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Are you willing to break the rules? Here’s why you should ignore some of the most common interior design advice.

If you’re planning to renovate your home, we bet you’re being bombarded with advice from friends and family. You’ve probably done your research online, flipped through design magazines and spoke to numerous interior design firms. Throughout this journey, it’s very likely that you’ve come across some common (and sometimes conflicting) design advice from various sources.

The biggest lesson to learn is that no design advice is absolute. Something that looks great in your friend’s home might not work in yours, and what you see in a New York loft apartment obviously won’t work in your 3-room HDB flat. At the end of the day, it’s up to defining factors like your budget, personal preference and the physical restrictions of your home.

They say that rules are meant to be broken, and the same can be said when it comes to interior design. Here are are five common interior design rules that you can break.

An all-white home looks bigger and neater

It’s true that an all-white interior can lend to the illusion of space. White interiors make a space feel clean, open and uncluttered. The science behind this logic is that when your walls, floors and ceilings are all in the exact same shade of white, it’ll be hard for your eyes to distinguish how high a ceiling is or how large the floors are. This can then trick your eyes into believing that the ceiling is a little bit higher, the walls a little further away and the floors just a little larger.

However, introducing colour to the interiors can also control where your eyes are looking, and this means you can make a room look larger. For example, colour the far wall of a narrow room and you’ll make the space look larger; paint the wall that stretches from the living to the dining room and you’ll emphasise the length of the space; colour your ceiling a lighter shade and it can make the room look higher.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to use bright, bold colours. Different shades of off-white or a neutral palette work just as well in enlarging a space.

Mirrors will make a room look larger

Having walls of mirrors is a great way to make a space look and feel much larger than it actually is. Mirrors will literally double the visual size of the space. Of course this is just an illusion, but it definitely makes a space feel roomier. Large mirrors will also reflect light into a space, and natural light can make a room feel spacious and bright.

But having too many mirrors in your home runs the risk of making your home look like a funhouse. Instead of having wall-to-wall mirrors in every room of the house, pick a strategic location with maximum impact. Many designers like to place them in smaller areas like the dining nook. Just make sure the mirrors will be able to reflect a light source, whether it’s an open window, a balcony or even the ceiling lights.

A home needs to maximise its storage options

There’s no denying that having enough storage is paramount. In fact, many new homeowners underestimate its importance. You’ve probably heard stories about how a family’s belongings grow exponentially over time, and there never seem to be enough space to keep and store things at home.

There’s no denying that getting your interior designer to build shelves and cupboards will definitely help to alleviate your storage woes, but it’s also important to realise that maybe, you don’t need so much storage. With the rise in popularity of adopting a minimalist lifestyle, you should look into how much stuff you actually want and need. By cutting back your storage options, you might actually have to force yourself into thinking twice when it comes to filling up your home with unnecessary clutter.

You can worry about the lights once the renovation is over

There are a number of things a lot of homeowners tend to ignore when renovating their home. It could be the placement of your power points or the fixtures in your bathroom, but topping the list is the amount of lighting needed. Usually seen as an afterthought, lights actually play an important role in your home’s interior design. It creates ambience, sets the mood and can make a simple space look amazing. So consider them at the start of your reno.

Furniture is important and you should buy them now

Your choice of furniture and home accessories can make or break your interior design, which is why it’s important to be very careful when choosing which to buy. Get your interior designer’s help, as they will most likely be able to give you advice on what will and won’t work in the overall look of your home. When it comes to buying furniture, it’s a good idea to hold out for the right time: when your renovations are nearing completion. But a lot of homeowners get carried away in the excitement of having a new home, and they’d buy furniture before they have even engaged an interior designer or finalised the concept of their home.

Dressing up your home is a long-term process, and it’s always best to take your time. Just because you’ve moved into your home doesn’t mean that you need to fully occupy every corner. Start with the minimum, and as you grow into and utilise the spaces more, see what else you might need.


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