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The rules of decorating must never be broken, or so you’ve been told. Here at Fracture we believe that when it comes to home decor, rules are meant to be broken. “This pattern doesn’t go with that one.” “Those two pieces of furniture are nothing alike, therefore they can’t be in the same room.” It’s time to throw these old myths out the window and free yourself from their chains. Gear up and get ready to decorate any room in a style more suited to your unique personality and taste. End result: exponential happiness.  

Myth #1: Matching Furniture is a Must!

As the myth goes, most of the furniture in a room should belong to a matching set: a bedroom “suite,” a coffee table with matching end tables or even a dining table with its identical chairs. After all, they are sold this way.

It’s time to think again. Matchy matchy is boring boring. Instead, pick pieces that complement one another in other ways: upholstery tacks as trim for some of the pieces in a living room or bedroom; huge floral prints in primary colors; or wood dining chairs with similar back heights. Much like music, cohesiveness comes from pieces/notes that create a sense of harmony with one another, rather than duplicate one another.

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Have fun with it: use an ottoman as an end table; incorporate a pair of peacock-blue ladderback chairs around the dining table (and repeat the blue elsewhere in the room, in a piece of art or a random knick knack). See? Unmatched furniture creates a playful look you’d be hard-pressed to recreate with a furniture set straight from a store,

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Myth #2: White is the Only Acceptable Ceiling Color

No one ever strays from this color choice, do they? YES! The myth of the necessary white ceiling is perpetuated by the fact that white ceilings are the norm in many homes and have been for generations. It’s because white is the easy choiceit doesn’t clash with any wall color or covering. But white actually stands out more than any other color, according to Benjamin Moore, making the ceiling even more obvious. Instead, treat the ceiling like a wall and pick a color that helps enhance the look of the room as a whole.

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For instance, if the ceiling is so high it creates a sense of imbalance, use a hue such as a warm mocha to make a white-walled space feel more inviting. In a small room with a low ceiling, pick a ceiling color that complements the wall color, such as a soft, pale yellow for a room with orange or lime walls.

A bright, bold ceiling can also cheer up an all-white room that lacks neutral light, as is the case with the canary-yellow ceiling in this kitchen. The main takeaway here: color is your friend. And your ceiling’s friend, too.

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Myth #3: Only White for Photo Gallery Walls

Gallery walls are about as hot as Sriracha these days, but white on the walls behind in photos is as bland as unseasoned rice. Even real art galleries are trending away from white. The Museum of Modern Art is switching to a warm beige hue — Benjamin Moore’s “Big Bend Beige,” to be exact – while the Los Angeles County Museum of Art recently used a matté tea wash to add a slightly green, warm backdrop for a collection of Pacific art.

Find the right color for your gallery wall by considering the mood of your art or photo collection as a whole. For instance, the green backdrop for the L.A. County Museum of Art’s collection worked because it evoked a sense of nature that suited the artwork; MoMa came up with its own blended gray hue as a backgrop for an Edgar Degas collection of monotypes that heavily feature charcoal and inky tones.

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For a gallery wall of Fractures or their frameless art, look at the grouping as a whole, noting colors that repeat themselves and that coordinate with a majority of the images, or with other furnishings in the room. Think of the paint-selection process as you would think of picking out fabric colors for the space; cohesiveness is the key to everything.

Pro Tip: Choose a matte or eggshell finish for the gallery-wall paint. Shiny walls may reflect light in odd ways, detracting from the beauty of your photo or art display.

Myth #4: Don’t Mix Patterns and Prints

A striped couch, floral throw pillows… the horror! One of the biggest decorating myths is rather wide in scope: don’t mix prints and patterns, florals and plaids, or more than three (or you choose the number) patterns in the same room. Fuhgettaboutit! Do what works for you, going for patterns, prints or colors that look good with one another in some way. For instance, this room with completely non-matching fabrics works for several reasons. The layered area rugs each feature a dark blue and a white, and the patterns are angular. The throw pillows pick up on each other’s colors; two of the pillows feature similar curved patterns even though the colors are different, and every fabric coordinates with the multi-colored stripes on the back of the sofa.  This bedroom features at least four patterns and a few solids… but the colors coordinate so well they look like they belong to a set.  In both cases, piece by piece, the room decor is completely different, yet completely cohesive.

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Myth #5: Stick With One Decor Style

One decor style throughout a room may make the entire space look coordinated, but it can also make the room look sterile and boring, as if you ordered everything you found on one page of a catalog. Go ahead and mix things up a bit… a lot, even.  Consider this room which features a union jack throw pillow, blue-and-white barrel-shaped table, a modern neutral sofa and a brightly striped, 70s-inspired chair at the table, to name a few of the room’s eclectic accessories. By decription, the combination may seem bizarre at best. Instead, it’s bodacious.

Use color, furniture scale or textures and patterns to connect things that otherwise seem dissimilar. It’s not as hard as it sounds; just have fun with it. Congratulations on your new sense of creative decorating confidence.

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What other home decor myths have you debunked yourself? Let us know in the comments.

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