Depending on the situation, breaking a few rules here and there might add some interest to your everyday life. The world of interior design is definitely the place where breaking some rules can bring you amazing results, so let your inner rebel shine and explore these miscellaneous ideas you would otherwise probably never think of yourself (or you were too scared to think in that direction because you thought breaking the rules will result in disaster).

Always go with bright walls

This rule right here is why so many people live in boring interiors. Going for bold, dark wall colors can look amazing, even in smaller spaces. However, you should probably refrain from painting your entire room black. Therefore, the next time you decide that you want to redecorate your living space, feel free to choose a bold color for at least one of your walls. You can even opt for ornate, textured, sparkly wallpaper if a single color doesn’t seem to cut it.

Keep your space clutter-free

Another thing that might bring some of you down is a living area with not a lot of decorative items and various bits and pieces. Do note that while some people can live with minimalist decor, others feel more natural and welcome in interiors with a lot of visual interest. So, if you’re one of those people who function best in an “organized chaos”, feel free to fill your living space with things and trinkets that bring you joy because you’re the one living there! Never feel obligated to compromise your personal taste for the sake of current trends and hypes!

Protect your floors with rugs

Um, unless you are particularly clumsy – in which case you’ll need something else to protect the rug you’ve put in the room to protect the floor – you don’t actually need any floor covers. So, if you like your flooring solution and you wish to make it a part of your decor there really is no need to cover it up. Sure, if you leave your floors exposed, they will experience wear and tear more than they would if they were covered, but this just means that you’ll have to refresh them a bit more often, that’s all. Therefore, if you don’t like carpets, don’t get any, as simple as that! However, do keep in mind that bare floors can get a bit cold during colder seasons.

Small spaces should be furnished with small furniture

No! No, no, nope, not true, and here’s why. By equipping a small area with small furniture, you’ll just emphasize how small everything is. Of course, you should probably avoid going with the oversized furniture as well, but the conventionally-sized furniture pieces can actually make the entire place look more cozy and roomy. Besides, the size of the room is what it is, and there’s no furniture in the world that can change it, so why risk ending up with a room that looks like a scene from Snow White and the seven dwarfs, when you don’t have to?

Never paint original woodwork

Our last, but definitely not the least silly rule you should definitely break involves painting wooden furniture. If you ask your parents or grandparents, they will tell you that doing such a thing is simply crazy! However, we don’t see anything crazy about offering your old coffee table a new chance to shine by painting it in a color that will fit right in with your current design. So, if you want to have a sparkly purple coffee table instead of that boring mahogany one, go for it! Besides, this can easily turn into a fun DIY project after which you’ll be left with a unique piece you made yourself, which will make it that much more special.

It’s important to keep in mind that when designing and decorating your living space, your taste is what matters most! Therefore, don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t like, because your personal comfort is the most important rule that should never be broken.

A star on the rise in the world of interior design, Caleb Anderson, started expressing his affinity towards all things beautiful and mysterious even as a young Texan boy. Flowers were the first thing his artistic child’s hands obsessed about. Also, some of the first signs that his career in adult life is going to be something special and unique arose from his early devotion to spend his allowance on shelter magazines and accessories for his room, instead on toys and gadgets that most other boys spent their money on. It seems that Caleb was blessed with clear understanding of what he was meant to do in this life as soon as he was able to talk.

Caleb Anderson in his masculine vignette

Image credits: Loony

First steps to success

As he grew up, he became a student of interior design at Texas State and a refined young man whose soft and gentle appearance left a lot to be imagined compared to his wild and extraordinary designs. Not a lot of time has passed until his talent was spotted by the designer Jamie Drake. Caleb got the internship with Drake in New York which eventually turned into a full-time job and great cooperation. At the end of 2015, they announced the opening of their new firm, called Drake + Anderson.

Anderson and Drake join forces

Image credits: Architectural Digest (left – Anderson, right – Drake)

Anderson’s peculiar style

One might have trouble putting into words the expression and style Caleb provides in his designs. Sophistication and elegance are a clear part of his work but that is not nearly the end of description. Anderson loves to add a mix of antique in the modern elements of today’s world. Even though he enjoys vivid colors he tends to combine different textures instead of patterns. Also, his incredible eye for detail allows him to incorporate pieces of furniture that would look completely misplaced at the first glance. But he uses this as an interesting twist and a dose of originality that perfectly melts in with all other pieces. Together with Drake, he is set on adding some more avant-garde details to the future work while keeping the unbreakable flow and harmony of the entire room.

PicMonkey Collage

Image credits: Franklin Report, Caleb Anderson’s Portfolio

Ability to listen and create

Anderson’s great success is definitely not some kind of fluke since he has years of experience both as a designer and architect to show off his skills perfectly and catch the essence of people’s hearts thus providing them with exactly what they want even when they themselves are not quite sure what that is. This is one of the most valuable characteristics when it comes to hiring people for this kind of job. For example, he managed to persuade conservative clients to add sculptural Oggetti coffee table in the living room of their beach house and even though they were unsure at first, now they love this piece the most.

