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Rethink 8 Old-School Design Rules



When it comes to your home, sometimes it pays to be a rebel with a cause: injecting character into your abode. Depending on your situation, certain design “rules” may actually be holding you back from greatness. Life is too short to live in a space without personality! If your home could use a design upgrade, consider breaking one of these old-school décor rules.


How To:

  1. 1

    “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. So, if you’re more of an entertainer than a TV watcher, try replacing your coffee table with a couple of ottomans and trays, instead. They are far more flexible than a bulky table!

  2. 2

    “Every room needs an overhead light.” If you want a room in your home to feel more inviting, take a serious look at the lighting. Forgoing a central ceiling light for a strategic assortment of floor and table lamps can give you the power to set a room’s mood in a way that no single overhead light could. So, if you have a “cold” room with an overhead light, consider removing it (or just keeping it off ).

  3. 3

    “Outdoor plants stay outdoors.” It’s no secret that bringing plant life into your home is good for your health, but expanding your plant repertoire beyond the usual species can score major design points. For a quick design upgrade, add some unconventionality with abstract outdoor plants like the Pregnant Onion and Staghorn Ferns. Bonus: They’re low maintenance, too!

  4. 4

    “Pick a style and stick with it.” No matter how you style your space, there’s no reason that every “look” you create should be a permanent one. To change it up, layer different shapes, textures and even eras to add depth and staying power to your décor.

  5. 5

    “Artwork and mirrors should be hung on the wall.” Believe it or not, it’s not necessary to hang every piece of art you own on a wall. Try something new! Leaning framed art or mirrors against a 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.

  6. 6

    “Clothes should be kept out of sight.” If you suffer from a lack of closet space, try seeing your wardrobe in a whole new light! With a few chic hooks and shelving, your hat collection or assortment of vintage scarves can double as a statement décor piece. Tip:The key to closet creativity is to be thoughtful with your displays and to avoid overloading an area.

  7. 7

    “Art should be bought.” Decorating on a budget? Instead of springing for the steep reward of gallery art, let frames be the great equalizer and surround yourself with creations that have sentimental value to you. This could mean 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 home.

  8. 8

    “Keep small spaces light.” Bringing deep hues and bold patterns to a small room can help achieve new heights of personality and richness. If you’re thinking about painting your closet, entryway or another small space, pick up a few darker paint swatches, too. Plus, small spaces allow for manageable experiments.

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