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My new year's design resolution is to be more wacky.

Why wacky? Partly because it's a hilarious word — go on, say it out loud, it will make you snicker (another hilarious word) — and partly because it makes me think of eccentrics like Anna Piaggi, Isabella Blow and Daphne Guinness, women who gamely embraced their own deeply personal style and emerged true individuals. How inspiring! How memorable.

In the world of interiors, the fearlessness of David Hicks, Miles Redd and Toronto writer Victoria Webster come to mind. But don't get the wrong impression: wacky doesn't require clashing colours and floor-to-ceiling boldness. It doesn't mean wild. Rather, think amusing. Think moments. Think different. It's a habit that has worked wonders for a certain computer company. Imagine what it can do for your living room.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Play with scale. A gauzy oversized light doesn't overwhelm this dining room, but still delivers a fun, Alice-in-Wonderland shift in perspective. Pairing it with a dramatic wallpaper takes the effect up a notch.

Amp up neutrals. These colours are popular because they're timeless, soothing and livable. But they don't have to be boring. Pattern helps add interest. Try layering a few prints where you need some pizzazz.

Do the unexpected. A simple floor lamp would have illuminated this seating area just as well, but a ceiling light that looks like it came from the toolbox of Inspector Gadget leaves a lasting impression.

For more whimsical design, see Bev Hisey's Textile Designs.

Photo credits:
1. Charleston Home Magazine via Tami Ramsay Design, design by Angie Hranowsky
2. Los Angeles Times Home & Garden blog, photography by Karyn R. Millet
3. Cococozy blog

Author: 

Kimberley Brown

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