One can expect a lot from this inspiring young man, especially with joint work and guidance of Jamie Drake. Together, they are bound to make some beautiful and unique interiors in their perfectly uniformed matchless style.

World-renowned decorator, Eddie Ross, did not start his career as an interior designer. In fact, he is a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America and a former food editor, and he discovered his love and talent as a design director on a culinary TV shows. As strange as it seems, his passions merged perfectly: food and decorating, and he had gigs for Calico Corners, Ralph Lauren, and Bloomingdales (just to name a few). As if that is not enough, he also published a book where he reveals some of his time-saving tips and real-life shortcuts for decorating.

Eddie Ross holding a vase

Image credits: Daily Herald

He is open and friendly

Eddie Ross is not your typical celebrity who will hide from the eyes of public and keeps his professional secrets. He talks openly about what inspires him, what he sees as passing trends, and what he couldn’t live without (it’s vintage mahogany pharmaceutical cabinet he inherited from his grandfather). He is active on Instagram and loves browsing vintage magazines and visiting flea markets when he feels like he needs more inspiration. He also admits his mistakes: one time he painted his apartment which was going to be in a magazine, but when he got up in the morning the colour was terrible. Instead of despairing, he changed the art and the furniture a bit and just went with the flow.

He loves flea markets

One of the things that make him so interesting to the wide public is his open love of flea markets and thrift shops. Decorating a room is not something you do once and never again: the room design should be changed often, and that is not something you can afford if you only buy high-end furniture and pieces. By choosing to buy things which are not expensive, you can move them around and replace them without feeling guilty. Having expensive lamps and couch may be eye-catching, but if you add colourful cushions with bold prints (think leopard, you can find a cheap material quite easily) you will get a wonderfully bright combination everyone will notice.

Magazine cover

Image credits: Annie Selke

He improvises a lot

He is very honest about who he is, and that is one of the things that got him out of the Top Design show. He is traditionalist in some ways, but loves experimenting and improvising in others – He had a blue-ivory-and-gold Christmas instead of traditional red-and-green one and people loved it. He also said you shouldn’t get a Christmas tree that is so big that you have to rearrange the furniture completely so it would fit in the living room.

Being innovative and creative as he is, Eddie says that he loves constant changes and new discoveries. It is his advice to always improvise and channel your creativity so you can find as many solutions for a decorating ‘problem’ as you can. Always try to give new life to old things and you will love how different a room can look with tiniest changes.

When they want to rearrange a residential area and put their ideas into realization with the right measure and good taste, celebrities, and those who are not, invite interior designers. They ‘work in the shadows’, redesign the furniture, visit the shops, fairs, flea markets and are ready to meet even the smallest demands in order to provide their customers with exactly what they want and what reflects their personality the best.

Patrick Mele

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New star of interior design

One of the up-and-coming interior designers is a thirty-year-old Patrick Mele from Connecticut, who, before founding his own company Patrick Mele Design in New York, dealt with brand design. He studied architecture at Syracuse University and majored in art history and culture. The nature of his education is reflected in the space that he creates, the space in which the architecture and art, and fashion from a historical perspective permeate.

Interior designer Patrick Mele posing for a photograph in the apartment he decorated

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Bits and pieces of Mele’s unique style

Tricks of light, sculptures, mixed textures such as animal patterns and vertical stripes, baroque chandeliers combined with modern architecture, are some of the elements which he works with. Patrick has an incredible gift to connect seemingly incompatible styles.

It is impossible not to notice how each project has an artistic touch in the form of ceramic and stone busts, heavy metallic pots or Chinese porcelain pots, or wall art that ranges from the Renaissance through graphics to urban abstraction and so on. Collision of old and new and a few historical epochs in one room are perfectly normal when the work of this interior designer is in question.

beautifully designed interiors

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Mele works in such a way that in his sophisticated style he injects the personality of his clients, thus creating an amazing living space. In every project he has to make himself independent of the ruling trends because if something is not to his taste and liking it would definitely look fake in his project. Great attention is paid to light and the mirrors, unusual lamps and tall windows that sometimes take up a whole wall.
Even when it comes to furniture, there is a lot of diversity. The range of materials extends from the dark, through the painted or highly polished wood, to stone, brick, plastic, metals, leather and brocade.

