I am usually a rule follower. I obey stop signs, I don't cut the line and I never bring more than ten items to the express lane. However, when it comes to so called decorating rules, I live outside the law.
Who made these rules anyway and what will happen to me and my house if I disobey them?
Will my deed be revoked?
Will my friends stop coming by?
Will my home be...UGLY?? Gasp!
That's it, isn't it, if I don't do what the decorators and magazine articles say, my house will be ugly won't it?
Better Homes will never come by for a shoot, Ralph Lauren will not give me the thumbs up the next time he comes over and everyone at PTA is going to be talking about how awful it is that all my furniture is not anchored on the carpet.
That's it right?
Actually, I don't think so.
First of all, I've never even met Ralph Lauren, shocking, I know and the chances that any magazine editor is going to magically show up for a photo is remote, at best.
The truth is, nobody cares about your house, but you. You live there, day in and day out. You are the one looking at the color on the walls, the tile in the bathroom and the curtains on the window. The only decorating authority you should be answering to, is yourself.
You've seen and probably read the magazine articles, that cheerfully list the dos and don'ts of decorating; they infuriate me. These publications are not always helpful, they tend to speak in absolutes and sometimes exposure to all these "rules" does nothing but paralyze people and stifle creativity. Some of the most beautiful spaces out there have been created by people who dared to be different and defy the rules.
Even the rule makers say to add something unexpected to the room for interest.
I obviously take issue with many of the so called commandments, but today I will start with the one that bothers me most. It is the one that states, do not paint a tiny room a dark color, it will close in the space and make the room smaller.
Paint does not change the square footage of a room. The end. If it did, my taxes would be a lot lower and cleaning would take less time! Yes, lighter colors can certainly make a room appear larger or feel more spacious, as the light reflects off the wall, but it will not actually change the footprint.
So, if like me, you crave the drama that a dark color adds to a space, paint away, regardless of the size of the area.
My tiny hall bathroom has no windows, it is dark red and I love it. In my old house, my husband and I slept in a full size bed. It was not because I painted the master a dark teal green, it was because the room was ridiculously small. If I had painted it white, I still wasn't going to be able to fit a queen mattress in the room and it wouldn't have had the cozy, retreat feel I was looking for.
The dimensions of a room are never a factor, when I choose a color scheme.
I decorate with what feels right in my gut, what I like to look at it and what functions well for my family.
Of course, if you want a brighter look, then by all means, go light. If you love white, paint away, but don't pass up that deep violet or navy blue, because of some arbitrary decorating rule.
I promise no one's coming to judge you.
No one that matters anyway.
Do you obey the rules?
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I'm pretty opinionated when it comes to decor!