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What design rules should you definitely break?

Painting the walls dark is okay.

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There is never a single answer to questions of design, but put creative, expert minds together and chances are you'll solve your style conundrums or find the guidance you've been looking for to help you decorate a space.

With that in mind, we've put together a panel of designers and a design blogger to share their secrets, straightforward principles and simple tips.

This instalment began with a simple question: What design rules should you break? The answers may surprise you – and make you pick up a paintbrush.

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"It's a fallacy that dark walls make a space look smaller. That's one rule I absolutely insist on breaking. Dark walls recede, they don't make a room smaller. To me, the smaller a room, the darker it should be."

Christopher Jones

Founder of

Style: "Modern maximalist."

"Most importantly, paint the ceiling. People will paint a room a given colour and leave the ceiling white. Why leave the ceiling white? Are ceilings supposed to be white? Maybe if you want to put clouds on it or stickers."

Robin Lewis

Interior designer at Elephants Limited and a host of Reno vs. Relocate.

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Style: "Purist, solutions-based design."

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About the Author

Dave McGinn writes about fitness trends for the Life section and also reports for Globe Arts. Prior to joining the Globe, he was a freelance journalist, covering topics from trying to eat Michael Phelps' diet to why the Joker is the best villain in comics history. He's working on improving his 10k time. More


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