When we consider redecorating a room, it’s helpful to consider what rules designers follow. It’ll save us from expensive mistakes and create a design that feels comfortable as well as beautiful. But then, some rules are meant to be broken and creating an interior design that is filled with all that we love is really the only thing that will make us smile when we are done. 

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1) Take the one or two pieces we love the most and use them in the design. This rule will make us happy and allow us to enjoy ourselves every time we walk into the room. This could be a statement piece or a spiritual piece, an antique or a homemade piece. It’s OK to mix styles and colors when we are mixing a loved piece with another loved piece. Let the love bring the styles together.

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2) Layers, colors and texture are what make us feel warm and cozy. The soft fabrics, the faded colors, or the use of natural woods and organic fabrics all combine to wrap us in their soft and gentle arms.

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3) A coffee table should be 17 inches from the sofa and the coffee table should be 25% to 30% smaller than the sofa. Proportions allow for optimal traffic flow, practical use, and proportions to feel comfortable. Comfortable, useful and beautiful are what we are trying to accomplish.

4) Lighting is essential and possibly the most overlooked feature in home design. Overhead lights, sconces, table lamps and floor lighting should be worked into the design. It should be both functional and beautiful.

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5) What we put on the walls is as important as the furniture we fill the room with. When we look at a painting we should be able to look straight into it and not have to look down or up. As a starting point, the center of a painting is usually 4.8 to 5 feet off the ground. Small or large paintings can be the exception to this rule and add interest when placed at different heights. It adds interest to consider fabric or metal pieces on our walls.

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6) We are expected to put window covering everywhere, but when our view is private, consider allowing nature and the view to shine and leave the window uncovered. Where privacy is an issue, window coverings make practical sense. Let drapes hang a half inch above the floor. Some designers like to puddle drapes on the floor, and that can appear dramatic, but that can be impractical when they are opened and closed often. Before we order coverings decide if we want to expand the space higher or sideways or show off window molding or hide them. Window coverings can make a window feel larger or smaller than it really is.

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