Break the Decor Rules – 8 interior ideas that go against the ‘norm’

When it comes to interior design, we sometimes get caught up in all the rules! Styling tips, current trends and décor faux paus can dictate how and what we include within our homes. However, I think it is about time we tore up the list of dos and don’ts and focused on what we like, decorating our homes with plenty of personality and bravery. Ignore the uber styled magazines and social media accounts – decorate your home by pushing boundaries and showing off what makes you YOU!

Here I list 8 interior ideas that go against décor the ‘norm’:


Sleek interior design often involves a lot of ‘matching’, whether it be colour schemes, style eras or the smaller details such as our fixtures and finishes. Blending a combination of metals like chrome, brass, copper, or stainless steel may normally be frowned upon, but I say go for it. By selecting and sticking to one metal finish you limit the possibilities within your home. A considered balance of shimmering metals can have a fresh twist and delightful impact on your space and what better way to add that necessary wow factor. 


If you have purchased your dream home, make sure you decorate it solely for you and avoid ‘responsible’ décor decisions that consider a future in which you may sell your home. Everybody likes to put their own stamp on a home anyway, so prioritise your genuine and authentic individual style. Interiors can be altered and changed, so live (and decorate) in the now, no matter how wild or unusual it might be. 


Selecting coordinating chairs is a typical design choice and although we have seen the notion of mixing dining chairs in recent trends there is still a tendency to pick comparable periods, palettes, and materials. Change up your seating selection by choosing accent pieces and putting them all together. When decorating your living room do not be overly concerned about pairing sofas and armchairs, instead get courageous and daring with your options, fashioning an environment that feels truly exclusive and distinctive. Ensure your choices have harmony with one another but do not be constricted by a precise, specific design scheme.


We are repeatedly told to include as much light as possible within our homes with darker colour palettes frequently seen in more macabre or eclectic interiors, normally constricted to smaller spaces. Yet, you can tear up the rule book and embrace darker tones as much as you like, as there are many examples of elegant interiors with off-black, aubergine and navy hues that feel warm, appealing, and graceful. Darker colours are not only for those with eclectic or bold style, Gairnshiel Lodge shows how minimalism and a black colour scheme can feel sophisticated, simple and stunning. 


Speaking of colour, interior designers love to focus on the colour wheel and select palettes that work well based on where they sit in relation to one another. Whether it is a complimentary, triadic, or analogous design scheme there are formulaic rules as to how we should pair our choices. Why not embrace clashing colours and select your favourite tones rather than what you are told goes together. Red with pink, green and blue or even off-black paired with navy are unusual colour blends yet when utilised with careful thought, confidence, and panache, they can look and feel fabulous.


We are frequently worried about size and scale when decorating our homes, making sure the space is not overwhelmed by our design choices. However, we tend to air on the side of caution, which in turn restricts our options and décor courageousness. Do not let size limit you, as an alternative play with the scale in your home, whether it be covering your walls with lots artwork, investing in an oversized floor lamp, or treating yourself to a super-sized bathtub. Your home is a place where you should feel content, relaxed and most like yourself, so ramp up the fun factor and quieten down those voices that tell you too big is too much!


Matching wood materials tend to lend themselves to specific interior styles, for example pine furniture within a farmhouse or country home. If you want to mix it up, select a diverse choice of wood finishes from beech to oak, or yew to cork. By blending a variety of wood, you eliminate the style labels and instead have a home with natural warmth, character, and comfort. 


The design ‘rulebook’ tends to instruct us to have a balance of tones within our home, yet what would happen if you went rouge and decorated in only ONE colour? Heighten the distinctiveness of your space and splash your favourite hue everywhere. Small accent colours, unconventional shapes and differing textures can help distinguish features within the interior. Why not be daringly bold with your style, embracing the colour you love. Rules were made to be broken!