The most delightfully unexpected thing happened on my walk this morning, that made me think about our homes and how unique interior design can serve as a reminder to prioritize joy and fun.

As I walked through the bush along the river on my way back to the car, the ducks and geese on the other side of the river started up. A chorus of birds squawking, quacking, honking, and then they were joined by a rattling. The closer the rattling came, loud and mechanical, the louder the birds got. Soon the noise was joined by a woman’s voice. As I listened I realised she was calling out to them and they were responding. Intrigued I stopped and watched as a woman pulling a trundler and carrying two full bags came down to the waters edge, the birds flocking around her and rushing up to greet her. I was joined by another woman on the path who told me that this was the ‘goose lady’. Every morning she comes down and feeds bird seed and grains to the birds that live here, to make sure they get some proper food.

It was such a beautiful and unexpected event. To witness this woman calling out ‘Gorgeous Goose’ and ‘hello lovely birds’. To see the birds crowding around her in anticipation of being fed. The joyful sounds of their bird calls greeting her and filling the air. As I walked on I tried to figure out what it was about this moment that it struck me so much. And I realised that it was the unexpectedness of it. It would never have crossed my mind that there was someone living among us who comes down to the river every day to feed these birds proper bird food – paid for out of her own pocket.

It was the beauty of the unexpected that made this moment so powerful for me. As I continued along on my way I pondered this thought, this concept of finding beauty in the unpredictable. Of how things that are unexpected can hold such impact for us. As they often do my thoughts turned to our homes, and how the beauty of the unanticipated can be harnessed there too. How unique interior design elements can bring a home to life. How it is the small surprising touches that lift a space from being simply beautiful to truly engaging.

It is through the use of unexpected touches and design aspects that we add quirk and personality to our homes. One of my favourite designers Marcel Wanders is legendary for his whimsical and eccentric design elements. Both his object designs are quirky and fun and his unique interior design projects are brought to life through his use of unanticipated elements. His design is brave, bold and holds a great sense of fun. I think that we can all channel a bit of him in our homes. Whether is is in through a surprising element like a playful light or an quirky use of colour or pattern or both. Adding some playful and unexpected elements to our homes can help us to remember that fun and joy are key – when it comes to living and design.

Cover photo of Yoo Panama by Philippe Stark

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