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decor rule to break: avoid mixing patterns

When executed correctly, patterns can help establish a more defined element to a space, especially in the bedroom!

“When it comes to patterns, we say the more the merrier, when curated thoughtfully and scaled correctly,” says Carly Burson, Founder and CEO of Tribe Alive. “Be it layered rugs or an assortment of various black and white printed throw pillows, finding one common thread (style, color, or shape) then mixing in other elements, makes for an effortlessly stylish home.” 

Discover the ultimate guide to buying and styling rugs here!

decor rule to break: 

wallpaper every wall of a room

You find a pattern you love, but just can’t quite commit to the entire space. Don’t sweat it. Test the print out on one wall, designated as an accent space. Think of it as a more cost-effective alternative to completely revamping a room. Plus, you may always go back and wallpaper the remaining walls as well. 

decor rule to break:

 each room should have a specific function

This holds especially true for small spaces. A living room can also double as an office or a playroom. A dining room as an extension to a small kitchen. Embrace furnishings that come with multi-purpose functionalities. In a small studio apartment, opt for a daybed in lieu of both a bed and a sofa. Offset limited counter space with a kitchen cart that can double as storage as well as an extension for added surface.

decor rule to break: steer clear of dark colors

“We are always told to paint light colors to make a space seem larger,” says Rob Hellander, Manager of Color & Design at Behr Paint, “but if you want drama, paint a dark color, it will really make a statement and show that you are not afraid to be daring and know what you are doing! One thing I was taught long ago is that if you know the rules, you are allowed to break them.”

decor rule to break: 

frame and hang your art 

When it comes to displaying art, there are a bevy of ways to go about it, aside from the traditional. Feel free to ditch the often pricey frames, or the idea that every single piece deserves a spot on the wall. We love the effortlessly chic feel of a handful of prints lazily stacked against a wall. Going frameless? Utilize fun accessories, such as an easel, or take to the walls with some decorative tape. Renters, take note.

When it comes to actually acquiring the art pieces themselves, start slowly.  “I encourage my clients to check out local galleries for emerging artists,” says Betsy Burnham of Burnham Design. “Collecting art doesn’t have to be an intimidating – or expensive – process. Once they find a few pieces they love, we always spend a little time and money getting the pieces framed. The result is a burgeoning personal collection, which says a lot about the person or couple, which in turn makes their decor all the more interesting.”

decor rule to break: 


tick to one aesthetic
So you’re a minimalist with a penchant for bold colors, exotically-sourced decorative accents, and traditional furnishings. There’s hardly any need to stick to just one of those style. Mix up your space’s identity by bringing in pieces that pay tribute to each and every one of your decorative quirks and preferences. 

decor rule to break: 

stick to uniform lighting

When selecting lighting, approach each space with its respective points of functionality in mind. Don’t be afraid to mix and match types, floor lamps and pendants included! Over the dining table, don’t opt for just a single source of lighting, bring in an eclectic assortment of pendants to really give the space some character and life. Psst! Neon signs totally count.

decor rule to break: 

when furnishing a room, opt for a set

It’s completely acceptable to source your furnishings from different brands, stores, and styles. Pair a modern sofa with a reclaimed vintage treasure to impart the look with a more detailed finish. Complement a rustic dining room setup with an eclectic assortment of chairs or lighting. These small swaps can help reinvent the aesthetic of a room by contributing a more thought-out characteristic.  

“You want your home to feel real and effortless,” notes designer Bradley Bayou, “the best way to do that is by combining the old with the new, in a variety of styles, so that the room feels like it was assembled over time.”

decor rule to break: pick the paint before the furnishings 

One of our favorite things about moving into a new home or a space, is repainting the walls. Aside from it being a fresh start, it’s an easy way to bring instant style and character to an empty room. Color expert Dee Schlotter, of PPG, advises that “when redecorating a room or moving into a new house, always pick your paint colors last. Choose your furniture and all other décor items first, as the paint can be matched to any decor!”

decor rule to break: cohesive seating is a must

We’re calling no dice on this one. One of our favorite trends of late has been that of mixing and matching seating, especially when in the dining room. Whether you’re opting for an assortment organized by color or style, it’s one surefire way to give your space the style-focused boost it deserves. Outfit a lengthy kitchen table with a bench on one side, and a diverse grouping of dining chairs on the other for an effortlessly chic finish. 

decor rule to break: 

pair every piece of furnishing with a wall

Don’t go out of your way to stack every piece of furniture against a wall. Place a console in the middle of a room to break up the various areas of a studio, or set a sofa with its back to the entry of a room, to designate a separate space for a makeshift living room, in an open layout. Utilize pieces such as bookshelves to break up an open space, doubling as a functional room divider.

decor rule to break: go easy on small-spaces

“One rule some designers seem to follow is to treat small spaces safe, when really it could be the perfect room for a dramatic wallpaper or a spectacular piece of art, something to make it really special,” says Interior Designer Jack Menashe, founder and CEO of Menashe Design.

“It’s most commonly said to use a lighter paint color to make a

room look

bigger – especially with smaller spaces,” adds Lisa Janvrin, Lead Designer of YouthfulNest. “That’s a good rule of thumb, however sometimes you want a room to feel more intimate, cozy, or even a bit dramatic. Since wall color sets the backdrop and the mood of a space, first consider how you want to feel in that specific room, and then choose your color accordingly.”

decor rule to break: symmetry is key

“We see so much beauty in the asymmetrical and imperfect” says Carly Burson, Founder and CEO of Tribe Alive. “Asymmetry gives any room the feeling of effortless freedom. Don’t be intimidated by asymmetrical design; have fun with the process and utilize different shapes, scales, colors, and prints to help bring your decorative vision to life.”