More Golden Rules of Decorating

Contemporary living room with black walls, white furniture and beautiful artwork
Photo by Pixabay on

In my last blog, I began to share some of the golden rules of decorating I have collected and want to give you some more tried and true tips that can guide any novice or seasoned decorator.  Enjoy!

I’ve never seen elegance go out of style. — Unknown

Adding a touch of luxury (brings) … the designer look. Glitters and metallics add a little bling and work well in smaller rooms as features will reflect off them, giving the illusion of a bigger space. — Julien McDonald

The details are not the details. They make the design. — Charles Eames

I always find beauty in things that are odd or imperfect – they are much more interesting. — Marc Jacobs

Don’t be afraid to mix old with new, classic with modern, rough with polished. — Edyta Czajkowska

I always put in one controversial item, it makes people talk. — Dorothy Draper

Color is the least expensive thing to put in the house. — Ruthie Sommers

Every room needs a touch of black, just as it needs at least one antique piece. — Jan Showers

Even if you love neutral colors, it doesn’t mean that a room has to be bland. By including a range of neutral tones from light to dark within one space, a room will feel more energized. The more contrast you add the more dramatic a space will feel. — Jayne Lockhart

For those who are afraid of mixing different wood tones, I would say not only can you, but you must. If all woods are the same it looks like bad hotel decorating. — Alexa Hampton

Decorative mirrors can be used to make a small space feel larger. For larger rooms, or any room with a more limited amount of natural light, mirrors placed directly across from the windows, will add instant light. — Jessica Gordon R.

To create the most visually appealing tabletop displays, choose three objects of different heights: short, medium and tall. — Unknown

Adding a little area rug to your small space is only going to draw attention to the fact that you have a small space. Select a large, extending piece that covers the majority of your room’s floor. — Baylee Deyon

Hang curtains. They make a room seem finished. Think of them as the lipstick of decorating. –Peter Dunham

When doing curtains or shades, hang them all the way up to the ceiling – it will increase the height of the room. — Vicente Wolf

In closing, I leave you with this quote that I use when I teach my workshop on creativity or present my art quilts in public:

Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist. — Pablo Picaso

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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