5 Ways to Undecorate

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A Rebel's Guide:

Learn how to break the unwritten rules of styling and design by undecorating your way to an unforgettable home. 

Posted 8/14/22

If you’ve ever visited the home of an interior designer, it likely left you curious exactly how they were able to achieve a look so unmistakably their own. It’s no surprise given the unwritten rules most Americans fall prey to when home decorating – safe neutral palettes, matching furnishing sets, prescribed catalog scenes, the list goes on and on.  

It seems the primary difference between the average home dweller and their design-driven counterparts, however, is nothing more than a heavy dose of unapologetic rebellion. Combine that with equal parts personality, and you’ve got the answer to achieving your very own sense of je ne se quoi. 

Just one question remains. Are you brave enough to forget the rules and learn instead how to undecorate? If so, read on, and you might just inspire a home more envy-inducing than the Pros themselves.

1. Taste the rainbow

Whether it’s by pairing unconventional shades or going big on one show-stopping hue, designers know that a guaranteed way to imbue a home with character is through the fearless use of color. Its emotional power can almost instantly evoke any desired feeling – from energized to elegant, pensive to pampered. Sound appealing? Time to push yourself outside the neutrals safety zone. 

colorful green kitchen cabinets, blue oven range, wood floors, yellow area rug, white shiplap

Photo credit: Kristina Crestin Design

violet purple lavender lilac modern bathroom, vertical subway tile, glass shower enclosure, white cabinetsPhoto credit: Eric Piasecki

2. Shake up aesthetics

Although there are many different décor aesthetics to choose from, most homes tend to select a single path at best. Professionals, conversely, are unafraid to merge time and place knowing décor elements have potentially three characteristics to unify when curating a room – shape, color and material. This trick allows, for example, mid-century modern to sit beautifully next to French traditional or Bohemian glam alongside chinoiserie style. Identify the parallels across aesthetics and, in no time, you’ll be mixing up delicious décor cocktails with ease.  

french modern dining room, mid century white table, wood linen bistro chairs, maple wood floors, blue walls, pattern bench

Photo credit: Style at Home

chinoisserie chinese lanterns, dining table, mixed chairs, concrete floors, linen table clothPhoto credit: Damask Dentelle

3. Get pattern happy

From walls to furnishings to floors, patterns are yet another joy-inducing standby true undecorators relish the opportunity to infuse liberally into a home. The key to getting pattern mixology right? Deciding a color palette in advance to help keep a room looking cohesive rather than chaotic. From there, if patterns make your heart happy, layer away with stripes, florals, graphic shapes, and beyond. And remember, soft surfaces, wallpapers, and fabrics aren’t your only way in. Creative shape and flow can be achieved through elements like mosaic tiles, floor planks, carpeting, and wall molding. 

floral wallpaper, geometric wall molding, blue door, hardwood floors, upholstered bench

Photo credit: Domino Magazine

patterned carpet bedroom, modern style, yellow floral bedspread, bookcase, shaw carpet

4. Always look up (and down)

It seems yet another unwritten rule is that ceilings and floors serve only the function of grounding elements, not centerpieces. It’s quite rare in most homes to find anything more exciting above your head than a light fixture or below your feet than a basic rug. Those willing to write their own rules, however, embrace these surfaces as palettes yielding distinctive spaces rich with warmth.   

Don’t be fooled, even hardwood and wood-look vinyl flooring are an opportunity for a little rebellion. Who says monotonous grain is the only way to go!? Undecorators, look to high variation flooring for a natural feel but with a dramatic visual. 

scandinavian interior design, kitchen dining light wood table, blue area rug, light hardwood floor, colorblock ceiling,

Photo credit: Echo & Earl

Chaparral by Christina Collection, waterproof floor, vaulted ceiling living room, round mirrorPhoto credit: Chaparral by Christina Collection

5. Pace the process

Lastly, the balancing act of old-meets-new commonly separates the Pros from the amateurs – and comes down to patience. Of course, it’s much easier to furnish and decorate a space all at once and through one locale. This paint-by-numbers approach, however, is a tell-tale sign of those not yet comfortable with their undecorating skills. Resist the urge to buy all new, allow time for your home to come together, and it will help ensure it reflects you and not just a showroom floor. 

white floors, dark wood kitchen table, metal dining chairs, industrial lamp, white cabinets

Photo credit: Decoholic

stone herringbone floors, patterned furniture, black dome pendants, fireplace, antiquesPhoto credit: Harry Crowder

Undecorating is really just the art of following your heart more than just the rules for your home. Trust your inner undecorator toward the uncommon and the unexpected, and you’ll be sure to create the unforgettable.       

Inspired to break some of those unwritten rules?  Stop by one of our showrooms or schedule an In-Home Shopping appointment today to discuss your options with one of our Flooring Experts.