10 Interior Design Rules To Break Today

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We all know and love that voice in the back of our heads that tells us what’s right from wrong. It’s that little voice that reminds us to always send a thank you note, to never chew with our mouths open, and to always RSVP when invited to a party. Well, when it comes to design, most rules are meant to be broken. Forget what you’ve heard; you can and should mix and match prints, white after labor day is totally fine, and you can infuse the old with the new.

Read on for our complete list of style commandments to stop following right now!


1. Old Rule: “Never mix and match prints”

Pattern aficionados rejoice! You no longer have to make the difficult decision between nautical stripes and leopard print. When mixing prints in your space, the easiest way to start is by choosing a large scale design and working around that. In your secondary prints, pull in complementary colors and opt for a much smaller-scale design.


2. Old Rule: “White is a no-go after Labor Day”

While an all-white room may be all-wrong for your family, this color is always on trend. Regardless of the time of year, white offers a fresh and clean look that can brighten up a dark room or add elegance to a rustic design.


3. Old Rule: “Don’t combine the old with the new”

Finding the common denominator within a room doesn’t mean that all items must fall under the same design category or even time period. Similarly, if your house is filled with vintage charm, but you just so happen to stumble across a beautiful, modern sofa, you can infuse both styles as long as an element exists that ties the two together. Whether this is through a common color, timeless pattern, or an additional object, multiple styles can work well within a room.


4. Old Rule: “When it comes to metallics, pick a lane”

We’ve all heard this style rule endlessly preached by our mothers and grandmothers when it comes to our jewelry choices. The same rule (though broken) can be applied to interior design. The standard, “grey goes with silver,” “gold goes with beige,” couldn’t be farther from the truth. While this may be your initial thought, don’t be afraid to infuse other metals in order to achieve a warmer or cooler mood within your design.


5. Old Rule: “Every bed requires a bedskirt”

While bedskirts are commonly referred to as, “dust ruffles” for a reason, you don’t need to use them unless it is for that purpose–to hide dust. For a modern and sleek look, ditch the bedskirt all together!


6. Old Rule: “Bright colors and bold patterns only work in large rooms”

In this case, less is certainly not more! When it comes to designing for small spaces, white walls aren’t always the go-to if you’re looking to achieve serious style. One design tip is to extend paint across the ceiling, as to not cut off the room. In addition, large scale wallpaper adds an undeniable level of intrigue.


7. Old Rule: “All dining room chairs should match”

While this standard may still hold true in more traditional homes, it’s no longer the rule. If you are trying to achieve an eclectic, lived-in look, opt for chairs with various shapes and patterns. A rule of thumb when working with a six-top rectangular table is to anchor the ends with matching chairs.


8. Old Rule: “Rooms must be perfectly symmetrical”

While a perfectly symmetrical room will allow you to achieve balance, an asymmetrical look is often more intriguing. In the case of symmetry vs asymmetry, it’s all about personal preference. Maintaining symmetry will add a sense of order and formality to a room, while mixing and matching furniture will create a sense of curiosity. Here, the best advice is to keep visual weight in mind when forming a design.


9. Old Rule: “Stick with the same wood finish”

Contrast is key when infusing various wood tones inside a space. If you are working with dark wood floors, it’s best to brighten up the room with furniture in a light-colored wood. Similarly, light wood flooring often looks best when paired with dark tones.


10. Old Rule: “Every room needs a pop of color”

For those that are allergic to color, turn up the style with a combination of interesting patterns and amazing textures. A neutral look can be sleek, not sterile, with the decorative accents in the right tones.


A little grey area is all you need to disrupt interior design norms and take your design to the next level. In a world filled with rules, your space is really a blank canvas meant for experimentation and personalization.

xoxo, Laurel & Wolf