tapestry

Clara talked me into this $25 consignment chair. But she was right, it’s such a fun moment in her girly room.

And, of course, you can also use a burst of color through blankets, pillows or textiles that’s easier to switch out when you want a change.


I know I’m always talking about wallpaper, but this is truly the most impactful way to make a statement in a room. The full wall murals are my favorite because they set a mood and add such visual interest.

White living room with sage green moulding and heron wallpaper - snake plant ledge - DIY tv frame art - ektorp Ikea couches - board and batten wall

When this wall was plain white, the room didn’t have near the same amount of personality that the heron wallpaper brings. (It originally comes in pink, but I painted it green to fit more with my color palette.)

How to wallpaper with paste - chinoiserie garden mural in primary bedroom - vintage home decor ideas

I added this chinoiserie wallpaper on all four walls of our bedroom and it truly feels like waking up in a garden. I love seeing all the details. Clara made up stories about all of the birds, haha!

Girls Bedroom _ Craft Room Makeover _ Organize With Me _ Kids room decor inspo - garden mural

Clara’s chinoiserie mural is the star of the show in this room. I painted the frame the same color as the background so it would blend in. This wallpaper definitely brings the drama to this little room.

I even love to add murals to unexpected places like the laundry room or even in this little toilet closet! A little discovery around each corner.

Black and white wallpaper with books in water closet near toilet

Also see: 9 affordable wallpaper murals, starting at $55!


Antiques and thrifted finds add history and a story to a space — give it a soul. If everything is brand new it can lack dimension and feel one dimensional.

Whimsical decor ideas

These are books from my grandpa’s house and a paper weight from my grandma. They are special and I love having them on display.

Whimsical decor ideas- antiques

But not everything has to have your personal history behind it. I love this painting I found for $9 at a thrift store. The cashier said, “That’s an original piece. It’s worth a lot more than $9,” as he stood there examining it. I thought, “I know! That’s why I’m trying to buy it,” wondering if the was actually going to sell it to me.

Furniture Flip - Faux Wood Paint - DIY antique furniture hack

And here’s an antique cabinet that I redid to cover chipping wood and water damage. Not only is antique furniture unique and higher quality that pieces today of mass production, but much more affordable. I bought it on Marketplace for $90. I had to put some elbow grease into it, but isn’t she pretty? I love decorating the inside for holidays.

Animal details

I’ve been adding a few little animals in unexpected places for a bit of whimsy and fun. Some of them guests stumble upon and it makes them laugh. I love that!

Adding adorable animal decor and whimsy to the home - mouse reading in a mouse hole decal sticker

Look at this sweet decal of a mouse reading in his little mouse hole. I like to tell the kids’ friends to see if they can find the hidden mouse. I purposefully hid it in a random corner at the end of the hall for a fun discovery. 

Adding adorable animal decor and whimsy to the home - brass mouse door holder doorstop

I somehow stumbled across the most adorable mouse door holder that has ever existed. I mean look how sweet Harry is! I named him Harry. I put it off for awhile because we already had a doorstop for this door to the playroom that won’t stay open, but Harry was worth it. Makes me smile every time I walk past.

Adding adorable animal decor and whimsy to the home - peacock table lamp and capiz shade

And finally, here’s a fun peacock table lamp that I couldn’t leave the store without. There was even a capiz lamp shade option.


Mixing patterns and prints in with solids adds depth and interest. Pair a small print with a large print or two very different patterns for contrast. Keeping the colors within your defined color palette is what will make them go together well. Possibilities include florals, checks, stripes, ikat, floral, geometric, herringbone, houndstooth, dots, and animal prints.

Whimsical decor ideas

I’ve had this blue and white patterned rug from World Market for probably 10 years. I even had it on a wall at some point because the graphics are so bold and large-scale. Now it works in our office with the blue ocean mural and gallery wall.

How to paint stripes in hallway using tape - Gray and white striped hallway with sage green doors, wainscoting and trim

I often add pattern with paint, like these playful stripes in the hallway.

cheap gray and white buffalo check pillow covers

And I’ve done lots of stenciling in my day, but the cement front porch is still my favorite. It made such a difference!

Painting a checkerboard floor without tape on pool deck patio lanai - the easiest way to paint a checkered floor

I mean, I even painted my whole back lanai in a checkerboard pattern! That was dedication. It adds an old-world kind of charm to the space.

Mixing patterns in rugs and pillows and textiles is always fun and adds character.

Bring the outside in

Create a secret garden feel inside with trees and plants. The bigger the better in my opinion!

Simple indoor plant care - Fiddle leaf fig tree

This was Figgy in her prime two years ago. She’s having some sort of life crisis right now, but she’s coming around. Her size and prominence makes the space come alive.

Plant support stakes that blend in with the plant - a moss tower alternative - Eclectic reading nook

This monstera keeps growing and growing! I found some natural looking stakes to help prop her up

Don’t forget the ceiling

The fifth wall often gets overlooked, but it’s fun to add a coat of paint, some decals or even stamps to give it a new life.

gold star decals on ceiling with capiz flush mount light fixture

I put gold decal stars on the ceiling in my daughter’s room so she could look up at a dreamy scene.

And I used a foam star stamp in the boys’ shared bedroom to add stars in the same color as the accent wall. It was so simple but adds a playful element.

How to wallpaper with paste - chinoiserie garden mural in primary bedroom - vintage home decor ideas


I’ve always loved the way a bookshelf is filled with possibility and new discoveries. Row after row of multi-colored spines make an art display of their own. My bookshelf in the office is messy and cluttered with children’s art projects and little treasures — just the way I like it. And how does this dog get in every single shot I take?

Secret room

Don’t you think the ultimate whimsical feature would be a hidden room?! It’s such a Narnia, magical experience. I want to make the office or playroom a hidden room so badly!

They make the hidden doors premade, you just have to install them. I could paint this the same sage as all my hallway doors! I always think about doing it, but them remember we don’t have an extra $1,500 laying around. And that the fridge is dying and my dryer doesn’t have heat anymore. 😆

Well, I could keep going with lighting and sconces and moulding and outside ideas, but this is getting long!

Please tell me your ideas in the comments. I’d love to know what you’ve done or plan on doing in your own home as well!

Whimsical decor ideas and inspiration

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