Rules are made to be broken, right? Well, that depends, but it does hold true that for every rule there is an exception, and interior design is no different. Sometimes you just have to break those decorating rules to create a space that truly works for you, and we’re here to tell you that that’s okay.
1. Don’t Use Dark Colours In a Small Room
The received wisdom is that you should avoid painting a small room with dark colours, because they will make the space appear even smaller than it actually is. While this is a good rule in general, you don’t have to stick to it rigidly. There are situations where darker colours can work very well, and, are in fact preferable. Yes, white will help expand a room and make the most of any natural light, but if you’re going for more of an intimate, cosy feel, darker shades are absolutely fine. Charcoals, navy blues, and dark chocolaty browns are particularly effective, although your furnishings and textiles ought to be lighter in colour to balance the look of the space.
2. Your Furniture Styles Should Match
Furniture is often sold as a set – three and two seat sofas, dinning table and chairs, wardrobe with matching chests of drawers – but that doesn’t mean you have to buy them that way. Your decor is actually much more likely to stand the test of time if you have a mix of styles and designs – this is because it won’t fall into a particular theme or trend. Mismatch your chairs to your dinning table, pair one sofa with another of an entirely different design and/or colour, and try new looks by moving around the furniture you already have.
3. Ceilings Must Always be White
What interior design authority convened to decide on this rule? It was determined by someone, somewhere, that ceilings should be white, and for reasons unbeknownst to us we’ve all been going along with it. When decorating a room we spend endless hours deciding on wall colour, furnishings, and accessories, yet give the ceiling no thought whatsoever. If white is the logical choice for your ceiling, fine, but don’t restrict yourself – be brave and consider painting it the same, or a similar, shade as your walls, or a different colour entirely. This approach will give the space a whole new dimension, and draw the eye upward.
4. Small Space, Small Furniture
It’s generally accepted that a small room requires small furniture; the idea being that this allows for more space to move around in. The problem with this, though, is that smaller furniture items are often not as comfortable, and, paradoxically, filling an itty-bitty room with pint-sized furniture can actually make the space appear cluttered and crowded. Instead, add fewer, larger choice pieces, such as a single, roomier sofa, and a good-sized comfy chair.
5. Your Living Room Needs a Rug
Rugs are a great addition to any living room – they anchor the space and help draw the decor together. That being said, you don’t have to have one to make a success of a room. By removing the rug you often lighten the space and open it up – particularly so if you have wood or stone floors. And the beauty of a rug is that it can easily be put back if you change your mind. Try taking it up just for the summer months and see how you like it.