Life is Too Short For Ugly

Beautifully design with with glamourous couch and curtains
Photo by cottonbro on

I am often asked, “What are some of the golden rules of decorating?”

Here is my favorite; the title of this column comes from a quote from interior designer David Fuller, “Design because life is too short for ugly.”

Over the years, I have collected some quotes from famous decorators and authors and blogger to pepper into my decorating lectures, so I am happy to share them with you:

An empty room is a story waiting to happen, and you are the author. — Unknown

If you love something, it will work. That’s the only real rule. — Bunny Williams

The first rule about decorating is that you can break almost all the other rules. It is more important that the decor in your home reflects your living style and your personality than any conventional rule. — Billy Baldwin

An interior is the natural projection of the soul. — Coco Chanel

Personalize your space. … But don’t mistake “personalizing” with clutter and always assess/edit your collection. — Sarah X

Be faithful to your own taste because nothing you really like is ever out of style. — Billy Baldwin

A room should be beautiful even without furniture. — Barrie Livingstone

Architecture is the bones, décor is the heart, and art is the soul of a room. — Terri Lynn Davis

A room should feel collected … not decorated. — Unknown

The most important thing in decor? Perfect lighting at all times. The right kind of lighting in the right space will add a glow and a warmth to your surroundings. — Oscar de la Renta

Design is about making people happy, either functionally, aesthetically, or emotionally. — Robin Siegerman

Real comfort, visual and physical, is vital in every room. And the most important thing is to make your home livable. A well-designed home is one that is both comfortable and functional. — Mark Hampton

Balance function and amazing style with quality and great design. — Elizabeth Aurandt

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. — William Morris

Create that safe haven so your mind can relax and your soul can explore. – Hoda

I’ll share additional tips on color, window treatments, and more in my next blog.

Interior decorator Barbara Graceffa is President and CEO of Secretary of the Interior in Quincy, MA offering creative solutions at reasonable rates. Learn more about her decorating, decluttering, and home staging services, workshops and quilt shows at, and follow her on

By Barbara Graceffa

Barbara Graceffa, CEO of Secretary of the Interior, serves decorating clients; assists with professional organizing, home staging and moving assistance; teaches on these subjects; and delivers quilt lectures and trunk shows.

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