Decor Rules You Can Break
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Decor-Rules-To-Break1 of 16
Reflect on This2 of 16
Rule to Break: Separate spaces require separate themes and furnishings.
Why It Works: Jennifer Aniston's new Bel Air, Calif., home features two smaller, formal living spaces with seemingly identical furnishings. The mirror image effect on the left and right sides of the room creates cozier design moments but also makes use of the space. Plus, it's an easy decor trick to prevent clashing styles in one large room.
White Out3 of 16
Rule to Break: All-white spaces are cold and uninviting.
Why It Works: Lush fabrics on the bed and floors make Aniston's master bedroom feel warm and cozy in spite of her lack of color. If you're going for a monotone look, then bring in various textures, such as a mix of cotton with silk and a rougher weave.
ON GLO: Remembering Whitney Houston
Great Outdoors4 of 16
Rule to Break: A backyard should be one seamless outdoor space.
Why It Works: Aniston adds charm to many of the rooms in her home by accenting them with mini fountain courtyards. The art- and nature-driven patios offer a bit of privacy for an otherwise spacious and open home.
Prints Charming5 of 16
Rule to Break: Printed walls and linens make a room feel cramped.
Why It Works: Beauty entrepreneur Aerin Lauder took a risk in her East Hampton, N.Y., estate by covering a room in one of her favorite French textiles. Matching walls, linens and furnishings create a clear design aesthetic and are perfect for occasional spaces like a guest bedroom. The key to keeping it from feeling small is to opt for minimal furnishings in neutral hues.
ON ELLE DECOR: Aerin Lauder's New York Retreat
Living on the Edge6 of 16
Rule to Break: Pools should be bordered with cement or tile for ample lounging and walking space.
Why It Works: Miley Cyrus' Studio City, Calif., home opens onto a gorgeous backyard space that is dominated by grass. Allowing the lawn to lead all the way to the pool's edge creates a more natural aesthetic and evokes the sense of diving into a lake. The subtle, geographic stone walkways provide enough solid surface for walking.
Plant One On7 of 16
Rule to Break: Concrete, potted planters are only for outdoor use.
Why It Works: Cyrus brings the outdoors inside for a balance to her living room's all-white motif. Opt for coated concrete potters and oversized pieces like Cyrus' to make a real design statement in a corner.
Short Stuff8 of 16
Rule to Break: An area rug should cover the space beneath the coffee table and all surrounding seating.
Why It Works: The Bel Air, Calif., home of Avril Lavigne features a casual den space off the kitchen where a small prayer rug is used as an area runner. While unconventional in size, it breaks up the space and prevents the coffee table from blending in with the gorgeous flooring.
Set the Tone9 of 16
Rule to Break: Avoid monochromatic rooms, which lack depth and personality.
Why It Works: Actors Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor's Hollywood Hills, Calif., living room bucks tradition by finding beauty in flat color. The blue hue of the living room feels soulful when various textures are introduced and is offset by black-and-white photographs.
ON ELLE DECOR: More Celebrity Living Rooms
Grey Scale10 of 16
Rule to Break: Add a pop of color to every room.
Why It Works: For her new pad in Malibu, Calif., Courteney Cox opted for a neutral palette of gray and navy. Because of the open floor plan, expansive windows and stunning ocean views, the home's minimal color palette allows for its surroundings to be the focal point. Nature trumps bold design in this case.
Bath House11 of 16
Rule to Break: The bathroom should be a confined retreat.
Why It Works: In the new Dallas condo of Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom, the master bathroom and tub open into the master bedroom, separated by only a floating wall. Because the toilet area is still hidden while the tub and sinks are exposed, any occupant would still feel a sense of privacy in this spa space.
Fine Dining12 of 16
Rule to Break: Chandeliers belong in the dining room or other formal spaces.
Why It Works: Former Spice Girl Mel B maintains the opulence of her Southern California home by accessorizing her kitchen with an ornate crystal chandelier. She then rounds out the look with classical fixtures and high-end materials to give the kitchen an overall elegant touch.
ON GLO: Remembering Whitney Houston
Wall Flower13 of 16
Rule to Break: All art and mirrors should be hung on the wall.
Why It Works: In Ellen Pompeo's Moroccan-inspired home, leaning the artwork and mirrors against the wall conserves the home's relaxed feel. Each piece is still given import, whether it's propped on a console table or sitting in a vignette of other accents.
ON GLO: Geometric Glamour
Tame Style14 of 16
Rule to Break: Animal prints should be confined to the bedroom or other personal spaces.
Why It Works: Charlie Sheen's Mulholland Estates home in Los Angeles is just as unpredictable as he can be. While the foyer has an overall traditional look, a leopard-print runner ushers you up the stairs to the second floor. The risk of using bold prints in small doses can pay off in unexpected ways.
Bigger Is Better15 of 16
Rule to Break: Large-scale art should only be hung on walls with adequate height.
Why It Works: Sheen's living room art nearly touches the ceiling on walls that seem too small for the pieces, but he balances them out by creating little vignettes with the grand piano and occasional seating. The smaller areas are defined by complimentary furnishings and make the artwork appear less overbearing.
Size Matters16 of 16
Rule to Break: Small spaces should have proportionally sized furnishings.
Why It Works: The sitting room of Renée Zellweger's Connecticut home features an oversized, tucked sofa and two larger lounge chairs. The strong furniture accompanied by the colorful rug and fireplace creates a more intimate and cozy feeling that is appropriate for a laidback space.
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