Have you ever felt baffled by the ‘rules’ of interior design? Wondered what the right or wrong thing would be to do in your home? Here we look at the truth behind some of the established ‘myths’, leaving you free to express yourself as YOU think is best.

MYTH #1: You can’t use dark colours in small spaces

It was once thought that you needed to use light neutrals or white in a small space to reflect the light, making it feel bigger.

TRUTH: While it is true that light colours will reflect light, this just makes the room light! Using dark colours on walls can often bring a feeling of depth to a room, which in turn can make the space seem bigger. Pick your colours based on the feel you want to create, and whether you like them!

MYTH #2: Using different patterns causes a clash! Stick to one pattern in your scheme

TRUTH: Some of the best interiors mix it up with different patterns living harmoniously beside each other. Think chevron cushions alongside a floral wallpaper, or a Moroccan rug with a patterned couch atop. The most important thing is to use different patterns within the same colour scheme – so if the colours work together, the patterns most like will look great!

MYTH #3: Only one wall can be a feature

After the traditional way of painting all walls the same colour, came the advent of the feature wall. The idea of painting one wall in a strong colour, keeping the rest neutral.

TRUTH: Why should only one wall be a feature? If you want to have a patterned wallpaper on one wall, you could easily pick out some colours from the paper and paint the other walls in two different colours. There’s no reason that they can’t ALL be important. Just use your judgement on colour matching and natural light to decide what will work.

MYTH #4: Everything must match

TRUTH: If you are looking to recreate a look true to a certain period style, it is true that you will achieve an authentic look if the room’s contents are items from the same period. But most of us live interesting lives, pick up items on our travels, and have treasured gifted items that we don’t want to keep hidden in a cupboard because they don’t ‘match’. Embrace the eclectic look and make your home individual!

MYTH #5 White will make a room look cold and stark

TRUTH: Using a large amount of white, coupled with a minimalist look and sharp angles can create a look that some would label as stark. But there are a few easy ways to add warmth and depth to a white room easily. Add natural materials: the warmth of some wood for instance can go a long way to softening the room. Add texture: If you don’t want to add any strong colour to the white effect, you can add texture in the form of wool throws and rugs – the effect of layers will add depth and softness. Add a splash of colour: there is a reason that galleries often use white to show off art – it is the perfect backdrop – so add a zing of colour to really stand out.

What are you waiting for? Time to start choosing colours!