Decorating myths that need to be broken

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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There are so many old wives' tales about what you can and can't do, décor-wise, in your home but we think it's time for a good debunking session! Never forget that your home is your own and you can decorate it pretty much however you like! So, while there are some good guidelines out there, the rules are not as hard and fast as some people might have you believe.

We have taken the time to find some of our least favourite decorating myths so we can shatter them for you! Come take a look and see if we talk about any you have been told.

1. Don't mix your prints

This is such a pet hate of ours! Who says you can't mix and match some amazing prints, patterns and textures? We certainly think that you can and to amazing effect! Spots, stripes, paisley… anything goes as far as we are concerned, so this is one of the decorating myths that has to go!

Take a look at this picture from Ambienda. The colour might not be to your taste, but you can't deny that the mixture of patterns looks absolutely gorgeous! Adding depth, contrast and fabulous personality to the room, we think the happy marrying of styles has worked fantastically.

2. Artwork must be displayed at eye level

London Cityscape Print:  Artwork by Fox And Velvet
Fox And Velvet

London Cityscape Print

Fox And Velvet

Does art really have to be displayed at eye level? What if you want to recreate the Sistine Chapel on your ceiling? What if you like the idea of installing pictures at your pet's eye level? There are no hard and fast rules, so go with what feels natural and works well for you! 

Decorating myths can be so limiting, but we are glad to see that this example has opted for something a little different. Placed lower down, on a mantlepiece, this print is below eye level and guess what? It still looks fab! Let's all loosen up a little and start playing with preconceptions!

3. Hiring a decorator is expensive

This is so not always the case and is one of the really key decorating myths that we wanted to expose as being utter nonsense!

If you choose a recommended professional with a fantastic reputation, you will save time, money and inconvenience as an experienced decorator will oversee any project and only come to tell you when it is completed. What could be simpler or more worth the money? It's also worth nothing that they will be able to point you in the direction of cheaper supplies and materials and will not skimp on finish if they get bored of painting, which we think we can all admit to having done before!

4. A window without curtains is not decorative enough

 Windows  by G7 Grupo Creativo
G7 Grupo Creativo

SECTOR VENTANAS

G7 Grupo Creativo

Who says we always have to have curtains at our windows? What if the windows themselves are beautiful or lead out to a fabulous view? Why would we want to cover either of those things up? The answer is that we wouldn't and this is just another of those annoying decorating myths that have filtered out into society!

We think this living room looks absolutely incredible and that the inclusion of some framed pictures between the panes more than makes up for the lack of floaty fabric getting in the way. In fact, we think curtains would detract from this lovely scene. What do you think of that old wives?

5. Don't mix silver and gold

modern Dining room by Ámbar Muebles
Ámbar Muebles

Aparador Diseño Moderno Loris Claro

Ámbar Muebles

Oooh, we love a bit of mixed metallics and can't help but think that they offer wonderful contrasts to each other, while simultaneously screaming of harmonious luxury. 

Just look at the depth of colours on this wonderful Deco-inspired sideboard! The shimmering luxe of the gold and silver panels looks divine and what's more, as if they were made to be partnered! There is no clashing or detracting from the innate beauty of the furniture itself and more to the point, who cares if there was? If you like it, you do it. That's what we say. Decorating myths, be gone!

6. Dark colours make a room feel small

'Lego' Contemporary free standing double-faced bookcase by La Primavera: modern Living room by My Italian Living
My Italian Living

'Lego' Contemporary free standing double-faced bookcase by La Primavera

My Italian Living

Some decorating myths have elements of truth to them and this is one. Though dark colours can make a room feel a little smaller, that is only a perceived effect and can be easily countered with some clever lighting and fabulous furnitures selections!

Lots of natural light will prevent a dark room from feeling claustrophobic and will instead, give a cosy and welcoming ambience that extra lamps and lights will be able to support. Choosing large pieces of lightly coloured furniture will have a similar effect and effectively break up any large expanses of dark colour, leaving the room feeling sumptuous, luxurious and yet, still big enough to get a huge sofa in!

7. Artificial flowers are not stylish

Some decorating myths are born out of pure snobbery and we think this is one! Artificial flowers may not offer the same health benefits as fresh blooms, but they bring colour, beauty and style to a home nonetheless and all at a fraction of the cost of constantly renewing your blooms!

Well made artificial shrubs look fabulous in pots, dotted around the house, while faux flowers can now be bought ready placed into vases and secured with clear resin, to emulate water. We don't know about you, but we think that anything offering easy and convenient style has to be worth a try!

8. Furniture should be lined up against a wall

The last of our decorating myths is that furniture should always be pushed up against a wall. We see the logic here, as that would naturally make for the largest floorspace possible, but that doesn't mean it will be the most stylish, comfortable or appealing solution! In open plan living areas especially, furniture makes for great room dividers, so we think you should let go of notions of what you should do and try everything you want to do.

If you are a fan of embracing creative freedom and always seek to try more unusual techniques out, take a look at this Ideabook: 5 Eclectic Living Ideas. We think you'll love the mixtures of patterns, colours and styles.

Do you pay attention to design advice? Or do you make you own rules? Tell us your approach!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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