8 Effortless Styling Rules Interior Designers Don’t Want You To Know


Do you follow any styling rules in YOUR home?

Styling your home usually feels overwhelming and like a never-ending process. We all aspire for that polished, perfect look we see on Pinterest or Instagram. But great design choices are beyond making a room feel and look good.

One of the biggest styling rules is that a well-designed space should also be well functioning. Unfortunately, we can’t all afford professional help to achieve a perfectly styled home, even though interior designers can be worth their fees.

They do have fabulous style, are great at locating hard-to-find pieces, and tend to have a careful eye for detail.

But learning the basics of styling rules isn’t that difficult, and doing so will give you the power to completely transform your home without having to hire an interior decorator.

We’ve done our research, and we came to the conclusion that great interior designs have the power to make a space feel more inviting and boost your experience in it.

So to have a well-designed home, here are the 8 basic decorating rules interior designers have been keeping from you!

Styling Rule
Photo by Justin_Krug at Shutterstock

Styling Rule: Lighting Matters

It would be best if you combined the lighting in your home to achieve the right effect and moods depending on how you use the room and space.

Lighting is one of many people’s most overlooked and vital aspects of a space because amateurs see all lighting options as relatively similar.

But, there are at least four different types of interior lighting to choose from, which can make the space more or less practical, welcoming, and safe depending on how they’re used.

For instance, a kitchen area needs task lighting that’s placed over work areas, while a living room needs more softly layered lighting to evenly illuminate the room without making it too bright.

Finding just the right balance will make your home feel more comfortable, no matter the amount of natural light you receive.

Styling Rule: Sometimes…Less Really Is More

A gorgeous design in your space is not always just about adding more items. It balances both function and form.

By trying to mix styles, types of furniture, contrasting paint colors, mismatched lighting fixtures, or any other elements that don’t work well together, you can easily ruin the functionality and charm of the way your home looks.

A great rule of thumb to go by is to ask yourself whether the component you’re thinking about adding contributes to the purpose and decorative needs of the room.

If your answer is no, and you’re adding design ornaments just because of your own personal taste, consider cutting them out and reducing the clutter. New features and exciting design aspects can always be added in later.

It’s challenging to scale down pieces that are more integral to constructing a specific room.

Styling Rule: Create A Focal Point

All the expert home decorators agree that a focal point is vital for tying a space together and deciding what types of lighting, furniture, and decor go best together in a room.

In some areas, the focal point may be very naturally defined by structural features like a bay window, fireplace, or kitchen countertop. In other rooms, the focal point can be artificially created using a specific and intentional arrangement of your furniture.

For instance, a giant couch that’s centered against a wall and has evenly spaced chairs that are placed on the opposite side of the couch will make the purpose of the space more apparent, and it sets the tone for how the room should be utilized.

Styling Rule
Photo by Ground Picture at Shutterstock

Styling Rule: Strategically Placed Art

Another simple yet important styling rule is to make sure that the art hung on your walls are at eye level. You’ll lose the effect of the art if you need to look up every time you want to admire it properly.

And before you argue that your eye level might be very different to that of another family member, experts recommend you merely aim for a happy medium.

Just don’t hang up any art at the eye level of your tallest family member! And don’t forget to hang your art a bit lower in the dining area and living room, where you’re most likely to be seated.

Styling Rule: Color Decoding

Adding some color to make a space pop has made a big comeback in home styling, and we love that it has. But there’s a simple styling rule: never mix color tones!

So, if you’ve embraced bold, primary colors in your home, adding a shade of pink or chocolate brown will completely clash. And you also shouldn’t go too over the top with colors, or you’ll create a room that’ll be hard to relax in.

Experts recommend sticking to the 60/30/10 rule. This means painting 60% of a room the main color, 30% the secondary tone, and 10% of an accent shade, which should complement but also contrast the other two.

Styling Rule: Include A Few Plants

Adding some beautiful plants will bring life into your house and make it feel more like a home. Most professional decorators will incorporate lots of greenery into a newly styled home. But you don’t need them. The concept is so simple that you can do it yourself!

Just choose a plant that goes with the amount of light you get in your home. And consider whether you want something with height or if a low and leafy option would be better for your space. There are many wonderful indoor plants out there that will suit your needs.

And remember that not only do plants look great in a home, but they’re also excellent for both our mental and physical health!

Styling Rule: Scale Is Vital

Just because you have a small space to work with doesn’t mean you should have minuscule furniture. In fact, oversized carpets, floor lamps, or art pieces can actually make your room look much bigger than it is. And the opposite is also true.

If you’re lucky enough to have large open-plan areas, don’t just limit yourself to large furniture. Make sure you pair your oversized couch with some small, huddled side tables. Group together some picture frames on your bookshelf or buffet.

You can also cluster together some tiny pieces of artwork rather than relying on just one giant piece. And place your rugs to anchor the chairs and tables, creating living zones. If it were all oversized, it would look terrible.

But having a large couch coupled with a small side table and some other bits and bobs, is pure perfection!

Styling Rule
Photo by Studio Romantic at Shutterstock

Styling Rule: Design Your Home For YOUR Family

This last one is probably the most essential styling rule we can give you. However you choose to decorate your home, your biggest priority should be creating human spaces. These are the areas that will be used, lived in, and, most importantly, enjoyed!

If you go all out and overdo the styling of your home, you might rob a room of its human appeal. You don’t live in a museum or some kind of art gallery.

Basic human needs can be accommodated with spacious, cozy, and naturally placed seating options in addition to welcoming colors, art, and a few other decor pieces. Keep in mind that people will actually need the space to walk around.

And natural walkways throughout your rooms or around the furniture and decorative items will make the area easier and safer to navigate.

We hope these styling rules have given you some fantastic ideas you can implement in your home. And if you’re interested in some more useful tips, we also recommend reading: 17 Things Professional Organizers Never Buy

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