Whimsical Decor: Adding a Dash of Whimsy to Your Home

Whimsical decor is not your average design style. This quaint and charming style has a playful quality to it, with delightful decor that makes you smile! Many whimsical spaces feel imaginative and youthful—whimsy at its very finest. And it’s one of those trending decor ideas that we’re anticipating will grow in popularity in the next year.

Is whimsical style a look you’re going for? We’re answering the top questions about whimsical decor and rounding up our favorite whimsical furniture and decor that you can shop!

What is whimsical decor?

Whimsical decor actually isn’t any one design style. Rather, it encompasses decor that is lighthearted, playful, and full of color and pattern. Creating a very charming look, it’s often associated with fairytales, as animals and woodland creatures are prominent motifs in whimsical decor. (In fact, you can see a lot of whimsical decor elements in our Disney Princess home designs!)

Whimsical decor often features carved elements or hand-painted finishes, which give furniture and decor a unique look. You’ll find ornate details, softer color palettes, and plenty of patterns in whimsical spaces. Overall, whimsical decor is playful and charming, with elements of amusement and curiosity that evoke a sense of delight.

Which interior design styles have whimsical elements?

Whimsical decor can be incorporated into just about any design scheme—whether through a small piece of art or a sculptural object, or in larger ways through statement furniture and light fixtures.

Whimsical decor is most often found in kid’s rooms, and is a great style for little ones who love animals, nature, or fairy tales! However, there are most certainly ways to give whimsical decor a more grown-up and mature spin.

In fact, there are a few specific styles that are more closely associated with whimsy, so if you’re looking to create a whimsical look, these are good styles to consider. Eclectic and bohemian styles are playful by nature—and as more relaxed styles, they naturally align with whimsical elements. Rustic and farmhouse styles also lend themselves quite well to whimsical decor, which often has a vintage feel. Specifically, shabby chic and cottagecore styles, with their rural, countryside inspiration, are great styles to embrace if you want to tap into a more whimsical look!

A whimsical nursery filled with eclectic decor

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Where can I shop for whimsical furniture and decor?

You might be able to recognize whimsical decor when you see it—but where exactly can you shop for it? After all, not all brands offer whimsical decor, since it’s a more specialized decor style.

Your best bet for finding unique pieces of whimsical decor are flea markets, vintage stores, and antique shops. Vintage and antique furniture and decor tend to be more ornate, which fits in well with a whimsical vibe. However, there are also a few retailers and Modsy-curated brands that are great places to shop whimsical decor! Anthropologie, Pottery Barn Kids, Rifle Paper Co., Precita Home, and Antique Curiosities all have amazing whimsical pieces. Serena & Lily also has some good options if you want your whimsical space to lean a bit more formal.

​​How to Create a Whimsical Look

Want to bring some whimsical decor into your home’s design? Scroll down for 9 tips on adding a dash of whimsy to your home!

Whimsical wallpaper and and an ornate cabinet make this entryway charming

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1. Incorporate Nature-Inspired Motifs

Prints, patterns, and sculptural elements involving trees, plants, and florals are all part of a whimsical space. Look for furniture and decor that incorporates nature into its form, like this tree wallpaper or a lamp with a base that’s shaped like a tree. Even the carved armoire, above, features a pattern that’s reminiscent of vines and flowers—quite a charming piece!

2. Add Animal Forms

Animal forms are often seen as youthful and unrefined—which makes them a great choice for a whimsical space. So, bring animal elements into your space—whether it’s a sculptural animal head hanging on the wall, framed animal art, or animals in playful settings, like as the base of a table or lamp! This is a great way to try out the animal art trend!

A moody maroon living room with ornate and whimsical accent furniture

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3. Use Carved Wood Furniture

Carved wood elements add an intricate touch to your space. Carved furniture tends to be more classic or traditional in style which can help ground your space in a more timeless look. But interesting carvings, like the deer armchairs pictured above, have both an intricate and totally whimsical look!

4. Layer in Vintage Decor

Vintage items like fine China, figurines, and other delicate antiques can add a sense of whimsy to your space. We love the look of a “gallery wall” full of mismatched vintage floral plates hung on the wall, a stack of antique books, or a vintage woven tapestry.

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5. Look for Playful Forms

Unexpected furniture shapes bring a whimsical element to a space. The curved, rounded arms on these sofas are a great example, as are the two lamps in this space with their unique forms! They can add a lighthearted touch to a more serious space.

whimsical wallpaper adds charming character to this bedroom

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6. Incorporate Plenty of Patterns

Patterns in upholstery and rugs are a big part of whimsical decor. Floral patterns are a perfect choice, but other nature-inspired patterns (like the cloud wallpaper, above) add the perfect touch to a whimsical space. Many vintage-inspired rugs have a floral or folk-inspired patterning and are colorful, which adds a bit of playfulness to a room.

