Of course design rules are there for a reason, but sometimes it makes sense to throw a bit of caution to the wind and be a rule breaker. That, after all, is what gives your home its own unique personality.

 

RULE 1

LESS IS MORE

Less is More | Timothy Oulton - Metro Living

Not in our book! Minimalists, cover your ears, it’s time to layer up. The pared-down trend has been going for a while, but once you’re free of the constraints of a minimalist approach you can be bolder, you can take everything you love and put it together all in one place. We’ve been known to cover whole walls in collections of bowler hats, vintage blue and white china, or even old car number plates mixed in with our playful Cards wall art. One piece on its own doesn’t have meaning, but a wall filled with a collection tells a story.

RULE 2

CHOOSE A NEUTRAL SOFA

Shabby - Modern Sofa | Timothy Oulton

This rule exists because of course it’s easier to style everything else around a neutral sofa, but sometimes playing it safe just doesn’t make you smile, and it can pay to go bold. If you go for a statement pattern or colour, but stick with a classic shape, then it still remains timeless. The Shabby sectional in Faded & Degraded will definitely stand out in the glamour stakes with its highly original patterned velvet, but it will also stand the test of time with its simple, sleek silhouette.

RULE 3

BLACK WALLS CLOSE IN A SPACE & MAKE IT FEEL SMALLER

Inception Mirror on Black Wall | Timothy Oulton

Not always. You probably wouldn’t paint your kitchen walls black, but in the right room, black can be a great neutral to make everything else pop. It makes a dramatic backdrop for statement lighting such as our Inception infinity mirror, as well as rich velvet upholstery and metallic accents, and would also make a wonderfully cosy gentleman’s library or study, filled with books and collected treasures.

RULE 4

USE SMALL FURNITURE IN A COMPACT SPACE

Go big or go home - Timothy Oulton

Actually, if you only use small furniture in a small room, it can have the opposite of the desired effect and make the room feel even smaller. It’s much better to focus on a few full-size pieces instead. A large sectional sofa can make a small room feel more generous, or centre a classic, comfortably sized sofa like the Viscount William around a rustic coffee table like the Vestige in reclaimed timber, for a welcoming space that feels cosy and inviting rather than cramped and cluttered.

RULE 5

DON’T MIX DESIGN ERAS

GQ HQ - Designs form different Era | Timothy Oulton

Piffle. Contrast is what makes a space exciting. Great interior design has always incorporated pieces from different cultures and eras. One look on its own becomes boring, but if you layer it with contrasts then it becomes interesting. A Chesterfield sofa like the Westminster Feather can look lonely on its own, but pair it with a modern metallic coffee table, and it changes the whole feel. When interior design service Homepolish styled the New York headquarters of men’s magazine GQ, Timothy Oulton pieces were chosen to embody the GQ man; juxtaposing an appreciation of classic silhouettes with a sleek, modern environment.

Above all, it’s your home, and if you fill it with things that make you smile then you’ll have a home you’ll love. Verdict? Make your own rules.