Maybe I’m a rebel? Or maybe in a hilarious turn of fate, it turns out I really have terrible taste after all. It’s just that it seems that lately, I keep seeing all of these lists of home decorating rules. And somehow, I’m breaking all the rules.
You know the lists. They are one of two kinds. Either the “out” lists… the ones that show that shiplap or granite countertops or pink pineapples or whatever trend is now “out” just as you finish installing it. Incidentally, this is what happened to me as I did my design plan for our laundry room– Domino decided pink and pineapples were on their way out. And I plastered my laundry/bathroom walls with pink pineapples.
That kind of list doesn’t bother me much actually. I kind of think of them as like the popular girls in high school who decide the fate of all the trends. You kind of want their approval, but by senior year, you’ve grown up so much that you’re just kind of like, eh, if they don’t approve. Know what I mean?
But the other kind of list does kind of get under my skin a little bit sometimes, to be honest. These are the lists with the rules, the home decorating rules, the rules for interior design of your home. And even now, at 41 years old, having been married and designing our home for 19 years, they still make me question my design choices sometimes. Which honestly makes me a bit mad at myself.
You know which home decorating rules I’m talking about. Ones like:
“Always hang your curtain rod as close to the ceiling as possible.” But in our informal farmhouse style home with 12 foot ceilings, that would look ridiculous.
“Make sure your gallery wall artwork has a common theme or color way, or at least your frames do.” Most of our artwork is family or thrifted, and I choose it because I love it. That’s pretty much the only common theme. None of the frames match or are even similar, and I’m pretty sure at least a couple are poster frames.
Incidentally, here I’m also breaking the rule about no cords showing.
“Stay away from themes in decorating unless you want to end up on an out list.” Um, see our laundry room. Plus Beau’s room, currently in progress. And, I’m down with themed kids rooms if that’s what they want. Unless you truly went over the top with the design in the first place, it’s really not that hard, or expensive, to make updates to a kid’s room.
But an article I read a few weeks ago about a home decorating rule really got me. It was all about using color in your home. But the general message was, the rule is really, don’t use color in your home, unless it’s a neutral. Bright, happy colors (like I use and love) can overwhelm your family and guests.
I had to consider this, as the source was a designer I love and respect.
The mint green cabinets and pops of color in the kitchen?
The colorfully styled built ins and blue ikat couch in the library?
The pink trim in the master bedroom?
The mix of old and new in the living room that make it a colorful, yet comfortable spot for our family to hang out?
I just can’t. I can’t picture our house if we followed the “rules”. With just whites, grays, and blacks, with maybe a touch of navy. With curtains hung just inches from the 12 feet high ceilings and artwork that made sense and kids rooms that were more a reflection of what I wanted than what they wanted.
I’m not saying that following the rules gets you a boring house. I’m just saying it’s not always us. I like our quirky little house that probably would overwhelm a lot of designers who walk in the door.
I know that the rules are there to serve as a guideline to help with a thoughtfully designed home and I’m grateful for them. I also know I’ve given plenty of guidelines on this blog too (choosing paint colors, etc). But first and foremost, and I know I’ve said this before, you do you. And don’t let the rules stop you from designing a home that you and your family love.
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