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Every room starts with the basics. Walls and flooring, of course. Seating or a bed or dining table. Lighting and plants. Add some accessories and you’re home free. But be careful. You don’t want your home to look like every other home, right? You want your personality, your vision, your taste to shine through. The way to do that is with the unexpected.
Introduce a Surprise
Are you a monochromatic person? Surprise yourself with a jolt of color. Do you prefer soft and comfy and overstuffed? Surprise yourself with a hard edged element. Introduce something oversized like a huge chandelier or introduce something casual in a formal space or vice versa.
Which is the unexpected item here? A formal sofa with a Roman bust in the corner, a white hide rug, a big ball of yarn (or maybe the artwork!)?
This room used more than one unexpected element. As a room for children, the colors are bright and fun but balanced by lots of crisp white to keep it from being too riotous. Surprises? How about the antler chandelier or the orange floral floor pillows on top of a zebra rug or maybe the grown up teal slipper chairs?
I’m a fan of Vincente Wolf designs because he always introduces the unexpected. He prefers designing with neutrals and lots of white but is a master of using texture and scale to create visually surprising spaces. Here I like the wheels on a very modern 4 poster frame, the drapes angled to follow the line of the ceiling, the three mismatched tables and even the placement of art (breaking up a set of 4 by placing one alone over a table).
A little Alice in Wonderland look going on here but from all else I can see, the room seems very traditional and normal. Then, POW, you see this great surprise of a chair!
Bold and vibrant, daring and unexpected, this entry definitely has something to say when you enter the house. Do you like what it’s saying?
This unexpected element is a little more subtle. A painted dining table will make dinner guests take a second look. I love the idea of the painted legs and wish I was brave enough to try it.
Unusual Walls & Floors
Aside from the interesting mix of chairs around the dining table, I found the wall treatment definitely unexpected. It’s corrugated metal!
Create your own wallpaper. This small den is covered with old book covers!
Children’s rooms are great places to practice the unexpected. The usual bright colors have been muted – surprise #1 – and the big bold squares are a fun wall treatment -surprise #2.
What if you have a big blank wall in your entry or hallway. What if you wanted to add a little sumthin sumthin to the space? What if you took this unexpected wall idea and made it your own? Friends and family would salute your bravery and be in awe of your playfulness!
A room transformed by the bold graphic pattern (and color) on the floor. Definitely a creative and unexpected design element!
Unusual Accessories and Lighting
The easiest place of all to exert your independence and exhibit a flair for the unexpected is in pillow selection. This collection of pillows blends color, pattern and texture in a striking way – and the burlap headboard isn’t so ordinary either!
In this sleek kitchen the use of these oversized wicker chandelier shades is totally unexpected. Do you like them?
Melissa from The Inspired Room got creative with her interpretation of art. The use of an old step ladder adds whimsy, color and a lot of “unexpected” to this corner of her room.
Here’s another take on unusual art. A very creative use of an old bike, a can of spray paint and unique placement for the “art installation”. Your guests will praise your creativity and wish they had thought of it first.
How Can You Be Unexpected?
Are you inspired to think outside your box, whatever that may be? Hopefully you saw something here that piqued your interest and gets you motivated to add that touch of the unexpected to your space. We’d love to hear how you embrace the unexpected….leave us a comment below the ads or send us photos and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.