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Style El Dorado County Foothills

Sacramento Interior Designer Debunks 4 Decor Myths

03/28/2016 04:45PM ● By Kerrie Kelly

We’ve all paid mind to those pesky design rules: Don’t use large furniture in small spaces; stay away from bold colors; keep all four legs on the area rug. Fortunately, rules were meant to be broken and myths meant to be debunked. Read on for four phobias to overcome, and see just how simple it is to get creative in different sized spaces.

Myth #1 / Big Furniture Doesn’t “Work” in a Small Space

This idea is understandable in certain circumstances. When you move into a smaller space with a king-size mattress, a 12-seater dining table and an ottoman the size of your bedroom, it may seem overwhelming at first. We suggest choosing one large piece to keep and make it a focal point. Your large ottoman can also serve as a coffee table in the center of your living room, or additional seating during a housewarming party. Your king-size bed may only require one nightstand to create a cozy corner in the bedroom. With a key piece of furniture it’s important to keep the rest of the room light and airy—too much décor can get stuffy.

Myth #2 / Wallpaper is Out

Call it retro, but wallpaper has actually made quite a comeback. Thanks to modern-day design, wallpaper choice is as permanent as hair color. Stick-and-peel options allow you to try a new design every couple of weeks until you find the perfect match. When you do, outfit the space in your favorite décor to bring the wallpaper to life, or let it stand solo and shine.

Myth #3 / All-White is a Disaster Waiting to Happen

While a mixture of bold colors can strike fear in a few, the absence of color altogether makes most homeowners tremble. White is often synonymous with what they call a commercial look because it can be perceived as sterile. We suggest dipping a toe in the water by picking a strong statement piece, like a white sofa or dining table. Once you’ve chosen one unique piece of furniture, complement it with lighting, linens and décor in varying shades of white. Adding texture helps to cozy up the space, too! Layer throw blankets and pillows to create a more welcoming environment. The idea is to slowly transition into a bright white haven; before long, you’ll forget your phobia all together. To make a monochrome environment a little more life-friendly, consider using performance fabric for your sofas and chairs to help minimize time spent cleaning.

Myth #4 / You Shouldn’t Layer Area Rugs

One of our favorite new trends is the idea of layering décor. You can instantly brighten and boost any room’s design factor in a matter of minutes by adding another area rug. If you have a large woven rug in your living room, consider adding a cowhide on top for a chic update. The same can be done for several small rugs; choose variations in color, textures or patterns to keep the look fresh and interesting. 

Which design myth are you looking to debunk in your own home? Email us at and let us know!

 Kerrie L. Kelly is an award-winning interior designer, author and multimedia consultant. She has authored two books: ‘Home Décor: A Sunset Design Guide,’ published by Oxmoor House, and ‘My Interior Design Kit,’ with Pearson Professional and Career Education. To contact her, visit or call 916-706-2089.

Photo courtesy of Brian Kellogg and Kerrie Kelly Design Lab. Kerrie L. Kelly photo by Dante Fontana.

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