Over the years there were certain rules of thumb that one thought one had to abide by in terms of creating one’s perfect home. But fashion and decor, like the times, too must change to stay current. In many cases what’s old is most definitely new again, unless you’re talking about the rules of decorating. There are two trains of thought here – rules are meant to be broken, or there really are no rules when it comes to decorating anymore…
1. Small rooms must be white, or a pale neutral color
It was once thought that white or pale spaces would brighten up and make a small room seem larger than it is. And while this is in part true, the size and scale of a room have less to do with wall color and more to do with furniture scale and placement.
And sometimes one wants to keep a small room feeling small, creating a space that feels warm, inviting, cozy and intimate. There is nothing wrong with a small room that is welcoming and comfortable. The addition of color to walls, in bedding, or in accessories will greatly warm up your small space.
2. Small rooms must have “small” furniture
This is perhaps the silliest of all the myths. Small furniture in your small space will make your home feel more like a dollhouse than a home. A small bedroom may not necessarily have the space for a king-sized bed, but if you can place a queen sized bed in it, do so. Instead of filling the room with several pieces of small furniture, one or two larger pieces will make the room appear bigger.
Where space is limited think in terms of style and function. An armoire will make a statement and will serve as better storage than a dresser. An old steam trunk at the foot of a bed adds both storage and an elegant, classic look.
3. You must follow all the “rules”
And we say that rules are meant to be broken! When decorating your home, you need to best represent your personal taste and style – That really should be the number one rule!
• What is it that you like?
• What are your favorite colors? Styles? Hobbies? What is your favorite type of artwork?
• Are you a modern gal or do you prefer the classics?
• Are you inspired by Asian influences?
• Are you a DIYer?
Your home should be a reflection of your own tastes and passions, not those of someone else!
4. Dark rooms have a tendency to make your space look smaller
Dark rooms can add warmth, texture and dimension to your room. They can add a sense of sophistication, glamour and drama. Dark walls can be a wonderful canvas to work with. A piece of art, when hung on a dark wall, can make a much more powerful statement. It’s less the color of your walls that make your space seem smaller, than the placement and scale of the furniture within the dark walls. Keep furniture proportional to the room – if incorporating larger scaled furniture, use fewer pieces. Keep the room open to create and keep a perpetual flow. Rooms tend to seem smaller when they are cramped and crowded.
5. Dark ceilings have a tendency to make your room look shorter/smaller
As with the above statement, this is not accurate. Colorful ceilings add texture, dimension and drama. They can add a sense of sophistication or whimsy. In a smaller space you may want your walls or furniture in lighter shades than your ceiling, if you opt for a dark shade. But otherwise a painted ceiling should not make your room feel smaller. If you are worried about your space feeling small or not bright enough, you can always add decorative mirrors to reflect and create additional sources of light.
More on decorating myths next month….