"Independence of Design Rules".
“The first rule about decorating is that you can break almost all the other rules.”
— Billy Bladwin
Here are a few common questions that I am asked about design rules:
How many patterns can I put together in one room?
How long should my draperies hang?
What is the best size area rug for my room?
Here are some of my answers to these questions:
Patterns create interest and depth to play off the other elements in a room. A pattern on an area rug is not always a part of the mix, as the area rug can be considered a piece of art that serves as a canvas the room sits upon.
Patterns and textures in the other soft elements of the room like the upholstery, window treatments and pillows can easily balance one another. A mixture of three is always good, however in larger rooms we can still add one more.
Drapery length is a variable that really depends on the use of the drapery and style. It's very common today to have the drapery length touch or sweep the floor. Many people still prefer it to hang an inch above the floor so that it traverses open and closed easily and does not pick up dust or pet hair.
The size of the area rug that is best suited for your room can depend on the purpose of the room, the furniture and the traffic patterns. For example, a dining room rug should be larger than the table by at least 18" on all sides so that a chair leg doesn't get caught when someone pushes the chair back. An 8' x 10' is generally best for this purpose, as most tables are close to 48" across.
A living room area rug should anchor the furniture to create a conversation area. If you have the legs of the sofa on the rug, then the legs of chairs should also be on the rug. If you have a smaller accent area rug that is your piece of art, then let the rug and the coffee table float in front of all the upholstery.
A room does not need to be used for the purpose that it was labeled when built.
Living rooms become Dining Rooms.
Dining room sometimes disappear in renovations as kitchens enlarge and walls are removed.
Bedrooms become offices.
Rooms on the ground floor become rooms to accommodate an elderly or ill family member.
Here are two 'living rooms' that were transitioned to dining rooms.