7 playful interiors that don’t take themselves too seriously

When Did Interior Design Become Such A Serious Business? I remember a time when it was fun to move my room around. Or when I convinced my parents that I wanted to sponge-paint my room in bright azure (thanks mom and dad for the freedom!). I even painted a floral pattern on calico and used it to make a quilt for my bed. I loved design so much that I made a career out of it. But as it happens with these things, work took over, and deadlines and details killed the creativity. Interesting that. And it’s not just me, I know of many designers with the same dilemma. Where did it all go wrong then? When did interior design become so serious that we lost the joy and passion that drove us to become designers in the first place? This month, I want to focus on design that doesn’t take itself so seriously. Playful design, fun design – quirky and interesting interiors that have been put together with love. Because that’s ultimately what interior design is all about: the love of interior spaces.

Here are 8 playful interiors to inspire you to let go of the seriousness and have some fun with your home!


#1: The Den Bed


This is any child’s dream – a bed and a den all in one! Not all playful interiors are for children, but this one is such a fantastic example of a space made with love and creativity in mind. Love the wallpaper on the side and the giraffe. Because everyone needs a giraffe 😉


#2: Tassels and Baubles and all things Cool

Design Hunter

A fabulously quirky house in Marrickville. How cool is the tassel and pom-pom curtain?!? Love the gallery wall as well. In a space that was designed with a clean, modern aesthetic, the splashes of pink create a happy and inviting wall.

#3: Mexitile

I know that Mexican-inspired tiles are hardly new, but if that is what you love, then I say go for it! These are tile stickers, but you could of course also paint, stencil or stamp your existing tiles to add personality and fun.

And while you’re at it, have some cake!


#4: The Curated Collection

Apartment Therapy

Lots of interesting things here: heavy textures in the carpets and scatters, candles, interesting sculptures and bright books and paintings. Looks like a great space to spend the day!


#5: Add Some Details

Apartment Therapy

LOVE this green bedside cabinet! See how they added some gold touches to the ceiling trim to make it tie in with the rest of the finishes in the room? And the bold combination of prints is awesome. What a vibrant and energetic room!


#6: Play Full Scale and Volume

Apartment Therapy

The mid-century architecture, super high ceilings and abundance of natural light softens the bright colours, large designs and bold patterns. The mismatched lights add a wonderfully playful element to the collection of prints.


#7: A Wall and A Horse

Rachel Whiting via Daily Mail

Another cool room working with a strong pattern, but this time on the walls. And a carousel horse. If you can get your hands on one, then you have to display it!


#8: Play With Paint

This is still one of our most popular projects. Create a fun and fabulous wall with syringes and paint – click here for the post!

I look forward to sharing some more playful projects and ideas with you – in the meantime, have a look at our fun DIY projects!

Happy Playing!

Boozy Meringue-topped Trifle for Non-Trifle-Lovers!

This month, Germarie asked me to make a trifle that went with her theme of playful things that are a little bit out of the box, a little bit different, something definitely fun. Thank goodness for that, because I’m no trifle fan! There’s something about the texture of the cake crumbs together with the other moist ingredients that just don’t do it for me. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it’s served cold, as I have no problem with sticky toffee pudding and custard for example. But trifle? No. I find it more than just a trifle off-putting. So I embarked on a quest for a non-traditional trifle-type dessert that resulted in this deliciously boozy, meringue-topped trifle version of a recipe I found. Omitting the alcohol and sticking to normal jelly would obviously make this an ideal child-friendly dessert. Whichever way you decide to go, rainbow away and enjoy!

Boozy Meringue-topped Trifle for Non-Trifle-Lovers


Equipment: An electric mixer/food processor, whisk, 1 small and 1 medium saucepan, sugar thermometer, heat-proof bowls, trifle dish


For the boozy peach jelly:
125ml hot water
20ml gelatine granules
375ml peach Schnapps
375ml cold water
Few drops orange gel colour

For each of the other jellies:
Pre-packed jelly mixes in your choice of colours

For the custard:
45ml Custard powder (Moir’s in my case)
45ml sugar
500ml milk

For the meringue:
85ml sugar
63ml water
2 egg whites
30ml caster sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp vanilla essence


Instructions for the boozy jelly:
• Pour the hot water into a large bowl, then add the gelatine granules.
• Stir briskly with a fork until dissolved.
• Add the peach schnapps and cold water, then mix thoroughly.
• Refrigerate uncovered until set.

Instructions for the other jellies (according to packet instructions, which are in my case):
• Dissolve contents of packet in 225ml boiling water – stir well until no more granules are visible.
• Add 225ml of cold water and mix thoroughly.
• Refrigerate uncovered until set.

Instructions for the custard*:
• Measure out 500ml milk in a measuring jug, then pour all but about 50ml into a small saucepan.

• Mix 45ml custard powder and 45ml sugar with the 50ml milk in the jug.
• Bring the remaining 450ml to the boil in a saucepan.
• Once it’s boiled, pour the hot milk into the custard mixture, while stirring well.
• Return the mixture to the saucepan and bring to a slow boil while stirring continuously, until the desired thickness is reached.
• Remove from heat and allow to cool.*


To assemble:

• Remove all chilled jellies from the fridge, then stir each with a fork to break up the jelly.
• Choose the first two that will go at the bottom of the trifle, then layer them in the trifle dish in the order of your preference. Start from the sides and work inwards, evening out each layer as much as possible before starting on the next.
• After 2 jelly layers, add a layer of custard.
• Top with the remaining 2 jellies.
• Return trifle dish to the fridge.

Instructions for the meringue:
• Place sugar and water in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
• Bring to a boil while stirring, but stop stirring once the mixture boils. Monitor the temperature, ensuring it reaches 120ºC.
• Whisk egg whites, caster sugar & cream of tartar to soft peaks.
• Very slowly, while beating, pour the hot sugar syrup in a very thin stream over beaten egg whites.
• Continue beating until egg whites are stiff and glossy.
• Remove trifle dish from the fridge, then dollop the Italian meringue over the set trifle and use a blowtorch to brown the edges of the meringue.

Cook’s notes:
* You could, of course, use shop bought custard, but I prefer the taste of homemade. At least the homemade-from-powder variety… if you’re an all-out kitchen goddess, I’m sure your made-from-scratch egg custard will work wonderfully!
* I’ve opted for medium thickness custard so that the custard layer won’t run into the jelly layers below it. But you can tailor your custard to your preference.