Interior design rules that are made to be broken

Interior design rules that are made to be broken

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There’s no place like home... and where you live should be a place you love. While it’s important to feel relaxed and happy in your space, some people don’t feel confident in their own taste and worry about making design ‘mistakes’. In this guide, we’ll provide suggestions for mixing patterns, embracing maximalism, clashing colours and plenty of other ways to break the rules to suit you. We’ll also give you tips to create a visually appealing space.

Mix your metallics

Particularly in kitchens and bathrooms, when it comes to the hardware – the taps, drawer handles, and other fittings – there’s often just a binary choice between gold and silver, or copper versus chrome. One colour is considered warm, the other cool. But you don’t have to stick to one shade if you don’t want to. And if you’re looking for flooring that works well with both shades, because it contains hints of warm sand and a cooler greyish green, then we’d suggest a vinyl in the Merida Collection called Cozumel Green. Or there’s Terrazo Red, which comes in shades of burgundy-red and a soft terracotta that would also co-ordinate with metallic shades and cheer up any room with its striking pattern. All our vinyl flooring offers a touch of elegance at an affordable price, stays warm and smooth to the touch and is slip resistant, too.


Clash your colours

This is all subjective, because one person’s clash might be another person’s co-ordination… but the general rules are not to put green and red together, or red with pink. We say give yourself permission to use whichever shades you like together! If you’re anxious this will create an unfinished look, then we’d advise you to stick to no more than three colours, in tones that feel like they’re in the same family as each other. Warm tones include a tomato red, orange and a bright yellow, while cool tones could be sea blue, a cobalt, and an apple green. But it’s entirely up to you! If you need more inspiration, we’ve lots more in our guide to the art of colour clashing.

Pile on the patterns

When it comes to pattern clashing – or as we’d prefer to call it, pattern pairing, the secret to a cohesive look is once again the colour. If you’re crazy about leopard print, for instance, it’s a good idea to match it with designs in the same colour family – that means designs in khakis, neutrals, browns, and rusts. Or if you love florals, then add other patterns that are a similar size to the flowers.
We’d recommend any laminate flooring from the Ravello Collection for your dining area or living room as they have herringbone-patterned planks in a host of colours from dark brown to a silver grey. They look stylish for years, resist spills and scratches and are very easy to fit then forget about.

Forget about symmetry

You may be thinking of refreshing a room, but you’re concerned you don’t have two of everything to create that luxury hotel look. It’s not easy – or necessary – especially if you’re on a budget. So, ignore it and choose the furniture you already have, or that you love, even if it means you only have one bedside table instead of two. This law-breaking suggestion will not go down well with people who follow Feng Shui for their interior design! If you’d like to know more about this ancient Chinese art, then read Living Room Feng Shui Rules To Live By, or How to Feng Shui Your Bedroom in our Ideas Hub.  There, you’ll also find advice and articles, plus Lookbooks to give you decoration inspiration.

Maximalism rules, ok

Maximalism is simply the art of excess, or put another way, it’s about ‘more is more’. It’s the opposite to that pared down, minimalist look you see in interior magazines. It will appeal to you if you love everything, and not in moderation! It doesn’t necessarily mean you like to live in clutter or mess, although be careful it can end up that way. It’s more about mixing old and new, and adding extra textures wherever you can, to create an eclectic look that’s totally unique and reflects your personality. For instance, you could layer a rug or two on top of your carpet or flooring – our guide to the art of layering rugs has plenty of hints and tips you can use! We have ready to take away eco-conscious rugs in most of our stores.

Deliberately mismatched chairs in different colours or shapes can also make a style statement around a dining table. If you want to pull the look together, then choose co-ordinated tones for your tablecloth, cushions, curtains, or walls.

Anything goes!

And finally, here are some more random interior design rules that are made to be broken, but only if you want to!

  • Paint ceilings, windowsills, and skirting boards white
    We’ve seen ceilings painted to look like blue skies with fluffy clouds, and even rooms with striped wallpaper pasted on the ceiling so it looks like a tent. Painting the wood in a room in a bold shade might be your first experiment into breaking interior design rules.
  • Framed pictures should stay on walls

Prefer to put a piece of art on the floor or on a surface instead? There’s nothing to stop you, just make sure if it’s precious or irreplaceable it’s away from muddy paws or sticky fingers.

  • Give plants the green light

Foliage or flowers always make a room more inviting, but you may not have the right light conditions or time to nurture plants. So instead, go for faux!  Fake plants or bouquets are available in every large supermarket or homeware store, and they’re unkillable. We’d advise going over the leaves with a damp cloth to prevent the build-up of dust.

  • Paint small rooms in light colours

It’s not essential to create the illusion of space in every room, especially if it’s not a large space. Choose the colour you prefer, and in fact, a small room may be the place to experiment with a dark shade or a bold wallpaper that you wouldn’t want to risk in a larger room.

We hope we’ve inspired you to go a little bolder in your interior design choices, perhaps buying that rose quartz carpet or monochrome-patterned vinyl.  Pop into your nearest store today where you’ll be offered all the help you could possibly need, from measuring, arranging the perfect fit, to our exceptional aftercare.


Published: 23-05-2023