The rules of interior design often leads to visually uninteresting spaces. So, do we need to listen to everything we’ve been told?
After all, they say that rules are meant to be broken.
So if you’re going to break the rules, you need to do it well. Interior design experts tell how to break some of the most common interior design rules we’ve all heard over the years.
Do the drapes need to match the rug? Absolutely not. No matter what 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 feel right but the interior design magic is in the mix,” she explains. “Don’t be afraid to mix metals, neutrals (clients have been terrified to mix white and cream!), textures, prints, and old collected pieces with the new!”
Along the same lines of overly matching furniture, DeRosa says too much white isn’t a good thing. “Whether renovating or building from the ground up, our instinct is to keep walls and ceilings white. But while we will forever love the fresh, timeless look of a crisp white interior, fewer things bring instant joy than color.”
The use of color doesn’t need to be overly bold. Sandy terracotta, dusty sage, or a cheery, sun-washed yellow are great alternative options. “As a result, these colors infuse a serene, yet energetic warmth to an interior,” she explains.
If your art is interesting, it deserves an eye-catching frame. So, whether you are framing a piece 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 meant to be broken in interior design. “I feel like people don’t have enough fun playing around with framing. I love matching a very modern print with a traditional frame,” she says.
Art and interior design is all about breaking the rules, so why not break the rules of art and stop limiting its use to walls? “Not only can you hang frames on the face of a bookshelf, closet door, or even on a bulletin board, but you can and should lean them pretty much anywhere they fit,” Tessa Wolf, creative director at Framebridge tells.
Using only light colors in interior design is a rule that many people think they need to follow because they’re under the impression that dark colors make a room feel smaller, but according to Barbara Karpf, CEO & Founder of DecoratorsBest, that’s simply untrue. “A dark color can conceal the boundaries and corners so that the room appears larger. The deep color camouflages the smallness and creates the perception of depth. Add a dark-colored grasscloth for texture and the tiny room turns into a gem,” she says.