Decorating Rules to Toss Out the Window

Decorating your home can be one of the most pleasant parts about moving or remodeling. You get to change all your stuff around, decide on a theme or color scheme for each room, get new stuff, paint… the list goes on and on! And for those of us who don’t have an instinct about this kind of thing, there are a ton of fun guidelines and tools online to help us out! However, along the way we may have picked up some bad habits, some design tips that were once trendy but have since gone the way of the dodo. Are you guilty of any of the following?

  1. “You have to match things exactly.” You can’t have light and dark wood in the same room, or some silver accents and some gold, etc… This is flat out wrong. Not only can a design scheme work with several different colors and textures, but this idea definitely limits your options if you follow it to the letter, and that means you’ll probably end up with furniture and decor that you’re not wild about.
  2. “Your color palette is God.” Not only is this not true, but if you feel like you have to stick to your color palette exactly, your room might come out looking very heavily decorated and unlivable. No one wants to come into a room and be assaulted by a main color and two accents, it’s unnerving. Use your palette for pillows and statement pieces (like painting a piece of furniture navy, for instance), but don’t be afraid to break it up a little with fun artwork in other shades, or your grandmother’s quilt (that’s never going to match anything anyways).
  3. “You have to decorate every wall.” Untrue. There’s a lot to be said for a bare wall (especially if it’s painted), not the least of which is that it makes the room feel more open and refreshing. If art is your thing and you can’t bare not to put all your pieces up, more power to you, but if you’re struggling to fill every space, just don’t. Strategically leave some open and rejoice in your freedom!
  4. “Every room needs X!” There is no hard and fast rule for anything. Some people prefer barstools to a dining room table, and some hate the idea of nightstands. You don’t need a couch in your living room and you don’t need a plant in your kitchen. Fit the decor to your lifestyle; find a style you love, and don’t let anyone tell you it’s wrong!