Rules, they’re meant to be broken. And when it comes to home décor, we’re all about making it personal and individual, not about following a set of strict rules to create cookie-cutter design. All of that said, there are a few things we think of as sort of unbreakable rules, or strict guidelines. You can safely follow this list of things not to do and still hold onto your individuality, and have great design as well!
Just say no to beige! Even neutrals can be stunning if you do it right. A couple of coats of paint will liven up any space and fix a multitude of wrongs like low ceilings, cramped spaces or boxy rooms. And don’t forget the mood-enhancing qualities color brings to your home as well! Embrace the color!
Unless you live in the White House or have some reason to require it, the strict formality of the past is, well, a thing of the past. That doesn’t mean not having “best china”, it means you might choose to use it every day instead of for that imaginary special occasion that never seems to happen. The most successful rooms are casual, relaxed and inviting. If your home feels like it should be roped off with velvet, it’s time to loosen up.
Wait, humor in décor? Absolutely. Want to make sure your room isn’t too stuffy and serious? Inject some humor. If your space is so perfect it looks plastic, a little twist of the unexpected will go a long way to creating a home that’s more inviting and warm. Yes, that means embracing irony, wit and even kitsch.
Just like a room that lacks some humor, the room that adheres perfectly, relentlessly to a particular style or period is predictable, boring even. Enter this kind of room and you’ll say “ho hum” not, “hey wow!” That unexpected piece that breaks the mold is confident and surprising; it makes people want to know more and piques the imagination.
Go ahead, take your inspiration from your favorite website, shelter magazine or blog. We won’t mind, especially if you’re checking us out! But remember to personalize and tweak and mix and match it up a bit. A truly personal room defies categorization, reflecting instead the personality of the owner and their individual preferences and life experiences.
Take a look around your space. Go ahead, do it now, we’ll wait. Is your room overwhelmed by too much? Too much furniture. Too much fabric. Too much going on. Try taking out half of what’s in the room, leaving only what you truly love. Store the rest for now and get used to the negative space. Do you like it? Or do you prefer a “fuller” look? Find your place on the clutter continuum and keep your rooms edited to within your comfort level. Rotate your favorite décor items seasonally if you have to.
Ignore the Room
Your room has a personality of its own, in the architecture and layout that are there. If you’re not familiar with your room’s personality, consider emptying it out entirely to get a feel for the space with nothing in it. Understand the room’s proportions, note the quality and direction of the light and think about surfaces, texture and colors. Finally consider the room’s function and create a design that marries your personality and needs with the room’s structure.