7. Embrace Natural Materials

Natural materials—like jute, rattan, wicker, and seagrass—are a great way to add a bit of an eclectic and layered touch to your space. Bonus points if these pieces also have poms or tassels as added ornament!

Small details in this blue bedroom are whimsical and fun

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8. Add Delicate Details

Whimsical spaces tend to lean more feminine, so having furniture and decor with soft details is an important aspect to creating a whimsical design. We love sweet details like scalloped edges, Jenny Lind-style beds, bedroom canopies, and florals.

9. Get a Little Quirky

Whimsical design shouldn’t feel serious or stuffy. Instead, it should evoke a lighthearted playfulness that has a touch of the eclectic. So, embrace quirky accents to bring a bit of extra playfulness to your room’s design!

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Designer Picks: Shop Our Favorite Whimsical Decor

Ready to shop for some whimsical decor and furniture pieces? Here are our designers’ top picks from the Modsy catalog.

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9 Rustic Dining Room Ideas That Are Ready for Fall

dining room

Fall is in full swing, and that means hosting season is right around the corner! So if you’re thinking about giving your dining room a refresh (or a total overhaul!), now is the perfect time to get started. So in the spirit of the season, we’ve dreamed up some dining room looks that are ready for all the dinner parties and holiday gatherings ahead!

And when it comes to cozy dining spaces, you can’t beat the warm, relaxed ease that comes with a rustic style dining space. It’s family-friendly by nature, well-suited for large gatherings, and creates that comfy, homey vibe that speaks perfectly to fall. But there’s so much more to rustic than plaid and wood. Read on to see nine different rustic dining room ideas along with tips for bringing each look into your own home.

dining tableThe Look: Farmhouse Elegance

This elegant take on rustic farmhouse style is tried-and-true and it’s a look even Joanna Gaines would approve of. And if it’s good enough for Jo, what’s left to consider?

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The Key Elements

This is the kind of rustic dining room that checks all the boxes: Plaid textiles, weathered woods, classic Americana furnishings, like Windsor chairs or a turned leg table. There’s also a touch of industrial mixed into this look, so remember to opt for a steely light fixture or a sturdy glass-and-metal china cabinet if this is the look you’re going for.

As for the palette, it’s okay to go high-contrast. Think black combined with navy and white, which makes for a moodier take on a classic color scheme. It will all add up to a space that’s warm and welcoming and beautifully put-together.

Perfect For…

Anyone who loves the updated farmhouse look and feel. This approach is also surprisingly family-friendly without coming off as overly function-oriented, thanks to the strong industrial and Americana touches.


dining tableThe Look: Modern Rustic

One of the most popular looks among Modsy customers, this approach mixes rustic and mid-century elements together for a fresh take on rustic style.

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The Key Elements

A modern rustic dining room is all about the shapes and textures. You’ll find weathered woods and modern elements, such as brass and clean-lined ceramics, along with classic vintage Mid-century Modern forms (think iconic Wishbone chairs). Stick to warm hues that accentuate the rich wood tones. A vintage traditional rug in a warm palette will also make for the perfect anchor piece to ground the space.

Perfect For…

Those of you who like a rustic vibe but want a room the incorporates on-trend modern designs. If you love this look, also check out these colorful modern rustic ideas. This is the perfect set-up also if you love hosting big dinners and gatherings!

dining tableThe Look: Classic Rustic

If a more classic, feminine take on rustic is more up your alley, consider this light, whimsical approach to furnishings and colors in your dining room.

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The Key Elements

White-washed woods, light linens, and ornate designs are the foundation of the classic rustic dining room. Go for chairs that have traditional shapes but are upholstered in linen that give them a rustic spin. Consider a round pedestal wood table to pay up a more intimate vibe. And a rustic wood chandelier will really deliver the classic tone that sets the look apart.

Just be sure to keep to a super neutral palette or soft pastels (like eggshell blue). Those will go nicely with pops of gold and brass that add shine and warmth.

Perfect For…

More intimate and formal affairs. And if you like the warm comforts of a traditional rustic interior, such as that found in grand southern homes, this one’s for you.

dining roomThe Look: French-Country Formal

Bring in a bit of rustic countryside charm in your dining room with relaxed but slightly formal pieces. You’ll have a light and airy space that’s equally warm and welcoming.

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The Key Elements

Slipcover chairs are key to this look as is an antique-looking dining table in washed or worn wood. They’ll come together for a polished, slightly more feminine look that’s not too heavy or old-fashioned.

