Are You Breaking These 5 Decorating Rules? Don’t Worry…They’re Myths!

Are you breaking these 5 decorating rules? Don't worry, they're myths! | If you're trying to decorate a room but afraid you're making mistakes or breaking some of the decorating rules, this list will help you feel better! Click through to see the rules you can break
Are you breaking these 5 decorating rules?

Every once in a while, I get a question from someone who is in the middle of re-decorating a room, has an idea of what she wants, but is afraid to go ahead with it because she thinks she is breaking “the decorating rules”.

I hear statements like “I love that gold framed mirror but my other accessories are silver”, “I found this awesome zebra-print cushion but I already have a patterned fabric in that room” or “I bought a giant stuffed teddy bear from Costco but it’s too big to fit in the bedroom”.  Okay, there’s probably not a lot you can do for that last one 🙂  But in a lot of cases, those rules turn out to be decorating myths.

I have to say that I’m not big on following a lot of decorating rules to begin with. However, I know that a lot of people find it easier to decorate if they have some guidelines to follow. And there’s nothing wrong with doing that…until you start giving up on things you really love solely because you might be breaking a rule.  At the end of the day, it’s your house. so the only rule that really matters is that you love it!

As a side note, I do follow some tried and true design principles (which you can read about HERE), but they are more about laying out a room so that it feels right, not picking the exact colors, patterns and finishes that go into the room.

Click next to see the decorating rules you can absolutely go ahead and break.

Myth #1: All Metals Have To Be The Same

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Get metallic mixing inspiration from furniture | Are you breaking these 5 decorating rules? Don't worry, they're myths! | If you're trying to decorate a room but afraid you're making mistakes or breaking some of the decorating rules, this list will help you feel better! Click through to see the rules you can break

Glam bathroom – Photo by Drummonds BathroomsLook for contemporary bathroom pictures**

** Because this image comes from houzz.com, it can’t be pinned

There isn’t anything wrong with using only one type of metal in a room, but if you want to mix things up…go for it! A lot of people grew up with the idea that silver and gold don’t go together, but that isn’t really the case, and the design world has come to that realization, too.

I think the contrast with the silver in this bathroom makes the gold stand out.

Get metallic mixing inspiration from furniture | Are you breaking these 5 decorating rules? Don't worry, they're myths! | If you're trying to decorate a room but afraid you're making mistakes or breaking some of the decorating rules, this list will help you feel better! Click through to see the rules you can break
Get metallic mixing inspiration from furniture

If you’re ever in doubt, just look for some inspiration.  You can find metal colors mixed in furniture, like the buffet in my dining room (you can find it HERE)

Or a piece of art like this modern wall scupture*.

Myth #2: You Can’t Use Multiple Patterns In One Room

Lots of pattern can look good together, via us.shopsarahstyle.com | Are you breaking these 5 decorating rules? Don't worry, they're myths! | If you're trying to decorate a room but afraid you're making mistakes or breaking some of the decorating rules, this list will help you feel better! Click through to see the rules you can break
Lots of pattern can look good together

Mixed patterns via us.shopsarahstyle.com

A lot of people are afraid that it will look too busy if they use more than one or two patterns in a room.  But when it’s done right, lots of pattern actually adds a lot of interest to the space.

Some very successful designers (like Sarah Richardson) have made their name by using lots of pattern in every room they do. She has 10 different fabric patterns (including the rug) in this bedroom!

Blue and White Cushions From Amazon

If you want to try your hand at pattern matching, but you’re a little nervous that it won’t work out, do what Sarah does. Mix and match some cushion covers.  If you don’t like it you can swap them out for something else, and it won’t cost a ton of money.

For more help with how to put your patterns together, click HERE to read our no-fail fabric combination formula.

Myth #3: Dark Paint Makes A Room Look Smaller

Dark paint recedes | Are you breaking these 5 decorating rules? Don't worry, they're myths! | If you're trying to decorate a room but afraid you're making mistakes or breaking some of the decorating rules, this list will help you feel better! Click through to see the rules you can break
Dark paint recedes

If you have ever taken an art class, they will tell you that in order to make something look like it is receding into the background, paint it a darker color.  The same principle holds true when you are painting a room.  Dark colors make the walls (and/or ceiling) look like they are receding.

Painting the whole room a dark color (ceiling and all) makes the corners recede. When your eye can’t tell where the wall ends and the ceiling starts, the room will give the illusion of being bigger.

If you’re thinking of painting a dark color but are still a little afraid, click HERE to see our tips on how to make it work.

Myth #4: Small Rooms Should Have Small Furniture

Small rooms don't have to have large furniture, via housebeautiful.com | Are you breaking these 5 decorating rules? Don't worry, they're myths! | If you're trying to decorate a room but afraid you're making mistakes or breaking some of the decorating rules, this list will help you feel better! Click through to see the rules you can break
Small rooms don’t have to have small furniture

via housebeautiful.com

Many times people try to fit a lot of small furniture into a small room, and it just ends up looking cluttered.

Obviously, you don’t want to use furniture that is so large it doesn’t fit in the room (blocking the doors or overpowering the room). But having one or two larger pieces of furniture will add drama and take your focus away from the size of the room.

Click HERE for more tips on decorating a small room.

Myth #5: Dressers Are Only For Bedrooms

Traditional Bathroom – Photo by Martha O’Hara InteriorsMore traditional bedroom photos**

** Because this image comes from houzz.com, it can’t be pinned

I have heard people say that they have an old dresser which they love, but don’t know what to do with it. They already have a walk in closet, don’t need more storage in their bedroom or it doesn’t go with the room.  Then it’s time to start thinking outside the bedroom!

Dressers are very versatile pieces of furniture that provide lots of great storage…so don’t relegate them only to the bedroom. You can modify them to use as a bathroom vanity.

Eclectic entryway – Photo by Kati Curtis DesignBrowse eclectic hallway photos**

** Because this image comes from houzz.com, it can’t be pinned

Or use them as a console table in your entryway. Painting it a bright color really makes a statement.

Traditional Dining Room – Photo by Annalea HartDiscover eclectic dining room design ideas**

** Because this image comes from houzz.com, it can’t be pinned

They can also make a great buffet for the dining room. Even the mirror on this dresser fits in with the dining room decor.

Hopefully, you have found at least one decorating rule that you can let go of…so let the decorating begin!

Shop Dressers

Have comments or questions about the decorating rules you don’t have to follow? Tell us in the section below.

Are You Breaking These Decorating Rules?

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3 Responses

  • Hey Wanda, the side bar on the right can’t be clicked off the page and it covers content….very irritating! Can you please fix it?

    • Sorry about that Kathy! Thanks for letting me know…I definitely don’t want to make it hard to read the real content 🙂 I’ll see what I can do to move those.

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