Design Dilemma: Sophisticated Rooms that are Whimsical too
Sophisticated whimsy is not an easy thing to pull off. Sophistication connotes an elegance and forethought that dispenses with ready-made answers. Whimsy is all about what’s fun and easy and not taking oneself too seriously. Can these two design approaches co-exist happily side by side?
We think so, and we’ve found a perfect example. This Milanese home designed by Carlotta de Bevilacqua embodies perfectly the ideas of fun and sophistication.
Take a look:
Below, a collection of sleek chairs by Paolo Rizzato in a range of colors is whimsical. So is the work table, by X and Y which seems to be fashioned out of several small staggered tables. Colorful art adds to the youthful atmosphere. What’s sophisticated: choosing tables and chairs that don’t “match” but that are cohesive in style.
Bevilacqua carries the color into every room of the home. In the kitchen, a union jack rug from The Rug Company adds a bit of wit and is set off nicely by two traditional chairs in royal blue and pink. The sophistication comes with the mirrored pendant drum from Artemide and the sleek white cabinets without hardware by Dada. It feels informal and funky, but oh-so-urbane.
The dining room, below, carries on the colorful theme with vintage chairs, each slip covered in a different color. The tables, built of scrapwood is by Piet Hein Eek and sold by Rossana Orlandi.
- Mix don’t match. As seen in the photos above, success comes in the contrasts of old and new, ornate and sleek.
- Don’t be afraid of statement pieces. Nearly every room in the photos above has an unusual piece of furniture that immediately stands out. In the first photo, it’s the green chest, in the second, it’s the work table, in the kitchen, it’s the Union Jack rug, and in the dining room it’s the scrapwood table.
- Embrace color. Nothing says whimsy as much as lots of vivid color. It can come in rugs, artwork, textiles, or even furniture pieces.
- Hang art. Art alone can be the biggest statement in creating a personalized environment that says either “whimsy” or “sophistication” or both. Bevilacqua’s design is jammed with artwork of all sorts, which immediately lends the home a warm, sophisticated feel.
- Take chances. Without some risks there are no rewards. So go for it, let yourself loose and express yourself. It’s only design after all!