Must Have: Whimsy

Designers share ways to add fun to any decor.


By Lila Edythe

“Whimsy” might be simultaneously the most desired and feared element of interior design. “I think people like their interiors to have a little bit of the unexpected—where everything isn’t matchy-matchy,” says Kristin Fay, an owner/designer at Trauner Fay Designs. But the unexpected always comes with a bit of risk. “It requires some sense of adventure,” says Fay, who doesn’t typically use the term “whimsy” with clients, preferring instead “contrasting” or “eclectic.” Whatever it’s called, these whimsical favorites of area designers show you can add flair without having to redo your existing aesthetic.

Sweet Scent

“Whimsy is a little bit about breaking the rules,” says Megan Griswold, the Jackson Hole- and Venice, California-based writer/designer and founder/curator of the lifestyle website Little Moving Spaces. “Incense has this reputation of being a crunchy, hippie thing,” she says. “But Fornasetti Profumi’s Flora incense is high-fashion and elegant—it’s unexpected.” $73,


Lights Take Flight

Interior designer Hayden Jones, who owns Victor, Idaho’s Festive Living boutique, likes when clients are up for incorporating “fun, quirky things that add a design element,” she says. The paper mache Funky Chunky Bird Sconce is available in eleven colors, from white to Bahaman Sea Blue and hot pink. $435, Festive Living, 13 S. Main St., Victor, Idaho, 208/787-3378

Trays For All Types

Made Goods’ Frans Tray Set is an easy way to add some whimsy to an already done space. Because of its neutral color and rustic/modern style, this set of two trays works on any coffee table or sideboard. $510,

Fun Geometry

This Icosahedron Coffee Table “has such an unusual shape, it’s a statement piece in a living room—something you’ve probably never seen before, which is why it’s so perfect,” Jones says. $3,000, Festive Living, 13 S. Main St., Victor, Idaho, 208/787-3378

Pillow Talk

Fay says the youthful colors on this wool, cotton, and chindi Loloi pillow (P0094) are “bold without being overwhelming, giving it a timeless feel.” $119 (with a down insert), available through Trauner Fay Designs, 307/733-0902,

Swing Time

“Whimsy taps into childhood pleasures and that’s what a swing does,” Griswold says. The Svvving, designed for indoor use, does it in style with wooden seats and cushioned textiles. $1,058,

Waiting in the Wires

It’s hard not to smile when you see Kettal’s Cala chair. Its dimensions are majestic, but still, “It’s a fun play on a traditional wingback,” Fay says. $6,019, available through Trauner Fay Designs, 307/733-0902,

A Moveable Soak

Meet the world’s only wood-burning, mobile outdoor pool: the Weltevree Dutchtub Original. “This makes the everyday—a hot tub—playful,” Griswold says. From $6,000,

A Key Piece

“Who doesn’t need a red rhino keychain with a blue tassel in their life?” asks John Frechette, who cofounded Mountain Dandy in 2014. “Sage [Craighead’s] animal keychains are all one of a kind, with combinations of color and funk.” $12, Penny Lane Cooperative, 185 Scott Ln., 307/203-2323,

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