Some decorating "rules" just aren't meant to be followed!

Design Tips

9 Decorating Rules That Are Meant to Be Broken

Throughout the years, we’ve all been exposed to countless decorating dos and don’ts. Guidance came from our dearest mothers to our well-intentioned friends. But what happens when playing it safe means sacrificing that beautiful pewter water pitcher, because it would “clash” with the bronze picture frame in your foyer?

While these decorating rules have served us well over the years, it’s 2016 and high time to throw some of these old traditions out the window.

Embrace experimentation, and don’t be afraid to break the rules! Let’s put the joy back into decorating by demystifying at these 9 common decorating myths.

1. Small rooms = small furniture

You would think that filling a small room with proportionally small furniture would create the illusion of space, but it doesn’t work! It might seem counterintuitive, but throwing in a larger piece of furniture can actually open up the space. Having a couple pieces of mix-sized furniture can make the room feel cozy rather than cluttered.

A small room does NOT mean you need small furniture

2. One accent pattern per room

Patterns can add interest to any room, but it’s plain untrue that you should limit a room to a single pattern. Adding patterns to your throw pillows or cabinet doors can add character and bring the room to life. To keep from overstimulating the senses, choose patterns that carry one or two of the same colors throughout to pull everything together.

Why have one accent pattern when you could have three?

3. White ceilings

Why do ceilings have to be so bare bones? Don’t let your ceiling miss out on all the fun – accent it! If you don’t want to stray too far, use colors within the same color family. Paint the ceiling with a color that’s just a few shades lighter than the walls to add dimension. Alternatively, if the room feels too drab, go for the playful route with a bolder color.

4. Stick to one style of furniture

While we aren’t advising that you just plop a giant Game of Thrones-style throne into the middle of a metal and glass condo, mingling multiple styles of furniture can make a room feel more organic. Combining thrifty vintage treasures with some modern finds generates intrigue and can lead to some stunning results.

5. Matching dining room chairs

Cohesion shmohesion! If your living room can have a mix of sofas, love seats, and armchairs, why does your dining room have to have uniform chairs? Having two different, but complimentary, sets of chairs won’t create dining room dysphoria. A simple way to add character is to sub in different styles of chairs while maintaining the same size all around the dining table.

Mix up your dining table chairs to add interest to a room

6. Avoid monochromatic rooms

They say that all-white-rooms are boring, when in fact that they can be some of the most inviting and peaceful rooms in a house. You can keep the same color throughout the space, but play with different textures and fabrics to keep the area from looking flat. If a room feels dull, it’s probably a matter of furniture selection and not color.

7. Wallpaper should stay on the walls

Decorative wallpaper is an easy way to make a statement. We can’t deny that it looks awesome as part of an accent wall, but why limit it to just the wall? Mix it up by papering your bed’s headboard, the back of a book shelf. For an especially stunning print, try putting it in a frame and hang it like a painting. If those ideas don’t work for you, check out this post for more creative ways to use wallpaper.

Wallpaper is a cost-effective upgrade for any headboard

8. Window treatments

From frosted glass to Gatsby-style billowing drapes, many decorators believe that you MUST have some sort of window treatment. But why cover something that doesn’t need to be covered? Nowadays large open windows are one of the best selling points of a house. Embrace the light and try going without window treatments altogether in your kitchen.

Bare windows let more light in, AND they look good!

9. Every room needs a rug

They say that rugs do well for anchoring a room, but it shouldn’t be a golden rule that’ll end up dragging you down. Especially during the summer months, a thick rug can trap excess warmth. To open up the space and keep the heat at bay in the summer, roll up your carpet and throw it in storage for a couple months. It’s a simple way to renew and refresh a room without too much work.

See? This living room looks perfectly fine without a rug

Looking for more ways to spice up a room without doing a complete renovation? Check out these 15 simple decorating tricks.

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