Puzzled on Home Design? Here are 10 Playful Solutions

By Jess McBride, Houzz

Designing one's home can be fraught with so many expensive elements and stressful setbacks that it's easy to get so overwhelmed that the fun evaporates as fast as your cash. Jigsaw puzzles can be a great way to unwind amid the chaos of a home renovation, and if you're open to it, their whimsical shapes can also inspire your decor. Here are 10 ways to solve the decorating puzzle.

Related: Spelling Bee Champ? Shake Up Your Home With Scrabble-Inspired Decor

Tom Stringer Design Partners, original photo on Houzz
Tom Stringer Design Partners, original photo on Houzz

1. Signature stools. With the right power tools, a handy friend or relative (or you) could probably make a pair of jigsaw stools like these. For the rest of us, there's always Sylvester & Co., which created the pair of interlocking stools featured in this Chicago living room. They bring just the right amount of unexpected whimsy to a fairly serious, orderly space.

Decor Studio, original photo on Houzz
Decor Studio, original photo on Houzz

2. Conversational chairs. More furnishings that fit together like puzzle pieces, these quirky chairs from Decor Studio are a real conversation starter. An additional benefit of furniture pieces that interlock is that you can nest them together for groups or separate them when more personal seating is desired.

3. Radiant rug. A colorful rug is a great way to add life to minimalist decor, and sometimes a pattern or texture is also needed to break up long stretches of solid flooring. Look to the jigsaw motif with its smooth, curving lines and graphic pattern as a fresh alternative to more conventional geometric or striped area rugs.

4. Parquet puzzle. If you're not a rug person, or you're craving something a little more experimental, show off your bold design chops with a jigsaw-patterned wood floor.

sahararbabarchitects, original photo on Houzz
sahararbabarchitects, original photo on Houzz

5. Wow-worthy wall. A wall treatment like this one in Australia can be a game-changer in a kids' room, especially if the pieces are attached to the wall with hook-and-loop strips so they can be rearranged at will. Luckily, these puzzle pieces should prove far more difficult to lose than the tiny cardboard variety.

6. A new take on tile. You can create your own permanent puzzle-inspired wall with the help of mural tiles purposely laid out of order. It's an avant-garde way to make a traditional tile seem modern and fresh.

Sigmar, original photo on Houzz
Sigmar, original photo on Houzz

7. Powder room puzzler. A similar, though less jarring, technique is laying tiles as if the plan were to cover the entire wall but some dreamer got distracted and stepped away. This technique works well in a sparsely decorated, high-contrast space where the tile application is sure to stand out.

Cameron Custom Builder, original photo on Houzz
Cameron Custom Builder, original photo on Houzz

8. Dynamic door. A fresh take on the popular barn door craze, this jigsaw door has custom-cut pieces of hardwood grafted into a solid whole that serves up some major design interest. Notice how the alternating grain patterns and various shades of the wood give the impression of a dynamic collage rather than a standard monolithic door.

Okurayama Apartments, original photo on Houzz
Okurayama Apartments, original photo on Houzz

9. Complicated complex. If you're truly a fan of jigsaw puzzles, look no further than this Japanese apartment complex for inspiration. Kazuyo Sejima & Associates designed the Okurayama Apartments to resemble puzzle pieces that fit together while retaining their individual identities.

10. The subtle approach. If you're not sold on adding jigsaw-inspired decor but still have a soft spot for the game, try displaying your puzzle pieces in a stylish way.

Find Marazzi on Houzz