was successfully added to your cart.

7 home interior design rules that are OK to break

Home interior design

Having rules to guide us is always helpful, but sometimes it’s okay to bend or even break a few rules, especially when it comes to the design of our homes. You’ll give your home an unexpected edge by turning things on their head a little. Here are seven ideas to try to bring out your interior design rebel.

Keep things symmetrical 

Harmony and balance are achieved through symmetry in a room. However, if you become too fixated on symmetry, the room may feel stuffy and formal. Adding a little asymmetry will make your design more dynamic and exciting. 

For example, rather than having two sofas facing each other, replace one of them with two armchairs. Instead of having matching lamps on either side of a couch, replace one with a tall vase or a plant.

Woodwork should be painted white.

The norm is to paint woodwork white or off-white. And bright timber can look fantastic next to flat matt walls. However, white is the only shade to paint your skirtings, cornices and window frames.

Dark colours like greys, off-black, navy and even greens can work really well in many homes. Painting woodwork in a dark shade is a great way to add drama to a space and can make less expensive elements like balustrades or doors look much grander than they are. 

Keep ceilings neutral.

When deciding on paint colours for a room, the norm is to focus on the walls. Ceilings are often overlooked, being left plain and white as a backdrop to the rest of the room. But ceilings are a whole other surface to explore.

You often see period buildings with ceilings painted in many shades, so there’s absolutely no reason you should stick with white if you don’t want to. Try painting your ceiling to match the walls. A dark shade will create a cocoon-like effect and make the space feel intimate and cosy, while a lighter shade will give a soothing effect. Alternatively, make a statement and choose a colour that completely contrasts with your walls. If you’re feeling really adventurous why not add some pattern with a bold wallpaper?

Home interior design

Use small furniture in a small room.

The tendency is to use small pieces of furniture in small spaces in order to maximize the space. But adding too many small pieces to a small room can make it feel cluttered. 

When you play with scale and include some oversized pieces in a small space, you make the room feel more comfortable and welcoming. The key is to combine large and small pieces together. A slim and sleek sofa can be paired with an oversized armchair, for example. A large pendant light over a dining room table can create a beautiful sculptural effect as well.

Don’t mix patterns

When choosing textiles, the conventional approach is to coordinate patterns. However, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t introduce a mix of patterns. When done right, it can bring a room to life. 

The key to getting the right mix of patterns is limiting your colour palette to three shades and playing with scale and geometry. This is a great way to create impact and give your room a sense of style and individuality.

Don’t use dark colours in a small room.

Another common misconception is painting a small room in a light colour, will make it feel bigger. This isn’t always true. A north-facing room painted white, for example, will feel quite sterile. If your room is small, aim to make it feel cosy. Choose warmer colours and don’t be afraid to go with darker shades especially where the room doesn’t get a lot of natural light.

Home interior design

Never mix old and new.

There is often a nervousness about introducing too many styles into a room. It’s thought that a period house should be filled with antiques or a new-build home will only look good with contemporary pieces. In fact, by mixing modern and antique styles, you’ll give your home a more curated look. The best way to combine pieces from different eras is to try to have one common denominator like colour or pattern to tie everything together.

Share This Post

Do you know someone who could benefit from this blog post? Why not share the link to this post with a friend who you think might enjoy our content? Or share the post on your favourite social channel with the hashtag #optimisehome. We count on you to spread the word about the blog, so thank you for helping us get the blog in front of new readers.

Optimise Home renovation planner
Denise O'Connor

Author Denise O'Connor

More posts by Denise O'Connor
Thinking of a Home Improvement Project?
Get our step-by-step guide to starting a home renovation or home extension project and avoid costly mistakes
We respect your privacy - Unsubscribe any time