4 Design “Rules” To Break



If you’ve been following along, you might have noticed a theme. We write a lot about “5 ways to do this” and “a guide to do that” because it’s often incredibly useful to have some guidelines to go by when you’re starting from scratch or have no clue where to begin. But here’s the thing, they are simply mere guidelines and suggestions meaning that although they have a time and a place, they are not gospel. If the space in question is one that you quite like but feel is in need of a little refresh, breaking a “rule” might be exactly what you require to shake things up. Sometimes, the most arresting rooms from a visual perspective are successful because there is something not quite “right” or unexpected about them. Here’s what we mean…

For a dining room…

If the room you’re looking to make a change in happens to be your dining room, we suggest taking a look at your seating. Mixing in a few styles of chairs can be a great way of making things feel fresh. Plus, this change can be as extreme or understated as you please. For a subtle change, consider replacing just the two end chairs. These chairs tend to differ within a set anyway, as they are traditionally armchairs so why not swap them out altogether? If your home consists of tonal colours, try keeping the seating all neutral and go rogue with different shapes. To accommodate varying numbers of guests and to create a multi-purpose area, replacing half the chairs with a bench might be the right move. There are many ways you can go about this and sometimes it’s a trial and error process so be patient… or just get in touch and we can figure it out for you 😉

For small spaces…

There is an old adage that one must never paint a small space in a dark colour… but the problem with this “rule” is that it’s not always a bad thing to make a room feel dark and enclosed. Think about a powder room, for example. No one expects or requires a powder room to feel vast and airy. On the contrary, we prefer our powder rooms to be mysterious and moody. Or, what about a cozy little library? Isn’t it far more inviting to curl up on a sofa, with a book, in a dark but warmly-lit room? Small home offices come to mind too. There is no reason why an office must be painted stark white. For some, a little bit of drama is what they need to get the creative juices flowing.

For spaces that feel boring and predictable…

There is a common tendency, even for the most laid back and liberal, to get a bit OCD and fall into certain decorating traps. Symmetry, for example, is one of those things that is naturally pleasing to the eye but there is such a thing as too much of it. If everything is perfect and symmetrical, a home can start to look a little… well, blah! Instead, try living on the edge by selecting two different occasional chairs to sit opposite your living room sofa. You can even go completely wild and set them at different angles. A bedroom doesn’t necessarily have to have two matching bedside tables. As for metals (hardware, light fixtures, metal-based pieces of furniture etc.), please mix them! These little, unexpected variances are what make your home memorable by creating friction and visual interest.