A Time and Place for Whimsy

By Christine Brun

December 28, 2016 4 min read

This is the perfect time of year to find a place for quirky and whimsical touches that will enliven your home environment. We know that longer and darker days of winter can be difficult for some people. These small changes take up no extra room and are guaranteed to combat the tendency to slip into a winter funk. Spread some indoor fun and silliness with color and easily changed accessories.

We're honing in on the aesthetic aspect of accessories and the fact that there are dozens of them that can be brought in for a specific period of time and then switched out later. The most obvious accessory of all time is the ubiquitous throw pillow, which most men abhor. I cannot tell you how many husbands have told me over the years that they do not want a bunch of fussy pillows tossed all over their bed! Having said that, one or two spirited pillows can be a lot of fun. For example, you can get an accent pillow with a bright seasonal plaid or a bold beaded snowflake on the front, or even the initial of your last name in a bold red! Textiles such as faux fur, cozy chenille or regal velvet damask appeal for the cold days of the year, but they will obviously be too heavy once spring comes around.

Mirrors are another useful accent. They are portable and come in all manner of sizes. On dark days, they help to reflect available outdoor light and magnify indoor light. Consider removing a piece of art that you normally have hanging at the end of a hallway and replacing it with a brightly colored and artsy-shaped mirror. It could be shaped like a bunny's face, an enlarged machine cog or an exaggerated magnifying glass. Fortunately, the internet allows for easy searches, and the range you will find is nothing short of stunning. Prices range from inexpensive to extravagant. Even if you take an old square mirror and repaint it in a high-gloss color, you will provide a spot of pizzazz for a dark hallway or bathroom.

Getting through tough times depends on a unique type of creativity, in my opinion. It's the sort of thinking outside of the box that can open up possibilities for looking at the same old space in a fresh manner. Play the "what if" game, and let your mind wander as you try to envision the same old space with some bold new changes. It's this spirit that I encourage you to access in these next few months. For example, I found this capricious print of vases and was immediately inspired. Imagine this rich piece over a buffet in a dining room — just for the fun of it! Or think of such a graphic image mounted over a boring drop-in electric fireplace in a high-rise condo. Wouldn't it create some discussion (at the very least) and deliver a little bit of dimension to a flat fireplace?

Back when the shabby-chic craze came out, the appeal was that everything was mixed and nothing matched. The essence of the genre is freedom from rules. Ordinary vintage items were repainted and repurposed. Things like concrete garden benches were hauled inside to be used as a dining table. Apply that same sense of freedom to your home during winter, and go for the fun.

Photo Credit: www.urbanroad.com

Christine Brun, ASID, is a San Diego-based interior designer and author of "Small Space Living." Send questions and comments to her by email at [email protected] To find out more about Christine Brun and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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