Cornwall LivingIssue #77

Rules of the room

Interior designer Rebecca Rowe of Mor Interiors shares her four rules for creating the perfect living room.

Furniture – work with your room size; if you have a large room, don’t be afraid to buy an oversized sofa and armchairs. You will find it will look underdressed if you scrimp on small furniture. With a small space, you often have to downscale the sizes of furniture to give the illusion of an open, airy space. Mix textures, finishes and styles of furniture throughout, but keep the colour palette refined, as this will give the room a real sense of character, tying a scheme perfectly together.

keep the colour palette refined, as this will give the room a real sense of character…”

Artwork – unexpected artwork positioning and sizing adds real interest to a space.Use your furniture layout and architecture features as a guide for positioning, but try not to hang artwork precisely in the middle of a wall, as it can look contrived. Hanging smaller pieces in the corner of a room above a piece of furniture can create the illusion of a secondary space – especially useful in small rooms. Try mixing colours and textures of frames to complement your hardware (light fixtures/ironmongery), and use a mixture of lighting fixtures such as uplights/downlights or picture lights to highlight the artwork.

Rugs – avoid choosing rugs that are too small; a rug covering only the floor around a coffee table will make the space feel incohesive. Go for the largest rug you can find, providing that doors can open clearly. The rug should extend at least halfway under sofas and 30cm either side of them. Side tables and other furniture within the room need to sit either fully on or off the rug to avoid a messy look. 

Styling – rule four is the rule of three! There is an unwritten rule of styling that says you should work with uneven numbers. Try to avoid symmetry and ‘coupling’ objects; instead, think about balance for a more interesting composition. For example, something tall and vertical like a vase or candlestick, something low and bulky such as a bowl and a lateral object such as a book or a tray is a good starting point for styling a coffee table or sideboard.


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"keep the colour palette refined, as this will give the room a real sense of character..."