Old School Decorating Rules That Are Actually NBD (With Photos to Prove It)

Old School Decorating Rules That Are Actually NBD (With Photos to Prove It)

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Dabney Frake
Dec 3, 2014
(Image credit: Jennifer Little )

If the Decorating Fairy waved a magic wand over your head and said “I hereby grant you [insert name here] the ability to ignore all the decorating advice you've heard your entire life,” these are the rules she would question, without fail.

"Stick to Neutrals with a Pop of Color" — This is one way to hedge your decorating bets, and — as a result — can dilute any vision you might have for your space. It's one thing to merely occupy, and it's an entirely different thing to make it your own. Above, Stacy and John did just the opposite of neutral; they painted their comfortable study a rich, dark blue, against which the white chair stands out.

“All Your Furniture Should Match" — At one point you bought everything the stores told you to, but now you have the confidence to pick and choose what you like and don’t like, or need and don’t need. Dining room tables can be populated by a fleet of chair orphans. And your dresser need not match the headboard.

(Image credit: Blissful Blog)

"Never Place a Single Chair On Its Own" — Who knows why this rule exists. Maybe someone thought it was weird to make someone sit all by their lonesome? But I defy anyone to find a household that doesn't have at least one errant chair somewhere, languishing on its own and looking good while doing it. Sometimes it's just the thing that makes a room really, really great..

"Play it Safe in a Small Space" — This goes along with the neutral rule above, and missing an opportunity to do something dramatic. Think about it this way: if there is ever a time to take a risk, it's with a small room that's less expensive to decorate.

"Ceilings Should Be White" — The ceiling is a huge swath of real estate in a room, yet its design is often overlooked as a conscious design choice. Although it's tempting to avoid, committing to color (and then choosing the right one!) totally transforms a room.

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