I come from a family of rule breakers, but luckily not one of us reckless enough to have ended up in prison 🙂 (OK, just for one night but it was completely innocent).
So, not surprisingly, breaking décor rules come quite naturally to me. Here are only a few of my favourite ones that get me into trouble at times:
1. DARK COLOURS ARE A NO-NO IN A SMALL ROOM
Sometimes, there are more than one solution to a problem. Of course white, with it’s ability to project light, would be the most obvious wall colour and looks fantastic in a small room. But have you considered painting the walls a dark colour? Dark wall colour has a tendency to disintegrate the edges of the room and add a mysteriousness that crisp white would struggle to obtain.
2. A LIVING ROOM SHOULD HAVE A SOFA
Our rooms are becoming more open plan and formal areas a bit smaller as needs for such a room decrease, or drop away entirely. Nowadays, when guests come over, we tend to gather in the kitchen or around the barbie outside. If you have a smaller formal lounge,size and proportion of furniture pieces should fit the room. Lounge suits are very bulky, so a few occasional chairs around a small coffee table will utilise the space to it’s best advantage.
3. FURNITURE STYLES SHOULD MATCH
Successful rooms need some common ground, but that doesn’t mean that all your furniture styles should match. Try using furniture with similar height and scale, a consistent colour scheme throughout, or giving each piece a “companion” in similar colour, style or finish. By using these tips, your décor will become more aesthetically pleasing and not look like you’ve shopped at a garage sale.
4. A LOUNGE ROOM NEEDS A COFFEE TABLE
If you have a small living area and your coffee table eats up most of the space in front of your sofa, this might just be your rule to break. There’s no reason a side table can’t fulfil the same function as a coffee table. Even an ottoman can serve as footrest, coffee table as well as extra seating. It’s light enough to move around when your kids (or grown ups after the third glass of wine) want to have a dance-off in this area.
5. DINING CHAIRS SHOULD BE A MATCHING SET
Mismatched dining chairs are a great budget option if you’ve just moved into your first flat. These can be purchased as second hand and painted to your liking. It might need a bit of planning to pull this off, but the reward is great when mismatched chairs add balance and interest in your design. Another way to add comfort to a more formal look, is by complementing your existing set with upholstered chairs at the ends of the table.
6. CEILINGS SHOULD BE WHITE
In previous years, ceilings were adorned with murals, mirrors and gold leaf, so why are we so consumed with painting all ceilings white nowadays? I realise our homes are a bit smaller than the palaces of yesteryear and white paint is propably the more obvious choice to give ceilings an illusion of height. However, by painting your ceiling a few shades lighter than your wall, the same illusion can be obtained. Restaurants and bars are renowned for creating cavernous spaces with their dark ceilings, making long chats over a glass of red at small, intimate tables very enjoyable indeed. Try imagining the ceiling as an extra wall to enhance, hide or accentuate during the decorating process.
7. HANG ART WORK AT EYE LEVEL
Generally, we hang art at eye level to attract attention instantly when you walk into the room. Let’s think out of the box for a second – what if art is displayed in an unexpected way, placed on the floor for instance, or on furniture? Wouldn’t that make it all the more unexpected and attract a bit more attention?
8. KEEP PATTERNS TO A MINIMUM
I’ve recently read interior designer extraordinaire, Greg Natale’s book “The Tailored Interior”. Boy, Oh boy, I bet he’s never heard of this rule before! He has a knack of playing with patterns in a fearless way, throwing all rhyme or reason out the window, until it all comes together in a beautiful display.
Cheerio ’til next time!