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Design Rebellion 101: Old School Rules Worth Breaking

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Laura
04.22.13

When it comes to your home, sometimes it pays to be a rebel with a cause: injecting character into your abode. Life is too short to live in a space without personality! To achieve a higher level of domestic expression, sometimes you need to second guess “the rules” and take some risks. You need to become the James Dean of home décor.  

You in? Cool. Here are eight old school bylaws worth breaking.  

“Couch + coffee table = living room.”

These days, our lifestyles are diverse. It’s only fitting that your living room follows suit and supports your unique home habits. If you’re more of an entertainer than a TV watcher, a collection of chairs may be smarter than a sofa. And for those in motion, a couple of ottomans with trays are far more flexible than a table. Do your own math for extra livable results.

“Every room needs an overhead light.”

Let the record state: there is nothing shady about forgoing a central ceiling light. In fact, a strategic assortment of floor and table lamps, hanging lights or even candles can give you the power to set a room’s mood in a way that no single overhead light could.

“Outdoor plants stay outdoors.”

It’s no secret that bringing plant life into your home is good for your health, but expanding your repertoire beyond the usual species can score major design points. Unconventional indoor plants like the Pregnant Onion and Staghorn Ferns are nature’s abstract art. Bonus: They’re low maintenance, too!

“Pick a style and stick with it.”

Whether your style skews shabby chic or country kitsch, industrial or art deco, don’t feel pressured to stick to one look. In fact, layering shapes, textures and eras is a surefire way to add depth and staying power to your décor.

“Artwork and mirrors should be hung on the wall.”

Leaning framed art and mirrors against the wall can create a relaxed vibe. Still, be thoughtful about where pieces are placed, taking care to group smaller works together while keeping larger ones solo. This will keep the look intentional, instead of sloppy.  

“Clothes should be kept out of sight.”

As closet creativity hits its stride in the home décor scene, we suddenly see our clothes in a whole new light. With chic hooks and shelving, your hat collection or assortment of vintage scarves can double as a statement décor piece. The key is to be thoughtful with your displays and to avoid overloading an area.

“Art is an investment.”

Let frames be the great equalizer and surround yourself with creations that make you feel something. This could mean a Warhol, of course, but it could also be an old magazine cover, your kid’s finest collage work or a cluster of Instagram prints. These are the things that show your personality and make your house your house.

“Keep small spaces light.”

Actually, bringing deep hues and bold patterns to a small room can help achieve new heights of personality and richness. Plus, small spaces allow for manageable experiments. (Hello, black bathroom.)

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