Over the years, home design experts have come up with a coterie of rules — ceilings have to be white, furniture looks best against the wall (the list goes on). But if you take a look at some of the most beautiful interior spaces, what’s immediately apparent is that many — if not all — of these so-called decor rules are made to be broken.
With that in mind, here are seven decorating rules you absolutely should be breaking. Remember, your home should be a reflection of your personal style, not what someone else thinks it should be.
#1. Don’t mix prints. Just like with what you wear, don’t be afraid to go print-crazy at home. Mixing and matching is a surefire way to add a fun bohemian touch to a room. Ikat, leopard, florals — don’t be afraid to have fun.
#2. Put small furniture into small rooms. The logic goes that if you’re decorating a small space, it’ll appear bigger if you decorate using small furniture. Well, it’s simply doesn’t hold up. Don’t be afraid to play with big proportions in small spaces, including using a couch that may take up an entire living room, or an oversized painting on the wall in a small room.
#3. All chair legs must be entirely on a rug, or entirely off. Consider this the “don’t wear white after Labor Day” rule of home decor. Simply ignore it, and do what is best for the individual room that you’re decorating.
#4. You need to have a couch in your living room. This classic rule for decorating has led to most living rooms out there looking essentially the same. Throw it out the window and consider creating a living space using all chairs instead of a couch, or a settee and several armchairs.
#5. Art should be only hung on the wall. There are actually quite a few places to put art that isn’t on a wall — prop a painting against a wall, on a mantelpiece, on a wall behind your desk, or inside a bookshelf instead of hanging it — the options are really limitless.
#6. Clutter is bad. You’ve heard it 101 times, and from a bazillion home experts — clutter is bad. But some of the chicest living spaces are chock full of stuff. Yes, some might call it clutter, but if having a lot of interesting things to look at in a room is clutter, sign us up.
#7. Every room needs overhead lighting. What a huge decor myth this is. Sometimes the best lighting is a combination of floor lamps and table lamps instead of a single, glaring, overhead light.