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Interior Design Rules That Have Become Outdated in 2023

Interior Design Rules That Have Become Outdated in 2023

Like many other disciplines, interior design has its rules and guidelines. These dictate space planning, colour selection and many other aspects of creating the perfect décor.

Luckily, the world of interior design isn’t static. Society changes and so do our lifestyles. With these changes, modifications to the rules of interior design are also inevitable. Here are some of the tenets that used to be written in stone but are now generally being disregarded.

The 60-30-10 Rule

The 60-30-10 rule used to be one of the main guidelines for colour selection in each of the rooms. According to it, the main colour in a scheme has to be used in about 60 per cent of the room’s décor, followed by a secondary colour (30 per cent) and an accent colour (10 per cent).

The rule aimed to make things easier for non-professionals, as well as for interior designers who’d adopt an analytical approach towards colour and furnishing selection.

With such a rule, however, come a lot of limitations. The problem with this guideline, just like with most others, is that it results in fairly formulaic outcomes that sometimes lack creativity and inspiration.

Interior designers today are putting intense, accent colours in the spotlight much more often. They’re also starting to use more than one accent colour. Such an approach brings intensity and power to a living space. Yes, it’s possible to go overboard with too many accents but having a professional handling the project is usually going to produce balanced, aesthetically-pleasing outcomes.

While using the 60-30-10 rule as a general guideline can make things easier, you don’t have to adhere to it 100 per cent. If you feel that adding more of an accent to a space will make it shine better, go for it! What matters is enjoying the end result and being in harmony with it.

Furniture Scale

As a general rule of thumb, the scale of furniture has to match the size of the room it’s being placed in. in other words, putting an oversized couch in a tiny living room is only going to make the space feel more suffocating.

This rule is another good guideline for non-professionals who may find it difficult to select good proportions. Interior designers today, however, are disregarding the guideline very often when working on small spaces.

Using only small scale furniture in a small room can achieve the exact same effect as the overstuffed couch – it will highlight the &tininess of the space.

One larger, accent piece that’s distinctively stylish and well-made will deliver some dynamics needed to let the room breathe. Don’t be afraid of fitting a sofa instead of just getting a love chair (if you have enough space for it, of course). Such a choice will create layers and also give you the comfort needed to enjoy your home.

Scale isn’t the only thing you should be concerned with. It needs to be examined in the context of placement. In other words, deciding where each piece of furniture is going to sit will be as important as making sure the size is right.

Matching Everything

The homes of days gone by used to look impeccable and way too matchy-matchy for comfort. Good thing is that the rule has been thrown out the window.

Matching everything will only result in a sterile, somewhat fake environment. Such choices are very easy to make (just buy an entire collection and you’re good to go) but they lack charm and personality.

Mixing materials, patterns and textures makes interiors more interesting. While doing layering like a pro can be very difficult, it’s the only way to give your interior design much-needed depth and sophistication.

Neutral Colour on the Ceiling

How boring is this rule? And how often do you see homes/offices that are bright and colourful but featuring only neutrals on the ceiling?

White, beige and grey are all typical ceiling paint colours. They’re safe but they are completely lifeless.

Today, ceilings are often called the “fifth dimension” because they provide enough space for an interior design statement. Slapping some neutral paint on a ceiling is simply not enough to make the décor astonishing all the way through.

Putting wallpaper on the ceiling is a fun little experiment that some interior designers have embraced in an attempt to add visual interest to that neglected space. Ceilings can also benefit from metallic finishes or even the placement of art for a nice surprise very few people will be expecting.

Matching Wood Stains

You’re probably seeing a pattern here already. Most outdated interior design rules focus on matching elements, be it colours, patterns or materials.

The rule extends to the finishes and stains used on wood colour throughout the home. The old-school guideline is to always use matching wood tones in an attempt to achieve cohesiveness throughout.

We recommend disregarding this rule and having a bit of fun.

Wood, just like all other elements inside the home, doesn’t need to match. In fact, different stains can be used to create interesting accents and direct attention towards the most impressive parts of the décor.

You can also play with finishes, making some shiny while keeping others matte.

If you don’t know how to bring eclectic fun into your home, contact Home Guide now. We enjoy ambitious, fun projects filled with quirkiness and character. Our residential portfolio is diversified enough to make us comfortable with most styles and modern possibilities the world of renovation enables today.

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