9 Cliché Decorating Rules We Should All Start Breaking

While some decorating rules of thumb are definitely worth paying attention to—think: "Decorate rooms one at a time" or "Always design rooms around furniture"—others are made to be broken. To prove our point, we asked a few of our favorite designers which old-school decorating clichés they believe should be ignored, and their responses didn't disappoint. Read ahead for nine decorating clichés our experts say you should avoid following.

1. The Rule of Threes

"There's this very cliché rumor that if you do a pop of color in a room it should appear in three different places, which is just such a funny thing to suggest! I never think a room should be that contrived. Accents are great when they are unique." —Alyssa Kapito, Alyssa Kapito Interiors

2. There's No Room for Experimentation

"It's not necessary to match every single item in one room. In fact, we always mix it up. Many people fall into the habit of matching the artwork with the couch and the rug and even an accent piece such as a throw pillow. Experiment by incorporating different patterns and colors that go well together in order to add character. We like to mix vintage with new and love texture." —Caroline Grant and Dolores Suarez, Dekar Design

3. All White Walls are Boring

"I think that people tend to think that white walls are boring, but personally, I love white walls. There are many shades of white, one for every taste. White paint brightens and expands spaces visually, and it's a blank canvas that can inspire you to engage and play with more daring colors in your accessories (which are easier to change)." —Anjie Cho

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3 Ways to Bring the Outside In

The summer may be winding down but that doesn’t mean the warmth and relaxation of the outdoors has to go with it. Bring that same summer sun-drenched comfort and vibrancy indoors with these three simple steps.  

Indoor Planters

For many, the warm weather seasons kick off with a mad dash to the nearest garden center. There are flower beds to populate, veggie gardens to plant and a generous assortment of flower pots and window boxes to fill. Just imagine how beautiful all that green and color would look inside your home

Don’t get tied down to standard indoor planters. Traditional outdoor options like window boxes are a great way to bring the outside in.  Start by picking a window box that compliments your décor. You’ll have your choice of materials like wood, iron, cooper, and wicker. Consider creating a kitchen window box and fill it with fragrant and flavorful herbs you can cook with!

Another perk of using a window box? Instead of filling the box itself with dirt and planting directly in it, use it to corral smaller, separate pots of your favorite plants. If you need to replace a plant, it’s simple to just slip out one pot and make the switch. Likewise, when it’s time to water the plants, remove the pots and water the plants in the sink. Once the excess water has drained, return them to the window box. 


Clutter can make a room feel restrictive. Simply organizing your space can open up the room and make it feel more inviting. As you’re cleaning, use natural cleaners with fresh scents. Imagine the woodsy scent of tea-tree oil or a little bit of lemon lingering in your living room. Makes you smile just thinking about it, doesn’t it? Now, throw open those windows and let the great outdoors shine in! Inviting more natural sunlight will enliven your space. Don’t forget a little TLC for your window treatments too. Wipe down the blinds and wash (or dry-clean) your draperies. 

Draw color and texture inspiration from the outdoors

When you think of being outdoors, what colors do you think of? Whether it’s the lush green of grass, the salty blue of the ocean or the warm yellow of the sun, bringing those hues into your room is a fantastic way to welcome the outdoors into your home! 

While a fresh, clean coat of paint will make your space feel fresh and bright, you’ve got other options when it comes to color. Introduce pops of outdoor-inspired hues with accessories such as pillows, blankets and rugs. Even candles, vases, and wall décor are fantastic options.

What’s your favorite outdoor place? If you’ve got a picture of it, frame it and hang it! Look for paintings, prints and design elements that mimic the scenery and texture of your outdoor sanctuaries. If you’re a beach person, for example, weathered grey wood textures mimic water beaten driftwood, while cool blues, greens and white bring to mind the water and elements like sea glass and shells. Is the forest more your style? Choose accessories in natural wood finishes and greens.  

If you find yourself wishing you could spend more time outdoors but the seasons or your schedule are making it difficult, bring the outdoors in. If you incorporate these steps, don’t forget to come back here and share your pictures! Which step will you try first?

by Anjie Cho