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boconcept black velvet lead ornament

Quirky Decor Finds to Add More Personality to Your Home

Today I want to elaborate on exactly what I mean by the idea of ‘weird decor’ and tell you why I think your home needs more of it.

Let’s face it; we’re all suffering from Staged Home Syndrome at the moment. It’s kinda like Stockholm Syndrome. We’ve been trapped by the concept of the perfectly presented, ‘on-trend’, retailer-store home. Somewhere along the way we’ve fallen in love with our captor and don’t feel we can escape their evil clutches.

Today is the day I release us though. Because it’s time we embrace and showcase all of the decor in our home. Even the stuff we have buried in a box in the garage because we’ve convinced ourselves it’s ugly, weird or not trendy enough.

We’ve become far too obsessed with mainstream things. And don’t get me wrong; I don’t want you to stop buying things from major chains (I love major chains). I just want you to think outside the box a little with your finishing touches. I want you to not only get out the things you’ve put away, but also look to smaller artists and creators who are producing phenomenally quirky decor you’ll want to buy.

Too many homes these days are missing the third layer in my three-layer decorating process. And that layer is the all important ‘personality’ layer. So let’s explore some wacky and weird decor you can pop into your vignettes at home to make them personality-filled.

The hero image above is via BoConcept and features their striking Black Velvet Leaf Sculpture.

laurie melia ceramics lady vase
Via Laurie Melia ceramics. Click to see more.

First, Explore your Own Keepsakes

What is a keepsake, I hear you ask. Well, we’re all going to view this a little differently. But in essence a keepsake is an item you have at home that means something to you and you only. It’s not something you can buy mass-produced from a retail store.

You may have gotten your keepsake on a holiday overseas. Perhaps it was handmade and purchased on Etsy. Perhaps you found it in a second-hand shop. Or perhaps it’s something your kids made (or you made) when they were in school.

I’m talking the weird and the wacky stuff. Not weird to you, of course. For you it has oodles of sentimental value. But to the outside world, and the untrained eye, it might look downright odd. And yes, downright ugly.

But this is all the more reason why you should be displaying these things. You want people to walk into your home and have something to talk about. There’s nothing better than a decorative moment that gets people talking. So if you’ve ever been thinking of displaying some of that questionable decor, now is the time to do it!

jonathan-adler-home weird decor on mantle
Via Little Big Bell

You Won’t See These Pieces on TV Shows

And trust me, that’s a good thing. Your favourite TV designers and decorators don’t tend to embrace the idea of this much individuality. And the magazines you read won’t showcase them either. Because let’s be real here: it’s all about pushing the major retail stuff onto you. But that’s OK. This is all about celebrating your own decor magic, not someone else’s.

Even I’ve been guilty on this blog of not showcasing my own weird mementoes and keepsakes more. But this needs to change.

The questionable decor you have locked away in a cupboard (call it unique or quirky if you need to) has to come out. You probably put it away because someone made fun of it, you thought it looked odd or unusual, or you couldn’t quite work out how to display it properly. But I really do encourage you to bring it out and display it. Because it is what (and sorry to use this cliche) makes your house a home.

If you need ideas on this front, here’s 8 Ways to Display Keepsakes and Memories.

audenza home decor weird decor candles and accessories

Shop above: Girl Power Vases | Banana Candle Holder | Hand Candle | Faces Gold Pot

Then Look to Makers of Weird Decor

If you look around your house and either can’t find these quirky decor finds, or you have some on display already, fear not! You can still shop for some new decor pieces that are considered unique and quirky.

By no means do I want to offend any brand, designer or artist I call out in the mood board down below. What I’m actually saying is that I believe these new decor items bring with them an irreverent, left-of-centre, unusual sense of story. There’s something about them that feels personality-packed.

I personally love every single one of these finds below. So to the brands I feature; trust me, I adore you!

Can I also call out Etsy as an amazing place to find really odd, unique decor pieces? You can get lost on the website for hours but there real are some amazing artists creating quality products.

weird decor unique decorative sculptures and accessories

The Weird Decor Mood Board

If you need some weird and wacky decor in your life, look no further than these faves of mine from a slew of local and international brands and makers. I’m sure you’ll find something in the mood board above you’ll love too. Links to shop them all are below for you.

So many of these pieces can be mixed and matched with your existing decor. They’d be perfect on a bedside table vignette or even on a coffee table or sideboard. Have a play! Half the fun is in finding your decor the perfect home.

coco republic styling white ceramic horse on sideboard
via Coco Republic

House Versus Home

I love display homes, don’t get me wrong. I’ve worked with Metricon Homes here in Melbourne for three years and am constantly blown away by what their interior design team do in the display homes.

But display homes are set up in a way to show you the possibilities. To illustrate what can be achieved with your interior. And you get you inspired enough to purchase a home. They are void of these weird decor moments intentionally. Because as I said above, your keepsakes might appear odd or unsightly to some people, just as mine might appear bizarre to you.

We don’t live in display homes though, do we? There’s nothing worse than walking into someone’s home (even your own) and not having a feel for who lives there. You want to feel the heart when you walk into a space (family photos on walls are always a good idea here!). So lemme ask you to look around your home right now. Do you see the heart?

if you don’t, I’m pretty sure you already know the solution. It’s time to get searching around your own home, and shopping for a few weird decor pieces from stores.

gold bee ornament from target unique decorating ideas for homes

Where’s your Story?

I hope this post has inspired you to crack out some of the decor, craft or art finds you’ve kept hidden away for years. It’s time to share your story, around your home, every single day.

Display that collection of beanie babies. Rock that giant ceramic frog everyone is giving you crap about. Frame (and then hang up) the artwork your kids made you years ago (this post shows you how to transform your kids paintings into stylish art for your walls!).

Whatever your ‘Odd’ or ‘Ugly’ is at home, it’s time to dust off the cobwebs and celebrate it!

Drop me a comment below and share what wacky and weird decor you’re displaying at home. I’d love to hear from you.


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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2 Responses

  1. There are some quirky items here that would certainly be a talking point.
    I agree with Emmy (above) about showcasing personality. I am sick of seeing Magazines & TV shows showing houses that all look the same.
    I keep items on display so people know who I am: binoculars used as bookends; plants potted into everyday items chipped cups, mugs, an old shoe and my own handicrafts.

  2. I can’t tell you how much I love this article.
    You are spot on about bringing memories in to showcase the personality of the people who live in the home.
    I appreciated your thoughts on how this third keepsake layer is the key to taking your house up to home status instead of a cookie cutter example of “ShowHome syndrome”.

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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