Decorating information is filled with lengthy lists of rules stating ”Do This” or “Don’t Do This.” Some of them prove very helpful when making decorating decisions. Some of them, however, can create barriers to personal style and enjoyment. Plus, some of them are simply outdated (styles and trends change!). Today’s post presents four decorating “rules” you can break. Next week I’ll follow-up with four more rules you can break in order to personalize your home.
Rules You Can Ignore
1. Rule: Use only light colors and small patterns in small rooms. Don’t limit your choices based on the size of your room. Dark colors in small rooms can reduce the visual boundaries of a space, make a room feel cozy, and add drama. And forget about using only small patterns – they can begin to look busy in a small space while a big pattern can make a style statement. The great looking small rooms below sport dark colors or large patterns – or both!
2. Rule: Use small furniture in small rooms. If you use small furniture so you can squeeze in a multitude of pieces, your room will look and feel small. Instead, use fewer large pieces and make sure some of them serve double duty. Lots of small pieces can feel cluttered but a few big pieces can feel comfy.
A full size sofa and two chairs provide plenty of seating in the room above. A large trunk serves as a coffee table as well as a storage piece. Instead of using a small end table, a regular size table serves the sofa and provides a work space. Notice the stool tucked under the table – it provides seating when working at the desk or can be pulled into the conversation area for guests when needed.
The furniture above provides big comfort in a small space. The backless stool provides seating but doesn’t block the view of the room so the space seems more expansive.
3. Rule: Use quiet, calming decor in bedrooms. This rule may work for people who need a subdued environment in order to sleep. But if color, pattern or fun decor is comforting to you, use it – even in your bedroom! Just because you’ll be sleeping in the room doesn’t mean your decor needs to be a snooze.
Check out the mix of patterns and saturated color used in the bedrooms above – sweet dreams!
4. Rule: Use curtains on windows. Certainly! But don’t limit yourself to using them only on windows. Curtains can add decor “wow” to passage ways, walls, and even outdoor spaces!
Breaking Rules Can Be Fun
It’s good to know the decorating “rules” as they provide a starting point and a direction in decorating. But it’s also fun to break them sometimes in order to make a space uniquely your own. Start with the four rules we discussed today and take a look around your home. Any rules you want to break? Share them with us by leaving a comment below – we’d love to hear from you.
Next week I’ll share four more decorating rules you can learn to ignore. Meanwhile, remember we’re here to help you. Whether it’s sticking to the rules or breaking them, Your Decorating Hotline helps you with your decorating dilemmas one-on-one. Read more about our consultation services by clicking here.