When it comes to interior decorating, you need to know the rules before you can break the rules. You’re allowed to break them so long as you have a reason for doing so but here are ten interior decorating rules you should commit to memory before you start breaking them.
If something about a space seems lacking, it may be that you need to add some more textures. You can use rugs, throws, accent pillows, and unique furniture to use various textures. By mixing metal with wood, or rattan with natural woven fabrics, you get a unique look that you can’t achieve when you’re only using one or two textures in a space.
Every space needs layered lighting. If all you have is a single overhead pendant light, the space will seem two-dimensional. You should have light coming from multiple sources, some light coming from above, some coming from floor lamps, and perhaps some from the floor used as accent lighting. Layered lighting allows you to adjust brightness in the space for different occasions.
Take risks with accessories
With interior decorating, it can be fun to take some risks but you don’t want to take risks with larger, expensive pieces that you can’t easily replace if you change your mind. So unless you’re very experienced, you should take risks with smaller accessories like a quirky bowl or statement vase that you can swap out with other pieces if you realize it just doesn’t fit with your vision for the space.
Start with a simple base
If you’re having trouble decorating a space, the reason could be that the space itself is tricky to work with. For instance, a brick wall might make it very difficult to use the color scheme you want. By simply painting the wall white, you’ve made the task of decorating that room much easier since any color scheme can work with white walls. So look for ways to simplify the space before you begin decorating it.
Always measure your space
Measure twice and buy once as the saying goes. It’s easy to get carried away with making purchases for a space without really understanding the dimensions you have to work with. Buying before measuring can result in returns, wasted time, and even lost money so get it right the first time by measuring first.
Don’t forego function
When purchasing pieces for a space, don’t forget to think about function in addition to aesthetics. If you have plenty of space you may be able to get away with a large, beautiful sculpture but most homeowners should try to find pieces that look nice but also serve a purpose beyond aesthetic appeal. When choosing a sofa, for instance, make comfort just as important, if not more important, than looks.
If you’ve ever been a room that didn’t feel balanced somehow, it was probably the result of poor use of symmetry. If all of your larger pieces of furniture are one side of a room and the other side is sparse, the space won’t feel quite right. Symmetry doesn’t mean that one side of the room needs to be a mirror image of the other, but you should aim to balance the different sides of the rooms so it looks good from all viewing angles.
Invest in pieces you love
Don’t be in a hurry to buy things just to fill up a space. Don’t let yourself feel pressured into buying something that’s merely "nice" because it’s on a good sale. Be patient as you make purchases and give yourself time to make sure you really love it. Better to buy slow and spend a little more for things you really like so you won’t have to get rid of stuff two years down the road.
Be bold with paint colors
Want to create an instant wow factor without spending a fortune, paint the room a darker color than you usually would feel comfortable with. If you’re nervous, just paint one wall for a nice accent. If you like it, you can choose to do the rest of the room or leave it as is.
Take risks, follow your gut
The best interior decorators break the rules occasionally so don’t feel like you have to follow every single interior design rule all the time. Have a vision for the space and know the rules but also follow your gut and be willing to take the occasional risk.