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5 Interior Design Rules to Break this Summer

by Lety Kachidza, SIKA Interior

The amount of questionable advice on the internet these days is enough to leave your head spinning, but we can all agree that there are a set of interior design rules, written and unwritten, that people have accepted as the holy grail when decorating their homes. Some rules are rooted in long-established principles of design, while others…well, they are just made to be broken.

Before you turn the rulebook upside down, a word of caution! If you’re going to bend the rules, you must do it well, so with each rule we’re going to break, be mindful of a few key tips that will keep you on the right path so that your home doesn’t end up looking arbitrary or haphazard.

1.Stop with the symmetry

Give yourself the freedom to arrange your furniture without being bound by the restrictions of symmetry. The asymmetrical design creates a warm, lived-in feel, with visual interest. The goal is to achieve casual, abstract balance, using a cohesive colour palette, repeating lines and patterns, and arranging objects with different heights and weights for variety.

Get the look:

To pull off this look, design around a focal point, and place objects in groups of odd numbers. To get you started, try placing an accent chair with an end table on one side, and a floor lamp on the other.

2. Mix those metals

A tasteful mix of metals oozes stylish confidence, however, with around 8 popular types of metals used in interior design, it can be a little intimidating to take the leap without the assistance of a professional designer. When attempting this rebellious style, there is one simple trick that can help you with mixing your metals to great effect - simply combine the metals within their colour undertone group.

Get the look:

Beware of Chrome and Nickel. While they both appear to be in the ‘silver’ family, they are not similar or contrasting enough to work together. Combine copper, brass, gold and nickel, which all have warm undertones, or try mixing chrome, steel and silver metals, which have cool undertones.

3. Nobody likes a wallflower

Furniture that is hugged up against the walls leaves very little room for creativity. As counterintuitive as it sounds, you must resist the urge to push furniture against the walls. You’ll be surprised how a room can instantly get more light, and look more spacious when larger pieces of furniture are positioned towards the centre of the room.

Photo: Chango & Co

Get the look:

Add depth and create an intimate conversational floorplan by floating a group of furniture towards the centre of the room. Be sure to create a traffic path around the entire seating area for maximum accessibility.

4. Enter the fifth dimension

Despite its ability to impact the proportions or add character to a room, the “fifth” wall of the room often gets forgotten, and standard white paint is all the ceiling will ever see in its lifetime. Treat the ceiling like another wall and do something bold, patterned or textured to complement your room but be careful not to go overboard.

Photo: Chango & Co

Get the look:

To execute this style tip flawlessly, select a wallpaper with two to three hues that match your furniture, combine tones that complement each other or go bold with one solid paint colour.

5. Don’t see eye to eye

Placement of wall art is a contentious subject that can only be laid to rest by agreeing that it should simply be a matter of preference. Pictures don’t have to be placed at eye level, or centered, or have identical frames, and all be of the same style. With that said, do be mindful of functional limitations such as glare and obstructive placement that could hinder movement.

Get the look:

For an extra punch of style and character, art can be used as a window treatment that can serve to block excess light or a particularly unattractive view.

Now you don’t have to go out and break the rules all at once, but a bit of inspired rebellion will go a long way to give your home a refresh this summer.


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