4 Ways to Add the Element of Surprise to Your Design

October 31, 2019

This month I have been talking all about statement design! Today I am sharing 4 ways to add an element of surprise to your design to really make a statement. Adding something unexpected to a space can breathe new life into a room and create conversation with guests.

Last week, Clark + Aldine shared three ways to make a statement with your ceiling design and they nailed it! Color and wallpaper are primarily used for walls, so when it is added to the ceiling, it gives that element of surprise and has major impact.

Wallpaper on the ceiling adds an element of surprise to the design

Clark + Aldine

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5 Ways to Add the Element of Surprise

I first learned about designing with the element of surprise when I read the book, Aesthetics of Joy. It is one of my absolute favorite books and I have implemented many of its teachings while designing my own home.

Adding bold, quirky, whimsical designs in unexpected places will surprise and delight not only your guests, but your family every day!

1. Color

Color is one of the quickest ways to add loads of personality to your home. If the idea of adding bold color to your home is intimidating, try it out in a small bathroom.

This bathroom by Construction to Style is the perfect example of statement design. The bold color on the walls and dramatic tile makes this bathroom a showstopper.

Bold color in the bathroom makes a statement


Feeling a little more daring? Try out a colorful pattern on your wall like Gill of rowans_rainbow to really make a statement!

Bold color on the walls


2. Bold Wallpaper

Wallpaper has officially made a comeback and there are so many beautiful options to choose from! You can even buy removable wallpaper from brands like Tempaper Designs if you are still scarred from wallpaper removal. It is easy installation and easy removal that makes the idea of adding fun wallpaper a no brainer.

I installed removable wallpaper on the stair treads of an old Victorian home and it added the perfect amount of whimsy to the space.

Wallpaper on stair treads

Check out the wallpaper Sarah and Nick from Nestrs installed in their Columbus Airbnb – I love it! This Airbnb is filled with design surprises and “instagrammable” spaces.

Statement design wall in Columbus Airbnb


3. Artwork

Adding artwork to a space is a quick and easy way to incorporate the element of surprise.

Displaying a large print with a story behind it is a great way to draw your guests in and include something unexpected in a space. My husband gifted me his beautiful print by Juniper Briggs after a milestone in my business – Building Bluebird. The piece is meaningful to me, so I enjoy looking at it every day and sharing the meaning behind when guests inquire about it.

Building Bluebird

Mel and Mitch from Melmitchia have mastered the gallery wall with the awesome artwork in their home. The bold wall color gives this space so much personality!

Bold gallery wall


4. Design in Unexpected Places

I would be so surprised and delighted to see this beautifully designed closet in a home! StudioDIY always nails it in the unexpected design arena.

Fun closet design


What is more unexpected than in indoor swing?! I love this fun feature for a playroom or basement.

Basement swing

Chris Loves Julia

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1 Comment

  • Reply Nestrs | Painting an 'Old' Ad on an Old Brick Chimney November 22, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    […] week, Lindsey and Chris shared 4 Ways to Add the Element of Surprise to Your Design and they nailed it! They shared the new artwork piece they just added to their newly transformed […]

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