24/04/2018 | 4 mins read

10 Design rules you should break right now


It’s always useful to have rules that help steer us in the right direction, especially when it comes to the design of our homes, but sometimes it’s OK to bend or even break a few rules. By turning things on their head a little, you’ll give your home an unexpected edge. Here are a few ideas to help bring out your interior-design rebel.

Keep things symmetrical 

Symmetry is an important design rule, but it can make a room feel a little prim and proper. A little bit of asymmetry can make your room feel more dynamic and interesting. When it comes to furniture placement it is all about balance. Instead of having 2 sofas facing each other replace one of the sofas with 2 arm chairs. Instead of having a lamp either side of your sofa, replace one of the lamps with a tall vase or a plant. Choose thieves that have equal visual weight on either side.

In this bathroom the basin is set to the side of the vanity unit with the mirror above the off centre placement makes the space feel less perfect and more edgy.

Don’t mix old and new 

Mixing contemporary furniture with antique or older pieces can work really well. Combining pieces from various eras will give your home a more curated look, helping you to avoid that show home feel.

Just because you live in a period home doesn’t mean that you can’t buy contemporary pieces and similarly if you live in a newly built home you don’t need to banish your antiques to the auction room. The key with getting this look right is not to over-do it, harmony is what you should be aiming for. Try to have one common denominator like color or pattern to tie everything together.

Use only small furniture in a small space 

When you fill a small room with small furniture it can feel a little cluttered. Don’t be afraid to play with scale and include some oversized pieces to make the room more comfortable and inviting. For example pair an oversized armchair with a slim and sleek sofa. Oversized lighting is also worth considering. A large fixture over a dining room table can create a beautifully sculptural feature.

Paint small rooms in a bright colour 

In some cases depending on the amount of natural light a room gets painting it bright can make the space feel cold and clinical. By painting a small room a dark shade doesn’t make it feel smaller but can actually make it feel intimate and cozy.

 

 

Ceilings should be neutral

Ceilings are so often forgotten, they are a whole other surface that you can have fun with. You often see period buildings with ceilings painted in a multitude of shades, so there’s absolutely no reason why you should stick with white. Try painting your ceiling to match the walls, a dark shade will create a cocoon like effect making the space feel intimate and cosy, while a lighter shade will create a soothing effect. Alternatively, make a statement and choose a colour that completely contrasts with your walls. Or as in this case make it the feature of the room and go for stripes.

Paint your wood work in a shade of white

When it comes to choosing a colour for your woodwork don’t feel that you need to stick with a shade of white. Painting woodwork in a dark shade is a great way to and drama and can make less expensive elements like balustrades or doors look more much grander than they really are. Here we painted these custom built doors in an off black for a really contemporary look.

Mixing Pattern 

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t play around with different patterns. If done right, it can really bring a room to life. The key to getting the mix right is limiting your colour palette to a minimum of 3 colours and playing with scale and geometry. Not only is this a great way to create impact but it will also give your room a sense of style and individuality.

Only using tiles in a bathroom

Who says you should limit your finishes to tiles in a bathroom, play around with different materials. Wallpaper can be a lovely way to create a more elegant feel, while something like glas can make your bathroom feel super slick and contemporary. Bathrooms are typically quite clinical rooms, there is no natural light in the guest WC pictured above, the timber clad walls make the space feel warm and inviting. Timber is a lovely way to add texture to what is typically a clinical space.

Match your furniture

The biggest rule to break is that you need everything to match, but juxtaposition is what makes interiors interesting! Mixing feminine with masculine, high and low, round and square—it makes the space special.

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