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7 Interior Design Rules You Should Never Break

Simple and foolproof, following these rules will create a balanced and considered space

Rules are meant to be broken, right? Well... not today! Instead of looking at it that way, this is a fool-proof recipe to interior design and styling success. Stick by these seven solid rules, and I can promise you, your space will feel balanced and complete. A lot of these rules are also there to make sure you don't get carried away with a specific trend or texture or colour, because often that would mean a overly contrived, static and stale space - obviously, we're always aiming for the opposite!


Regardless of style, these are the tried-and-tested styling rules you'll want to follow to ensure your home is always looking it's best.



1. PLAY WITH LIGHTING

Lighting is so important in creating an atmosphere. We will never install cool white bulbs, because we never design a space with a sterile, clinical or hospital-like vibe in mind, ya know? And in that same vein, it's also important to not only install drab down lights as your only lighting source in any space. Think about the design impact a stunning statement pendant will make as you step into a room. And don't you love how a sleek table lamp will light up a specific area? You'll effortlessly create an atmosphere with depth and height by varying your light sources, which should include floor lamps, table lamps, wall lights and pendants.


2. MEASURE EVERYTHING

These days, we're doing so much of our shopping online. Whether it's due to COVID restrictions, or just scrolling through insta and finding the coolest little boutique across the world, we're spending more time sourcing and shopping without actually ever seeing the item in real life. And we've all been there, haven't we? When that gorgeous new vase shows up and it's a miniature creation that definitely won't fit your oversized pampas grass! Or, even if you are shopping in person, these type of blunders happen all the time. If you don't measure your sofa, living room, and rug that you're dying to get your hands on, the chance are scarily high that you'll end up with an oversized sofa that barely fits in the room with an undersized rug that totally ruins the flow of your home. So this rule is simple - measure everything!


3. BALANCE YOUR SHAPES

When you think about it, we live in square spaces and fill it with boxy furniture. So to make sure your home or office doesn't end up feeling angular and sharp, put some thought into the shape of your dining table, coffee table, headboard, mirrors and even your walkways and door frames. Not everything needs to be rectangular! And these days arches and curves are totally in vogue, so you won't have a problem sourcing round tables or arched mirrors.


4. KNOW YOUR COLOUR PALETTE

One of the first things we do when we start working on a new styling project, is to hone in on the mood board and create a colour story that will work across the whole home or office space. This will be the foundation for your sourcing of furniture and the colours on your walls, and will allow the shopping for the rest of the home to be cohesive. If you're totally lost, try out the 60/30/10 rule: 60% should be your dominant colour (white/off white in the case above), 30% should be your secondary tone (such as the earthy timber and terracotta tones above) and 10% will be your accent shade - khaki and greens above. Ultimately the accent tone will stand out but still be cohesive and complimentary. Knowing your colour palette will ensure your shopping is focused and successful.


5. ADD GREENERY

Styling your home is ultimately about bringing life and character into the space in a way that feels uniquely you. And plants are obviously the most literal way to bring life into any room - bathrooms, balconies and bedrooms all will benefit from a little pop of green. And if you're not ready to commit to the real thing, don't worry, a faux plant in a gorgeous pot will do the trick - we won't tell anyone!


6. SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF

When it comes to styling, your decorative accessories are just as important as the dining table or sofa. A well designed and styled abode isn't just about the big stuff, it's about all the little things that work together to make the home feel unique and cohesive. Carve out areas where you can display pretty homeware, organise your books by colour, dress your sofa and armchairs with soft textiles like cushions and throws. It's all of this attention to detail that turns a house into a home.


7. NAIL YOUR ART HEIGHT

For one reason or another, most people tend to hang their art too high. I don't really have a magic number but the general rule of thumb is to hang your artwork at eye level. So naturally it's quite personal which is why I always make sure I'm on site doing it in person, rather than blindly telling my handyman to wing it as he sees fit. Art should dress the home and make it feel lived in and add a personal touch - it shouldn't be something that detracts from the space or distracts the viewer by looking up too high.

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