I’ve never been one to play by the rules (just ask my Mother) so I do like to break a few design rules in my interior design work too. If you want to create edgier décor, then be open to breaking a few design rules… just like these.
#1 Art Should Always Be Hung At Eye Level
The question here is at whose eye level should art be hung? People with differing heights usually populate homes. Moreover, we don’t stand around looking at the walls. We lie on the floor, sit on chairs, lounge on sofas, and relax on beds.
Try placing a large artwork on the floor (secure it if you have children). Hang an artwork high up on a flight of stairs to draw the eye up and be a point of difference. Play with size and scale by mixing up the prints and frames for an eclectic effect.
#2 Always Match Timbers
As an interior designer, I am never a fan of matchy-matchy anything let alone timbers. When faced with timber floors, wooden kitchen cupboards, wooden furniture and wooden doors homeowners can panic about matching all the woods. Natural timbers are warm with a unique personality.
Timber works fabulously with almost anything including concrete, stone, metals, tiles, etc. This is one of the silly design rules you shouldn’t be afraid to break. However, don’t mix more than 3 or 4 timbers and choose woods with similar undertones (warm or cool).
#3 Never Mix Metals
Again, matchy-matchy usually breeds boring interiors. Mixing metals adds character and depth to interiors especially in wet areas. The trick is to mix cool metals – stainless steel, chrome, silver – with warm metals – copper, brass, rose gold, gold.
I am obsessed with black metal windows, as they don’t ‘frame’ the view they blend it and seem to disappear. So if you choose black metal frames for window or art, mix with warm copper lights or other warm metals.
#4 Paint Your Ceilings White
Why? I often recommend painting a ceiling in quarter strength of the wall colour. This creates a cosy room with an intimate feel.
Painting a ceiling in a darker colour will draw the eye down so you can focus on the view or another feature. Even wallpaper a ceiling for drama or a calming effect.
#5 Paint Small Spaces White
This is the worst ‘rule’ ever. Absolutely break this silliest of design rules. A tiny powder room wallpapered in a bold print looks amazing. Dark colours in a small room can make it look bigger because it blurs the wall lines, especially if it has great natural light.
Natural light will help a darkly decorated room feel warm. Add reflective surfaces and mirrors to expand the space.