If you’re human, I can assure you that you’ve been led astray by a design misconception. Like designing a room and picking the rug last or painting a basement white thinking it will make the space feel brighter. We’ve all been told a few design lies which is why I’m discussing some of the most widely assumed design misconceptions today.
1 // ACCENT WALLS SHOULD BE A DIFFERENT COLOR THAN THE REST OF THE ROOM
I know, I know…you want to create a feature wall and the first thing that comes to mind is an accent color. Now that is certainly an option, but there’s more to a feature wall than simply painting it a different color than the rest of the room. Creating an accent wall is about creating a location in the room that the eye is naturally drawn to and this can be done with an oversized piece of artwork, a wall of windows with floor to ceiling curtains, a fireplace, vertical planking, picture frame moldings, or built ins. All of these attention grabbing features can be incorporated without painting one wall a different color and yet they still demand just as much attention.
2 // WHITE WALLS IN A WINDOWLESS ROOM MAKE IT FEEL BRIGHTER
A closet, pantry, bathroom, or basement…these are the most common areas that lack windows and natural light. People often assume if you paint a dark, windowless room white that it will make it feel brighter. Unfortunately that’s often not the case. White walls in a windowless room almost always feels sterile, flat, and dingy. Natural light brings white paint to life while overhead lights in a windowless room often does the opposite.
3 // MOODY COLORS IN A SMALL ROOM MAKE IT FEEL SMALLER
I absolutely love using dark, moody colors in small rooms! While white paint in a windowless room makes it feel flat; dark and moody colors can in fact make a small space feel bigger! Closets and powder bathrooms are two areas of the home that I highly recommend playing with dark colors and heavy patterns. You can get away with bold choices in tight quarters and if you hate it…well it’s not that much work to repaint the small room.
4 // PAINTING THE CEILING A DARK COLOR LIKE MY DARK WALLS WILL MAKE THE ROOM FEEL SHORTER
A dark ceiling with dark walls does quite the opposite actually. The harsh contrast between dark walls and a white ceiling will draw the ceiling down making the room feel shorter than it actually is. Painting your ceiling the same dark color as your walls eliminates the stark contrast making it more difficult to tell where the walls end and ceiling starts! Now if your walls are white and you have incredibly tall ceilings, you could paint your ceiling a dark color to make your ceiling not feel so high. It’s crazy how paint can create such dramatic illusions!
5 // YOU CAN’T MIX MULTIPLE PATTERNS IN ONE SPACE
Pattern play is so fun! I like to take advice from the fashion industry when it comes to patterns and I love to see designers boldly mixing them. Consider scale when selecting multiple patterns within one room. If you have wallpaper or a rug with oversized floral stems or large motifs, mix that with smaller patterns like pin stripes or gingham squares. Whether you’re mixing patterns within throw pillows or pairing your wallpaper with a rug, mix large and small scale motifs for a unified look!
6 // PICK A PAINT COLOR FIRST AND THEN DESIGN THE REST OF THE ROOM
I had this mindset for a long time and then I got some advice from a few designer friends who suggested otherwise. When it comes to decorating a room from scratch, all 5 interior designers recommended starting with the rug! It’s the foundation of the room and it provides you with a color palette that you can work with. I took their advice and I can’t tell you how much easier it has the made the design process because selecting a paint color to match a rug is much easier than finding a rug that matches a paint color!
7 // IT’S BEST TO MATCH ALL THE WOOD TONES IN YOUR HOME
I actually prefer to mix multiple wood tones within a home. It provides depth and variation that a single wood tone cannot do. If you struggle with mixing wood tones, I have some helpful tips on how to do that here.
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