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10 Interior Design Rules To Break in 2017

When it comes to design, are you a stickler for rules or do you bend them a little? Here at Renonation, we’re telling you to break them. Because it’s already mid-way through 2017, and there’s no better time for reassessment and re-evaluation. Plus, rules are always meant to be broken.

Here are 10 conventional design rules that you might want a clean break with.

RULE #1: Match your furniture.

WHAT WE SAY: Says who? Matchy-matchy elicits memories of hospital waiting rooms, folks. Embrace pieces you love instead, even if they don’t sing to the same tune.

Designer: The 80’s Studio

Playing around with different colours, textures and styles in your pieces can help to increase the longevity of a space. Unmatched furniture is casual, cool and very you.

RULE #2: Rooms should be symmetrical.

WHAT WE SAY: Sure, a symmetrical space evokes all sorts of calm. But unless you have a serious thing for symmetry, it’s okay to have asymmetrical areas in the home where everything isn’t a mirror image of another.

Design: Zidane Design Associates

A “lopsided” room is more dynamic and feels a lot less prim and proper. The key to making this work is to have a central focus in a room. Then, pick different furniture or built-ins that have equal visual weight on both sides e.g. pair a long sofa on one side with two armchairs on the other.

RULE #3: Large furniture doesn’t go in a small space.

WHAT WE SAY: We get it; you live in a small HDB flat in Singapore that barely has enough walking space, let alone room for furniture. So you think the best way around this is to get the smallest of everything in the furniture showroom. But it doesn’t work like that. You can still afford a large sofa if you play your cards right.

Design: Chapter B

Having too many small pieces of furniture can lead a room to feel cluttered. Instead, vary the proportion and opt for larger pieces in small doses e.g. an oversized armchair with a slim and sleek sofa.

Here’s another tip: consider scale; that is, comparing a furniture with the space in the room. Does that chair overwhelm this space? Will that dining table look like it’s positioned in the middle of nowhere?

RULE #4: Small home? Go for an all-white colour scheme.

WHAT WE SAY: We’re going to debunk another small space myth. It’s perfectly acceptable to use colour in a small space. Of course, white helps to reflect light, which can make an all-white room appear bigger and brighter. But using other colours won’t shrink your home.

Design: WY TO

Bright pops of colours can add liveliness to a space, making it appear a lot roomier. Even dark colours, like an indigo or a deep red, can add depth to a room when used as accents.

RULE #5: Don’t use more than one print in a single space.

WHAT WE SAY: Don’t be afraid to mix and match prints in a room.

Design: The Scientist

Loud prints work best in muted colours so your room doesn’t feel too overwhelming. To avoid visual clutter, use prints in smaller accessories and have plenty of space in between the motifs.

RULE #6: A full-on pastel scheme should only be reserved for kids’ rooms.

WHAT WE SAY: Not true. But to make a pastel-hued space more sophisticated, you can always mix in metallic, rustic textures or even a colour as stark as black.

Design: Free Space Intent

If baby pink, powder blue and mint green is too saccharine sweet for you, you can always use more “grown-up pastels” like a soft apricot or a gentle turquoise.

RULE #7: Play it safe and go for neutrals for greater longevity.

WHAT WE SAY: This is one design rule we totally agree with. Neutrals are timeless and classic. They’re serene, calming and all sorts of good things. And one of the best things about them is that they can most likely stand the test of time. But neutrals aren’t the only things that will outlast trends.

Design: ZL Construction

If your personality calls for it, a patterned wallpaper makes for an interesting alternative to a plain neutral wall. The key is to choose a classic motif, so that you won’t tire of it after a couple of months.

RULE #8: Ceilings are supposed to be white, yo.

WHAT WE SAY: Look brah, ceilings can be anything you wish. Yep, white is a safe, inoffensive choice. It helps to brighten the room and have the space appear taller. But if you want to create a dramatic effect, go beyond white.

Design: Hue Concept

Have the ceiling paint match the ones on the wall. A dark colour would envelop you so the space feels intimate and cosy, while a lighter shade can create a soothing effect. Alternatively, make a statement with a ceiling in a contrasting colour to your walls.

RULE #9: Don’t confuse yourself. Keep to a single theme or period!

WHAT WE SAY: Never let styles limit you. Ever heard of eclectic design? It’s the mixing of different themes and eras together to create something that is entirely you.

Design: D5 Studio Image

Love the fuss-free designs of the Scandinavian style but the grunginess of the industrial theme? Go Scandi-industrial. Love the funkiness of the jungalow trend but can’t get enough of the clean style of modern mid-century? Channel both in your home using natural materials, greenery, outrageous hues and plenty of furniture with tapered legs.

RULE #10: Choose wisely. That design is for life.

Design: The Design Abode

WHAT WE SAY: Unlike more important commitments in life, such as marriage, the design of your home is not for life. Sure, your renovation cost you a good chunk of your savings and having an overhaul every few months is probably not feasible. But there’s always the option of moving things around, minor DIY jobs or swapping your home accessories for something else. So don’t be afraid to try something new or different.

It’s time to experiment and make your home truly yours. Which interior design rule are you willing to break?


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