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There are rules that apply to just about everything in life. Interior decorating and design is no different. You begin to hear the rules almost immediately. Indeed, now we have channels like HGTV that share the rules en masse. Always use odd numbers when displaying objects… Always use black within a room to ground the space… Never mix more than three (3) wood tones in any given space…

Yes, there is a certain pleasantness that comes from grouping an odd number of objects. But there is no need to force it or to limit yourself. Even numbered displays can also look great!

The only way to truly make a room your own is to leave the rules and preconceived notions at the door and follow your whims when making your own design plan.

Design Rules, Interior Design, DecoratingDO Mix Metals.

If you’re a follower of trends, you know that mixing metals is actually encouraged right now. For maximum impact, mix cool metals (such as chrome or silver) with warm metals (like gold or brass).

DO Mix Patterns.

If you’re uncertain of yourself and/or your choices, this can be rather challenging and may require some effort before the “right” look is achieved. If this is a new concept for you, stick with a simple colour palette and simply play with scale and geometry. If you’re feeling bold, simply watch the fashion trends and you’ll quickly discover that there are no rules and anything goes!

DO Mix Old and New.

This is especially easy with the “new vintage” styles that have several manufacturers introducing pieces modeled on classic styles in updated patterns and/or fabrics.

For anyone with the least bit of eclecticism, you’re probably questioning this as even being a rule. The fact is, this “rule” is constantly broken. And most design professionals encourage its breaking, for adding in personal touches are what truly makes a room “you.”

Design Rules, Interior Design, DecoratingDO Try Dark Colours in Small Spaces.

Yes, using white (or light colours) on every surface in a small space will create an airier feel. But using a dark wall colour in a small room is a trick that many designers use to create a sense of depth. Simply be sure to incorporate reflective surfaces, such as mirrors and metals, and sufficient lighting to ensure the room feels warm and inviting.

Bathrooms are a great place to experiment!

DO Go Naked… On your Windows, that is.

Despite what some people say, windows do not need to be dressed. In fact, in some cases, why would you even consider taking away from the view? If privacy is not a concern, consider keeping the window bare. If your only concern is blocking out heat, consider the application of a window film to help aid in both energy savings and UV-resistance.

DO Use Multiple Light Sources

I love the option of adding in a great chandelier or ceiling light to a space, particularly on a dimmer, as part of a layered lighting plan. But in many condos and older homes, it just isn’t an option. Add in multiple light sources throughout the space – table and/or floor lamps, sconces, strip or rope lighting, etc. – in order to provide ambient lighting and sufficient brightness for tasks that will be performed in the room. Remember to also layer in reflective surfaces throughout the room.

DO Play With Scale

Some will tell you that a small space cannot accommodate larger scale pieces. Rubbish! Yes, proportion and scale are important, but a strategically placed large scale piece can actually create the illusion of a larger space. It becomes a relationship of compromise: give extra floor space to a larger bed and compromise with a wall-mounted nightstand and sconces.

Allow yourself to be subdued; ignore the fabled obligatory pop of colour from time to time.

DO Consider Neutral or Monochromatic Palettes

Creating a space that feels warm and inviting doesn’t necessitate adding in bold bursts of colour. Instead, try adding texture and depth to bring life to a more subdued or monochromatic colour scheme. Layering materials and pieces to achieve a welcoming feel can be infinitely more challenging.

by: Christina Mogk