Here are 9 interior design rules to break
We have been given so many rules on the design of our homes, like always painting the walls white and your dresser, bed and bedside tables must match. But following the rules of interior design often leads to visually uninteresting spaces. So, should we listen to everything we have been told? After all, they say the rules are meant to be broken.
But if you want to break the rules, you have to do it right. So I spoke with some of the top interior designers and experts to learn how to break some of the most common interior design rules we’ve all heard over the years.
Rule: Match all
Do the curtains have to match the carpet? Absolutely not. Whatever type of room you’re trying to decorate, it’s best to mix things up. According to Roxy Te Owens, Founder and Creative Director of Society Social, “Matchy Matchy may seem right, but the magic of design is in the mix,” she explains. “Don’t be afraid to mix metals, neutrals (customers were terrified of mixing white and cream!), Textures, prints and old collectibles with the new one!
Owens isn’t the only one who wants to mix things up. Andrea DeRosa, director of Avenue Interior Design, notes that the arrangement of furniture in a room has been out of fashion for some time. “Think about the matching nightstand / headboard / dresser suite,” she says. “But we’ve seen a trend in recent years where interior design has become too homogenized, almost too carefully organized. Your living room doesn’t have to look like your master bedroom. And your master bedroom shouldn’t look like your home office. We strongly believe in having a holistic design in an entire space, but leave room to mix it up.
So if you can’t decide between two or three things, why not choose them all?
Rule: white paint everywhere
In the same vein of over-matching furniture, DeRosa says too much white isn’t a good thing. “Whether it’s renovating or building from scratch, our instinct is to keep the walls and ceilings white. But while we’ll always love the fresh, timeless look of a crisp white interior, there is less stuff that brings instant joy than color.
The use of color doesn’t have to be too bold. Sandy terracotta, dusty sage, or a cheerful, sun-washed yellow are great alternatives. “As a result, these colors infuse a serene but energetic warmth into an interior,” she explains.
However, DeRosa insists that it’s important to resist the urge to paint each room a very different color. “Select two to three shades with tones that complement each other to create a sense of oneness. “
Rule: Minimalist art framing
If your art is interesting, it deserves an eye-catching frame. So whether you’re framing a room for a gallery wall or just as an accent, artist and designer Elizabeth Sutton believes that going for a basic black, white, or metal frame is a rule that should be broken. “I feel like people aren’t having enough fun with the framing. I love to combine a very modern print with a traditional setting, ”she says. “Most people associate the art style with the setting, but I like to mix and match. Like one of my geometric floral designs, with a mat and a traditional baroque gilded frame. Super chic and unexpected. Or by using a splash of color in the frame. Like taking a black and white print and framing it with hot pink lacquer. Funny stuff like that.
Rule: art is only for walls
Art is breaking the rules, so why not break the rules and stop limiting its use to walls? “Not only can you hang picture frames on the front of a bookshelf, closet door, or even on a bulletin board, but you can and should tilt them just about anywhere they fit,” me says Tessa Wolf, Creative Director of Framebridge. “We like to layer huge picture frames on a long empty wall like a hallway or next to a chair or a single piece of furniture in an alcove. And you can store small picture frames on shelves, fireplaces or dressers for a truly personal detail. It’s our favorite way to slip little family photos into a room. Leaning frames have a relaxed quality that can keep a space from feeling too formal or finished.
Rule: Use only light colors in a small room
Using only light colors in a small room is a rule that many people think they should follow because they feel dark colors make a room look smaller, but according to Barbara Karpf, CEO and Founder of DecoratorsBest, it is is simply wrong. . “A dark color can mask the boundaries and corners to make the room appear larger. The deep color camouflages the smallness and creates the perception of depth. Add a dark colored grass canvas for texture and the little room turns into a gem, ”she says.
Beth Diana Smith, interior designer and HomeGoods style expert, is also a supporter of breaking this rule. “Painting a room a dark color can actually add more depth to the room, creating the perfect dramatic and sophisticated backdrop for layering color, texture and pattern across furniture and decor. “
When Smith works with dark walls, she likes to use brightly patterned rugs to radiate color from the floor, as well as lighter wood furniture with a woven texture to stand out against the darker wall. “For rugs and accent furniture, HomeGoods is my go-to place. They have the brands I love, with quality pieces that match my maximalist aesthetic, allowing me to experiment with all the fun colors and textures without breaking the bank, ”she says.
Rule: Paint ceilings in a neutral color
White and eggshell ceilings are boring, so why not use this space as an opportunity to do something daring? “Ceilings are often referred to as the fifth dimension and can be an integral part of the design,” explains Karpf. “Striped wallpaper [for example] creates a tent look and strong pattern all over it adds character. [You can also] visually enhance the proportions of a room with metallic wallpaper and hide awkward angles with a scenic design.
Rule: false plants have no place outside
The outdoors is for real plants, isn’t it? Wrong. According to Jenny Reimold, lifestyle expert and HomeGoods style expert, one of her best exterior styling tips is mixing real and fake plants. “For a porch, I like to use artificial trees and fake plants from a store like HomeGoods. When I am there I know that the fake plants are high quality and economical which means I can get as many as I want in a variety of sizes and types. I dress them in woven, ceramic or clay planters where they can live amid the natural greenery to add fullness.
Rule: only use matching metals
A lot of people think they can’t mix metals, but that’s just plain wrong. Interior designer Liz Caan says it’s a rule to break. “Go ahead and mix up the silver, nickel, brass, bronze and iron.”
Rule: go for a neutral rug with a simple pattern
Rugs are a great way to tie a room together, but that doesn’t mean they have to stay neutral. “Area rugs give you the opportunity to add playfulness, creativity and a unique aesthetic to the room,” Samantha Gallacher, founder of IG Workshop and Art + Loom, tells me. “It’s often difficult to think of flooring as art, as many often think of carpet as a functional room rather than a design. However, a brightly colored rug or a fun pattern can add liveliness to any room. The possibilities are endless today, with various materials, fabrics, sizes and shapes, go crazy! “