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You’ve heard the old adage, rules are made to be broken? Well this most definitely applies to the design world too! Don’t limit your space by complying with so-called design rules. Every space is unique and different and shouldn’t be held back because of silly antiquated rules. However, it is important to know some of these rules, but only so you know how to break them!

Rule 1: Paint small rooms a light shade.

Break it! – Never let a room size dictate or limit the color palette. While painting a small room a light shade may give the appearance the room is bigger, you’re not really fooling anyone! Your brain already knows the size of a room when you enter it, don’t try to trick it, it’s smarter than you give it credit for! Work with what you have, not what you wish you had. Painting a small room a darker shade will create a dramatic, visually interesting space. What makes a small room feel small is not the wall color, but the size of furniture, how many chachkies you have around, and how filled the space is.

Rule 2: Don’t mix metals

Break it! – What used to be considered a design faux pas is now looked at as chic and classy! Mixing metals in a room helps to make the items stand out and also look like they were collected over time and have meaning, not newly purchased. Combining cool silvers with warm brass, gold, copper, or bronze tones adds visual interest by creating “layers”. By sticking to just one metal in a room your treasured pieces will go unnoticed. Let them shine!

Rule 3: Small Space, Small Print

Break it! – Wallpaper is coming back in a big way, especially in powder rooms, as an accent wall, or other small space. Wallpaper of today is not what it once was. It’s very artistic and tactile. I’m frequently asked, “since this room is so small, shouldn’t the wallpaper also have a small print?” You want the wallpaper in these small spaces to be the room! A small print will get lost and look blah, where a big print shows intention and makes a statement. When executed properly, you’ll create a dramatic effect. This not only applies to wallpaper, but fabric as well.

Rule 4: Don’t combine old and new

Break it! – Mixing antiques with contemporary pieces creates great juxtaposition in a room. The proper mix of old and new styles will give your room personality while being personal, as well as give your antiques new life!

Rule 5: Don’t mix patterns

Break it! – Mixing patterns is a little trickier to execute than some of the other ideas above, but with thought and a plan, mixing patterns can give a room a lot of character. A few things to keep in mind for combining patterns is to change the scale of the pattern between pieces. If all of the patterns are small for example, this will create a busy look. Also, to avoid being too distracting, the patterns should have a white/negative space background so your eyes have a resting place.