5 Home Decor Rules You Can Break with Impunity
Any designer worth their salt will tell you that arranging the perfect space is both an
art and a science. But that doesn’t mean that designers don’t occasionally thumb their
noses at the rules – those "musts" that often take all the credit for making a room
These designers might argue that it’s not the rules, but applying them correctly that
makes a room a space you want to live in. And that includes knowing when to break
them. Yes, that means that good design is a balance of knowing when to follow the
rules and when not to.
Never Mix Metals or Woods
Breaking this rule can be hard for people to get their head around, but I promise, it’s
okay. Shedding this dated mandate can turn a stiff, overly arranged aesthetic into an
artfully arranged space. The trick is to make it look intentional. Gone is the advice your
great aunt gave you about keeping your woods and metals consistent.
These days, design is all about mixing it up. For example, the base of the Decorage
Contemporary Round Dining Table from Bernhardt features a hand-painted marble
finish while the stunning wood top features a stainless steel inlaid border. The base
and the tabletop don’t have to be the same. You are looking for a cohesive not cookie-
Always Hang Artwork at Eye Level
Most people do tend to hang art too high, so it’s easy to see how this became a rule.
And eye level is a pleasing height. You can easily see the art without craning your neck. It also keeps your art in close proximity to your furniture, rugs, lighting, etc, so
everything in the room relates to each other.
However, if all your artwork is hanging at eye level, things can go really wrong, really
fast. This rule is best suited for art that is about 30 inches tall and rooms with 8-9 foot
ceilings. If you have bigger art or higher ceilings, this rule can make your art look like it
is looming over your furniture. Instead, mentally divide your wall into thirds
horizontally, and position the top of your art toward the top of the middle third of your
Small Spaces Need Small Furniture
It’s true that jamming a small space with oversized furniture will not only fill up your
space, it will also make it look much smaller than it is. That doesn’t mean you have to
suffer through spindly chairs and scant seating to make the space look spacious.
Large-scale furniture works in a small space if it is part of a mix of smaller, space-saving
pieces. Done right, your room will feel more spacious rather than smaller. Begin by
prioritizing what is most important to you. A comfortable sofa that will accommodate
guests? A king-size bed? Go big where it counts and use smaller pieces to get what you
want most out of your space.
Choose a statement pieces like the Shadow Play Uptown King Faux Leather
Upholstered Headboard by Lexington. Because it is only a headboard, it gives you the
illusion of more space. Add bedside tables, wall mounted shelves, and hidden storage
to keep it uncluttered.
Never Put the Back of the Sofa toward the Door
This rule is a rule for good reason: it keeps the space feeling welcoming and open.
However, there are some sofa situations when you can creatively bend this rule. If you
have a large or long room, you can use a sofa to define the space. In this instance, you
can place the sofa with its back to the door and add a sofa table to make it seem more
welcoming. You can add another sofa on the other side of the table, so that the sofas
are back to back, and create intimate seating areas in a larger space. By breaking this
rule, you break a large room into unique areas that can work together or individually.
Fake Plants Are Tacky
What do you think of first when someone says “fake plants?” Dust catchers? Eyesores?
It doesn’t have to be that way. Artificial plants have come a long way. While visions of
the fake ferns, ivy, and silk flowers of the ‘90s may come to mind, these days, you can
find plenty of good-looking fake trees and plants. While the real deal may be
preferable, if you have a brown thumb, you can find fake plants that are the opposite
If you want to break the rules the right way in your home d?cor, contact one of our in-
house design professionals. They’ll help you get the look you want with the style you
If you are looking for more Florida-inspired decor, visit the Baer's Furniture store near you.
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