There’s also a bit of boldness to this style. After all, it wouldn’t be French Country inspired without a bit of ornate drama and flair. So hang a wood and crystal chandelier and bring in a large floor-to-ceiling mirror or sculptural wall piece for captivating focal points. Keep lighting neutral and natural hues here to really play up a sense of crispness and country charm.

Perfect For…

Those of you who obviously love the French Country look. But this is also a great dining room design if you enjoy hosting large gatherings in a space that’s formal but not stuffy. It’s a perfect balance.

rustic warmth dining roomThe Look: Urban Rustic

This is a popular look you’ve probably seen all over Instagram and Pinterest. There’s a minimalist quality to these rustic spaces, which immediately bring to mind a townhouse or brownstone in an urban city.

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The Key Elements

Start with a modern streamlined wood table. The linear form will be the anchor piece in the overall space. Pair it with mid-century-style chairs, like these Windsor-inspired designs, to continue the airy look and feel.

Otherwise, keep the rest of the room minimally styled, with sculptural light fixtures, and contemporary art and decor pieces that have bold shapes to bring in a modern edge. The idea is to balance out the few rustic and industrial furnishings with more eclectic accents that give it a cool, curated look.

Perfect For…

Those of you who love the modern farmhouse look but with an edge. Also if you’re a city-dweller who appreciates a few good design pieces and not a lot of clutter, this more minimalist approach will work beautifully for you.

rustic dining room

The Look: Scandinavian Simplicity

If you’re a devout minimalist and the urban rustic look isn’t spare enough for you, then this less-is-more approach might be. This is the kind of simplicity that would give Marie Kondo a run for her money.

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The Key Elements

Matching Scandinavian-style tables and chairs in light, blonde wood along with a complementing bench is really all you need as foundational pieces. From there, it’s all about playing up textures in every way possible—a jute rug, a cozy throw, a farmhouse light fixture…

When in doubt, just remember form follows function is the vibe you’re going for here, so keep it simple, clean-lined, and always unfussy.

Perfect For…

Scandinavian design enthusiasts or anyone who loves the look but want a cozier version of the simple, minimalist look.

coastal rustic diningThe Look: Coastal California Rustic

The name says it all and it’s probably a look you’re all too familiar with. It’s an easy blend of rustic beachside ease with polished California style.

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The Key Elements

Relaxed and refined, breezy and beautiful, this look is all about the balance of laid-back and luxe style. There are light-washed woods, woven accents, and natural textures galore, as well as a cool ocean-inspired blue-and-white palette. Pull in rattan chairs and a crisp white table instead of a wood one for an elevated rustic look.

You also have a little liberty with layering in some boho elements, be it a stylish sideboard with a global aesthetic or an embellished light fixture. Finish it with some nautical rope and art to tie it back to the coastal look.

Perfect For…

Those who love a relaxed dining space that’s made for big casual gatherings. There’s no formal seating and the atmosphere is easy, fun, and unhurried—but it’s still a dining space that has chic style.

rustic dining roomThe Look: Rustic Contemporary

Probably the sleekest of the bunch, this look is light on rustic and heavy on bold, streamlined designs. It’s our idea of contemporary style with just the right amount of warmth.

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The Key Elements

Contrast is key here. And we’re talking contrast in materials, such as lighter woods paired with really dark metals and tight linen upholstery. Also, make sure to mix together strong, sculptural furniture shapes—think a globe light fixture with curvy dining chairs, a round mirror, and a sharp angular sideboard. The true rustic touch should come from a traditional farmhouse trestle table. Then, just remember to keep the styling and palette minimal with a range of muted neutrals.

Perfect For…

Contemporary design lovers who love the sleek look but also want a space that feels welcoming. If you’re also not big on entertaining but enjoy hosting small meaningful gatherings with close friends now and again, consider this approach.

dining roomThe Look: Rustic Warmth

If you know us, you know that our most popular interiors capture our Rustic Warmth style. Not only is it super cozy and welcoming it’s also incredibly versatile in terms of style and decor, making it a perfectly family-friendly approach that still looks tailored and pulled-together.

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The Key Elements

You’ll want to start with the materials and color scheme here, and you should draw from the autumnal outdoors. Bring in darker woods and natural woven textures and bursts of yellow and orange tones.

Keep to classic farmhouse furnishings, such as x-back chairs, a communal table, traditional bar cabinet, and bamboo roman shades. Then just layer in rustic art and accents that play up a fall cabin vibe, such as colored glass vases, a barn clock, old weather vane, and rustic candlesticks.

Perfect For…

Anyone who’s all for bringing the fall spirit into your home in a big way. This is the ultimate arrangement for seasonal entertaining, be it brunch for four or potluck for a dozen family and friends.

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