What People Really Think of Interior Design Rules

Always hang your art. Never buy a rug that isn’t big enough to go under all the furniture. For every design decision you make, there’s a decorating rule to follow—or to break. What do we really think of these seemingly endless guidelines? AreaRugs.com decided to find out. “We compiled a collection of the most frequently written about rules, created photo options in which the only difference was the rule in question, and put them to the test by asking 1,000 people to choose their most and least preferred decor designs,” states their new study, The Great Decor Debate. Here are some of the discoveries that stuck out to us:


Floating furniture is currently a don’t
A room instantly feels airer when furniture hovers in the middle, but the idea wasn’t popular among AreaRug.com’sticipants—61 percent of people preferred the sofa directly against the wall. Interestingly, those respondents were 49 percent more likely to be over 50 years old.

People prefer pillows in their original state
While you often come across “chopped” pillows—those with a purposeful indent at the top—in catalogs and magazines, one in ten people preferred plump cushions that had been left alone.

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Most everyone agrees on rug size
Bigger is better; 84 percent of people liked when the rug extended under the main furnishings in the room. “Following this guideline ensures the rug doesn’t look like a lazy afterthought,” states AreaRugs.com. “Instead, a large rug is more comfortable, practical, and pleasing to the eye.”

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Hanging art is still the status quo
We are big fans of leaning your art on a surface—or even letting it rest on the floor—but 84 percent of people preferred when the artwork was hung on the wall, reports AreaRugs.com.

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People don’t like drapes that puddle
We recently had two designers debate this very issue of curtain length, and AreaRugs.com found their study participants had their own strong opinions on the topic. Seven out of ten people preferred curtains hung as high as possible above the window with the fabric just touching the floor, a traditional look. According to the report, “very few people liked the alternative that was identical in every way except that the curtains ‘puddled’ on the floor in what’s sometimes known as the romantic look.”

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Check out more findings from AreaRugs.com’sdy here.

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