Have you ever wondered what it is that makes these beautiful spaces that we see on Pinterest or Houzz seem magical? That something... that we see in all of those magazine worthy images when we search for nursery decor ideas or kids room decor... ?
That something special that we just want to pluck off the screen and add to our spaces too?! Psst, it’s whimsy & magic, and I’ll tell you exactly how to create your own mix of the two, no design background required!
Thing is, these are two very abstract and feeling words! SO in order to learn how to apply the principles of the two- we must first get a better understanding of the words themselves.
Playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor.
"The film is an awkward blend of whimsy and moralizing"
- a whim.
plural noun: whimsies; plural noun: whimseys
- a thing that is fanciful or odd.
"the stone carvings and whimsies"
Hidden amongst the other widely understood definitions of Magic lies this one:
Something that has a delightfully unusual quality.
So when we try to condense the meaning out of two seemingly abstract and intangible adjectives- this is what stares back at us:
Playfully quaint + delightfully unusual.
Notice the emphasis on both the phrases is in the feeling of delight. That time when something or even someone gives us that weird happy sensation swirling upwards from the belly. It is that beautiful yummy sensation we’re after. And I’ll tell you practical ways of adding these in just a bit.
But first I want to take a minute to talk about why these two are so important, the projected benefits for the years that lie ahead of your children- and this goes beyond the aesthetics of it all.
When as parents, we decorate the outer worlds of our children, however little they are, we teach them to decorate their inner worlds too.
When we add whimsy and magic to their rooms, your children learn to look for it outside the four walls of your home too. You’re teaching them to look for the magic that lies...say in an unexpected smile from a stranger.
At the end of the day- when we add beauty to their outer world, we teach them to look for beauty, strive for beauty, in both their inner selves and the outer world.
When I say beauty- it’s barely objective.
It means looking to make the best out of situations, looking for the best in situations and of course people.
A silver lining practice that will carry them through their entire life.
And as they get older, and you continue to find ways to add these touches to your child’s world, this is how you’ll be benefiting them.
- You’ll give wings to their imaginative thinking
- You’ll nudge “Out of Box” creative thinking
- You’ll gift them an inner world they can retreat to. Inside themselves.
So let me give you SIX simple ways on how to bring some of this into your nursery or kids room! These are all starting points so I can't wait to see how you take off from here!
1. Getting characters/quotes OUT of children’s books.
Have your favourite childhood book’s quote be up on a wall, and if you’re lucky and you have a copy of that book still around, set the book open to the page of the quote right under or beside the frame. As if to say those words somehow escaped the book and are now up to shine their light. That my friends is a wonderful way to create whimsy & magic because it’s checked all the boxes- it’s quaint, it’s playful, it’s delightful and it’s unusual! Everytime you view it, you will feel a sense of magic in the air.
2. Characterization of the Natural world
Could bears give your child’s name a piggy-back ride? Could an ellie do that? If you said NO- you’re wrong! There’s magic in being able to bring these animals to life and put smiles on their faces or eyebrows on them for expressions. It’s also perhaps a human attempt to understand the worlds of the fellow beings that we share our planet with.
They certainly have communication and language amongst them that only the researchers and scientists amongst us are privy to, if that. And you bring that magic into your child’s life when you make them see this.
There’s no particular colour you need to use to add whimsy- but make it playful and delightful to YOU. Be bold with your choice of colours and don’t hesitate to mix and match either! If you’re unsure of how to play with colours on the wall- selecting the right ones, etc, add it through movable & removable objects like furniture, wall paper & rugs rather than paint! If they’re older ages 4 and up- ask them what their favourite colours are and add them to their decor. Also look for that unpredictable addition of colour. For ex: an apple is known to be red or green or somewhere in between. But splash it pink and you’ve made it whimsical or paint it gold and you have yourself a magical apple.
4. Strategic Misplacement or Display of Objects.
No we’re not talking about hiding your child’s favourite stuffy and having them hunt for it. Although that might be fun. But if we run with this idea of misplacing a stuffy. A stuffy is usually on the bed? In the closet? And you know your child will eventually have a handful of favorites and the rest will just be lying there buried under a mound of clothes. What if we make an art installation out of it! Can we figure out a way of anchoring 10 of their not-so-favorite gifted by everyone stuffies on a wall? JUST IMAGINE! 24/7 wall full of stuffies hanging out together- literally. Just magical!
5. Mythical/Fantasy Creatures:
I’ve heard rumours that us humans are mythical. Unicorns? Narwhals? Mermaids? Dragons? Oh yeah, they’re real! And a sure shot way to bring whimsy & magic
Into your child’s room. Always be thinking different though. Think about where and how you can add them in that’s unexpected. And that’s where the magic lies. Seriously.
6. Think BIG:
Grab your child’s attention & imagination! For ex: giant flowers on the rug or a HUGE bear wall art. Again it is the art of adding the unexpected, in this case- it's the size, that invites a sense of whimsy & magic.
Whatever else you may choose to add to your baby or children’s decor, DO add in some of these & soon you’ll have people pinning images of YOUR room around the internet.
Take that Pinterest!
Oh and also you’ll find yourself on your knees begging to swap rooms with your child if they’re older or just moving your room address to the nursery if you’re a new parent.
Sending you lots of love, luck and design dust on your projects!
Welcome to ChildBeWild.com, where we design beautiful, meaningful decor for babies & kids. Our blog here is a design playground where I explore concepts and ideas around building spaces for our young ones! I'm also Mama to a sprightly 9 (almost 10, but we'll hang onto 9 for as long as we can) year old who is the inspiration behind everything you see on ChildBeWild.
Need help adding some Whimsy & Magic to your nursery?...
Browse our collections or have us design something for you! At no extra charge!