Sunday, October 5, 2014

design rules you should throw out the window

The Modani Modern Furniture company is reaching out to design bloggers to write a post about Design Rules to Throw Out the Window.

Well, I didn't even realize there were official rules for interior design. And I had a sneaking suspicion I had broken them in decorating my home. Oh, I know what looked best to me, like uneven numbers for a grouping of objects. But if you only have two? Then two it is. The Decor Police are not as stringent as the Fashion Police. I hope.

So here are the five rules to toss:

Rule 1. Stick to one style. Really? Mix away, baby! I would just say, use common sense and follow your instincts. If you think you might have gone too far, then you probably did.

I'm going to take a chance that you won't shrink back in horror and show an example of rule breaking in my own home. Actually, I think I broke both rules 1 and 3 here.

In the livingroom: Traditional and Industrial.

Rule 2. Match your colors. Hmmmm. That's old thinking isn't it? To pull the pink out of a painting and match the sofa and loveseat to it? You don't HAVE to do that. Really. Although I overheard two women doing exactly that the other day. They were carrying around a print, looking for items that matched the colors.

No, you can get bold like this example from Apartment Therapy. Or even crazier like the example in Modoni's Rules graphic above.

Rule 3. One pattern per room. I have seen real-life horrors because someone followed this rule. Imagine a room full of plaid. Or a room completely done in a pastel floral pattern.

There are wonderful examples of mixing patterns all over the internet  Be as wild as you want, just mix patterns with thoughtfulness and taste. Just like you would do your clothing.

 Did I break this rule? Of course I did. And I did it on just one piece of furniture.

My beloved Tuffet
And I plan to do it again since my chair is showing signs of needing attention. Below is my inspiration from Renewal Home Decor. Be still, my heart.

Rule 4. Neutral colored walls for small spaces. In my opinion that would make your home look like a rented apartment. The new thinking is put bright colors in small rooms. Color experts 
from HGTV to Sherwin-Williams support the concept that bright colors make a room look larger. (A decade ago they were behind the neutral walls rule. Do you see why the rules should be ignored?)

A while ago in InStyle magazine an editor wrote that aviator sunglasses were soooo yesterday. Don't wear them at any cost. Later on in the very same issue an article claimed aviators were The Thing. Don't wear anything else.

Whatever. Let's do what works for US.

Rule 5. Dining chairs stay in their own set. This is my personal favorite and I'm not even sure what it means. Are they supposed to match the table or just each other? See? I'm such a little rule breaker that I don't even understand the rules. But, I love chairs and wouldn't dream of having just one style or just one color around my table. I want one of every style. My own chairs are mis-matched and have been forever. They each have different feedsack upholstery and are different styles. What holds them together is that they are unpainted except for the white chairs at the head and foot of the table.

My dining room from about a year ago. The photo is already outdated.

Ironically, as I cruised the web looking at chair combinations, I came across Rules for Mis-Matching Chairs. Seriously, 6 rules for mis-matching chairs. In the article they also mentioned mis-matched couch cushions, an idea I find intriguing.

There are rules for everything. There are even more "decor rules" that aren't even addressed here. I ran across "Don't mix metallics.' The first images that popped into my mind were the harsh chrome pieces of the 80s. Or the brassy gold of the 70s. Thank goodness we have better choices now. Oil-rubbed bronze, patinaed copper, brushed silver. They can be wonderful in the same room.

Bright gold and padded walls? This room received kudos in one "rule" article I ran across. It's all subjective. The author loves this room whereas I would have been thinking 'Please, please, don't make me go in there'. So, who is right?

Let's consider the 'Rules' to be just guidelines.
Then let's go do what looks best.

I was not compensated in any way for doing this post. 'Case you were wondering. :-)

I want to thank Modani for suggesting this post. This was educational for me. I had a lot of fun doing the research. And I'm pretty sure I know all the rules, now. Follow them? Well ...... probably not.

I saw that decorators are trying to bring back bright gold. Really?
Please visit Modani's website and check out all the wonderful things they have. It's more than just furniture. There is decor, lighting and kid's furniture to explore.  

Also, there are many Modani Modern Furniture stores across the United States and Canada. If you are lucky enough to live close you can check the pieces out in person rather than just online.