The Five Design Rules I Follow


One of the things I love best about home design is that there are no “rules.”  Okay, maybe there are a few, but eclectic design and the idea of expressing individuality in our spaces are definitely here to stay.

Items and styles that make your heart sing and are functional for your family are the best fit for your home.  I find that kinda freeing, don’t you?

It’s no secret around here that I LOVE to change things up at my house.  I live to rearrange, repurpose, and repaint (duh).  There are a few “rules” that I try to keep in mind because I think they make our spaces “work”.


        1. 1.  Texture
          1.      In order for a room to feel cozy to me, it must have variations in texture.  I’m pretty sure I learned this from Candice Olsen, she is the master of texture.  In each space, I try to include something shiny/sparkly, some natural materials, both smooth and nubby fabrics, and something alive, like a plant.
          2. My favorite textural elements are baskets, linen, knitted/crocheted blankets and throws, metal (both shiny and weathered), and preserved boxwood because I can’t keep a real plant alive. 
          3. Here’s a perfect example of a room full of texture, from Décor Pad.  If only it didn’t “break” my next rule…
          4. 1texture

2.  Contrast and Doses of Color

     As much as I love to gaze at pictures of neutral rooms, I’m never quite happy with that look in my own home.  I love contrast too much.  If you could visit my home, (and wouldn’t that be fun!?), you’d find room after room of neutral walls and furniture with plenty of color and pattern mixed in. 

Oh my, how I love this room, from Better Homes and Gardens.  A good dose of texture and color. 


3.  Graphic elements and typography

     I am not the tchotchke type.  I prefer a few larger accessories with big impact, and graphic patterns.

This room from Emily Clark makes my heart race. 




and this one, from Restoration Hardware, the flag and the toy basket,oh my.



4.  Flow

    My house has a fairly open floor plan, and I think it flows best when the color scheme is somewhat consistent throughout.  Wall colors are all neutral, and while not matching, coordinate well together.  (except for the foyer, but I’m gonna fix that).  My favorite colors of red, cream and brown with a little turquoise and a small dose of black are found in each room. 

As hard as I tried, and I REALLY tried, I could not find a good picture for “flow.”


5.  Function

     This one probably goes without saying, but with four kids, a hubby and a slobbery dog, I don’t have time or use for items that aren’t functional.  And durable.  And wipeable.  Did you know that when Boxer slobber dries it’s black?

As I apply “rules” 1-3 in my home, I have to consider function.  We are always in need of storage, and storage items like baskets, buckets and barrels are the best textural elements. 

I’m a sucker for red polka dotted anything, from office supplies, to Iphone cases, to dishware.

Graphic wall art, like US Maps, even helps with social studies homework.  I love this one from Etsy.


There you have it!  When I apply these 5 principles to my home, I find that each space feels good AND functions well for my family.  Until I decide to change it up again…

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3 thoughts on “The Five Design Rules I Follow

  1. Yes, change is good. But the longer you live in your house (30 years currently) the less inclined you feel to make a change. I like it the way it is and often struggle to find the energy to change. In saying that, we changed the spare bedroom this year err…my son moved out only 4 years ago, next year the other spare bedroom, younger son moved out 5 years ago. There’s so much to be done!

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