House Rules

I take for granted how confident I am with home design. About the design rules that are important for me to follow in my own home and the ones I can break. About mixing and matching finishes, textures, and colors and finding that balance in terms of scale and proportion. On the best of days, from the right angle, after I quick grab that herd of My Little Ponies off the floor, yes, I think, yes, my family’s little cottage could be in Domino or Lonny. Or at least this particular six square feet might pass the test.

But I’ve worked here for nine years. I’m immersed in beautiful products, surrounded by creative people. Inspiration is everywhere here at Room & Board, from gallery walls to paint colors, from house plants to coffee table books and everything above, below and in between. I don’t see, nor do I feel any impact of design rules. It’s my job to instill confidence into the customers who might be uneasy or might not enjoy this process.

As a Design Associate, I frequently get asked about “the rules.” And so, along with my advice, I frequently give my permission to our customer: it’s your house, you make the rules. Relax. What do you like? What makes the most sense in the space, in your life? Pause a moment before assuming that the sofa you love in the showroom at 101” will work in your home. Masking tape or painters tape works wonders: A rectangle table might not work the best in a square room, but tape it out on the floor. How do you feel? Same with that area rug size, tape it out if you’re on the fence. For that pendant height in the hallway, tell the electrician to be flexible, holding it for you at various lengths before committing. Order as many fabric swatches, rug, wood and stone samples as you need. Find your instincts and trust them. Don’t worry about what anyone else says, if it works for you.

For my own home, it’s all about comfort and classic design, careful balance and proportions within 1926 rooms. It’s a careful blend of family heirlooms mixed with modern classics. And, it’s about fun. Hence the My Little Ponies. The biggest rule in my home – if there is any – probably has to do with budget. And putting away your toys.