Monday, July 19, 2010

Rules Are Meant To Be Broken

This weekend I found a great article courtesy of House Beautiful that I wanted to share with you all.  It outlines 10 decorating rules that should be broken.  And personally, I don't think that there should be many rules at all when it comes to style, since it is all really the expression of an individual.

1. Old Rule: Use only one type of wood in a room.
All matching wood can look too perfect. Mixing woods can make a room more interesting and personal, like it took shape over time, as in this library by Miles Redd.

I LOVE this room.  I'm actually considering a paint color very similar to that one in our next space!

2. Old Rule: The most important piece of furniture is the sofa.
There's no rule that says a living room even has to have a sofa: Four armchairs do the trick in this living room by designer Dan Marty. You can always put the sofa in the family room or a cozy library.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a room looks a million times better when furniture isn't lining the walls.  Four arm chairs in the middle of the room make it easier to create an interesting seating area.

3. Old Rule: Play it safe in small spaces. Tiny rooms are great for dramatic decorating. "Put a large-scale printed fabric or wallpaper on the walls and even the ceiling. It's easier, safer, and less expensive to be dramatic in a small space. You might get tired of a bold print in the main living area, but it can make a smaller, less-used room an exciting space to spend time," says designer Victoria Neale.

This is a perfect example of what I was referring to in Bathrooms That Pack a Punch!

4.  Old Rule: Every room needs a rug.
It's true that rugs anchor a space, but that doesn't mean they're required. Removing them can really open up a room. "Bare wood and stone floors can be just as beautiful," says designer Eric Cohler. It also makes sweeping up easy, particularly helpful in a kitchen that doesn't have a rug in front of the sink.

I like how this kitchen is so open, so I agree with breaking this rule sometimes.  However, I also think a rug can totally make a space.

5. Old Rule: Furniture styles should match.
"If you layer a space with color, texture, and array of styles, your decor choices will have a much longer life," says designer Vicente Wolf. Accessories are an affordable way to make sure a space doesn't get locked into one period or thematic look.

6. Old Rule: Always put a coffee table in front of the sofa.
The most versatile coffee table you'll ever own is an ottoman topped with a tray. Not only do you get extra seating, the tray also helps corral drinks, remote controls, and other accessories, like in this living room by designer Vicente Wolf.

I've implemented in this my home and couldn't agree more!

7. Old Rule: Vintage pieces are best left "as is."
Don't be afraid to paint a vintage piece. Every piece of furniture can't be brown.

I think this is the best "rule to be broken" of them all.  I will definitely share some of my antique makeovers with you down the road...

8. Old Rule: For a small bedroom, use small furniture.
Small-scale furniture only makes a small bedroom look smaller. Try a high bed and a tall headboard, like designer Melissa Warner used in her West Hollywood bedroom. Your room will grow.

9. Old Rule: Dining chairs should be part of a matching set.
Mix up the seating at your dining table, like Wolf did at this Southampton home. You wouldn't have eight identical chairs in your living area.

This can be really functional too, say if you entertain a lot or if you have little ones running around the house.

10. Old Rule: Children's art is for the fridge or a box in the top of a closet.
Kids' paintings and drawings can bring color and whimsy to an otherwise unimaginative space. "Display drawings in a colorful frame, or in a white frame with a colored mat. Hang them in an otherwise unimaginative space. They're full of spirit — and meaningful," says designer Eric Cohler.

This photo is great and I love the artwork here.  Wouldn't it be great to have a gallery wall in a child's room with all of their own work?  A perfect summer project...



  1. I too believe rules are to be broken when it comes to decorating. And what would I without my daughters art work?

  2. i agree with the "rugs aren't necessary" rule. if you have beautiful flooring, why cover it up?