Design Lesson
Dec 3, 2012

10 decorating myths debunked

By: Sarah Subnath

10 decorating myths debunked Author: Style At Home

Design Lesson
Dec 3, 2012

10 decorating myths debunked

By: Sarah Subnath
Have you always thought that when you’re decorating your home, you have to have everything completed all at once? Have you ever bought all the furniture, accessories and painted the walls within the span of a week, just to get everything finished? Or have you ever thought that your space should reflect just one style and you shouldn’t mix floral patterns with plaids because it’s just ‘wrong’? Well guess what? These are just some of the many decorating myths that many of us have followed for far too long. So we checked in with Toronto-based design expert Lindsay Agnew to get these myths debunked. “You can and should do these things!” she says.
Decorating myth #1: Everything should match

“Matching is so boring,” says Lindsay, adding that matching decor items is not wrong, but it’s the easy way out. She explains that a well-designed space does not have matching pieces, and in order to create a visual interest in a room, it is better to complement rather than match. Matching is very restricted, so she advises to avoid things like furniture sets.

Decorating myth #2: Line up furniture against the wall

It’s often thought that furniture should be lined up against a wall because furniture pieces need to be grounded against something, says Lindsay. She says not many people know how to float furniture nor do they know how to space plan correctly. If it suits to have furniture floating, she recommends working to make it happen. She advises that putting in the time, effort and perhaps having the help of a designer’s eye can achieve this. Since it requires a lot of time and effort, this may be the reason why people just push their furniture to the wall, she explains.

Decorating myth #3: A decorating plan should include all of the latest trends
“This is only good if you want to create a contemporary space,” says Lindsay, about having a decorating plan that includes all of the latest trends. She explains that trends can date themselves very quickly; hence it’s better to stick with classics. Lindsay suggests adding trends in smaller pieces so that they can be easily removed and replaced throughout the months and years.

Decorating myth #4: Pick one style and stick to it
Picking just one style and sticking to it can be boring, just like matching your decor, and if the style is trendy at that time, it can get outdated. Each space in the house has its own function and needs to be stylized that way, says Lindsay.

Decorating myth #5: Don’t mix florals and plaids
Lindsay feels this is a myth because mixing florals and plaids was done so poorly in the past, that people are now scared to mix the two in their home decor. Nonetheless, she says it can be done, but with caution. “If mixing florals and plaids, make sure they do not compete with one another, they do not reoccur too often in the same space and that they have different scales,” she advises. “Don’t match them, but rather coordinate them.”

Decorating myth #6: Don’t mix silver and gold
Just as in fashion, says Lindsay, many people think wearing just one metallic colour at a time is the right way to accessorize. It’s thought that if you wear a silver shirt, you should wear all silver jewelry and accessories. However, Lindsay says that mixing metals has become popular and should be done. It allows for some adventure in your space, she says. Mixing tones such as silver and gold “adds sparkle and interest in the layers,” says Lindsay.

Decorating myth #7: Don’t wallpaper the bathroom
The common fear is that wallpaper discolours, gets mildewed and dirty, cannot be cleaned and may eventually peel off in high-moisture spaces. However, Lindsay says wallpaper has come a long way and these days, there are wallpapers that can be used specifically in the bathroom. If you choose to wallpaper your bathroom, she suggests using vinyl wallpaper, which is durable and buying stronger paste that will allow it to stick more securely to the wall.

Decorating myth #8: Beige goes with everything

Beige does not go with everything. Beige is its own colour and should be treated that way, says Lindsay. It’s often seen as the scapegoat because it’s easy to pair and seems to match well with all upholstery, says Lindsay. It’s perceived as the most common neutral and an easy choice when decorating. However, if you’re going the neutral route with your decor, think of beige as a colour on its own and perhaps explore other neutrals with it as well, she advises.

Decorating myth #9: Neutral colours are boring

Neutrals don’t have to be boring, says Lindsay. However, just like beige, neutral colours are their own colour and when used properly, can be very eye-catching in a space. Having just one neutral such as all white in a room may look serene, but try mixing up your neutrals to add some spark.

Decorating myth #10: Navy and black don’t go together

Historically, it’s been thought that navy and black should not be paired, and that it’s taboo to do so. Nonetheless, Lindsay says it can be done. Pairing the two colours, using fabrics, paints and stones of varying shades of these colours, allows for an attractive and edgy design and space, she says.
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10 decorating myths debunked