If you are currently working on improving your home, or if you have in the past, you have probably heard all kinds of ‘rules’ for decorating it. Dark colors make rooms feel smaller…warm and cool colors don’t work together. But, in reality, no one can tell you how you can or can’t decorate your own home. Everything you have heard – they are all just guidelines. You may or may not choose to follow them.
Here’s your first decorating guideline to consider: There are no rules when it comes to decorating your own home. Ultimately, it all comes down to personal choice.
Decorating Guideline #2: Light colors make a room feel larger and dark colors make a room feel smaller. While this may be true, nowhere is it set in stone that you can’t decorate a large room with light colors or a dark room with small colors. I hear this all the time: “It’s a small bathroom so I can’t use dark colors.” I want to scold these people (but of course I don’t). Yes, you can use dark colors in a small room! If you don’t want the room to end up feeling like a cave, mix dark colors with lighter ones for a nice balance.
Decorating Guideline #3: Warm colors and cool colors can’t be used in the same room. That’s not entirely true, either. They most certainly may, and they can even look good together. Colors come in a wide spectrum; you may think of blue as a cool color, but it’s not always. There are blues with purple undertones (cool blues) and blues with green undertones (warmer blues). Pull a warm red and a warm blue together and what do you get? Try it and you’ll find out.
Decorating Guideline #4: Artwork should be hung at eye level. While it probably doesn’t need to be so high you have to stand on a ladder to see it, pictures and paintings may be hung wherever you choose. It will probably be most comfortable to view at eye level while standing (in a hallway) and while sitting (in the living room). However, some of us are taller while others are short; hang your artwork where you can comfortably view it.
Decorating Guideline #5: Everything needs to match. Everything does not need to match, unless you want your home to feel like a dorm room. Mixing and matching colors, textures, and patterns can be a good thing. The fixtures in your bathroom don’t all have to have the same finish. And, yes, you can mix plaid with stripes (just be careful!). But, really, if you want everything in your house to match, that’s your prerogative.
So if I get bossy and start telling you what to do, bear in mind that everything you hear or read about decorating your home is just a set of guidelines to help you out in the decision-making process. You may follow them in a way that you choose, or you may not follow them at all. It’s ultimately up to you; there are no rules when it comes to decorating your own home.