Thoughts and projects

A piece of which this designer dreams of having is Fornasetti’s ‘Scaletta pano’ on wheels. Another favorite of his are ‘Cole & Son’ wallpapers. Mele believes that luxurious flowerpot palm opens up every space, while wallpaper adds a dose of fantasy and drama. In collaboration with friend and designer Hayley Sarno, Patrick has created his own line of wallpapers in black and white called ‘Sauvage / Savant’. Last summer, together with a group of New York designers, he responded to the call of Peter Fasano to come to Massachusetts and create a unique line of textile. Mele’s pieces look as if the designer played with a painter’s brush on the canvas.

In addition to residential buildings, Patrick deals with decor, design and organization of private and public events as well as exterior and interior of garden spaces, and in his work biography, he has already cataloged cooperation with major brands such as Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, J. Crew and the others.

A lot of people with a smartphone and enough time to pose in front of the mirror tend to think about themselves as designers or artists. However, getting people’s attention is a daunting task in the virtual realm saturated with visual content. That is exactly what Lilly Bunn did, but little did we know about her when she began her career in the Town & Country magazine.  It was only after working at a renowned McMillen Inc that she opened her own design firm and started making history.


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Revamping with style

Lilly became known as a fashion editor and owner of a successful interior design company. Her work is featured in magazines like Vogue and Elle, and she won many people over with lavish details, charming patterns and vivid colors.  Revamping a wide range of homes is one of her main duties, apart from looking after two daughters. Lilly likes to mix cheap and expensive pieces and can help you get more bang for your buck.

This is no surprise to people who know that she is able to pull off a Zara and Valentino mix with ease. After all, Lilly believes that not only your wardrobe, but also living environment should reflect your personal style. You can learn a lot from somebody’s home, and her example shows that fashion trends translate just nicely into interior space.


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Furthermore, designers like Lilly are no strangers to aesthetic experiments. Style is something that evolves with a person, and juxtaposition can lead to harmony.  Namely, Bunn demonstrated us that it is possible to create homes that are both elegant and livable, shelters that are casual, yet mesmerizing and glamorous. She has an eye for the whimsical, but sense of practical and traditional as well.


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Just the opposite

Lilly adores color and softness, and argues that neutral anchor pieces are the best choice because they allow you to adjust the style over time.  Keeping it simple is a way to create a functional, family-friendly living space, and sometimes a white wall is the best solution that gives a fresh feel.  Still, she does not hesitate to bring some life into homes with bright splashes of color and to add drama with bold patterns.  

This soon became her trademark, and the reason she has many devoted followers. Bunn prefers warm over sterile, and strives to infuse comfort in each home.  Because of her, many people discovered the power of chic accents like flowers, pillows and throw blankets. Yet, she does not go over the top, and uses pops of color in moderation. Striking this fine balance between the opposites is just what separates her from legions of other, would-be designers.


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In the spotlight

Both behind the scenes of the fashion world and on the cover of the magazines, Lilly is someone to watch out for. Contemporary and timeless, her style spellbinds and reminds us that we can look in our closet for inspiration.  Few people can achieve such a sophisticated symmetry of patterns, colors and décor pieces, but we can all learn from the best of the best. Merging fashion and interior design into a unique, stylish mélange, she proves that there are no limitations that a daring imagination cannot transcend.  

Interior design has been around for centuries, even millennia, with hundreds of influences, styles and materials passing through living establishments in every corner of our planet. Dozens of designers made their names decorating homes and there is simply nothing new to be said in that area, all combinations were tried out numerous times and there is only repetition and copying nowadays. On the contrary, things could not be further from the truth. Young lions are on the scene and Benjamin Vandiver is one to watch out for.


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The origins, residence and initial success

Being born in Kentucky, attending art school in California Benjamin Vandiver’s current place of residence is Nashville. The reason he chose Nashville lies in the freedom and cultural richness it provides, as well as attitude to success this inspiring environment nurtures. The saying that no man is a prophet in his own land simply has no place in Nashville. Ever since Benjamin started his own company in 2012 he has been gaining support and invitations from local celebrities, from Hayden Panetierre and Wladamir Klitchko to Nathan Followill and wife Jessie Baylin. Naturally, this has nothing to do with his good looks but his originality that differed from designers that ruled the local scene for decades.


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Individualistic approach

The thing that probably differentiates Benjamin from the majority of the designers’ scene and provides appraising feedback from his clients is his individualistic approach focused on the clients themselves rather than solely trying to make his personal mark. Naturally, this does not mean that he does not call the tune, just that he has a unique gift of recognizing what makes his clients comfortable and at home without appeasing them in a manner that jeopardizes his artistic vision. Comfortable luxury sums it up in the best manner.


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Style, philosophy and influences

When it comes to style characteristics, eclectic would probably be the best adjective to describe it. However, not the extreme eclectic, but rather such that incorporates the best of traditional and modern style with comfort and well-being as the main inspiration and goal at the same time. A dose of aggression is always welcomed, as Benjamin often emphasizes himself and this is often embodied in a single peace that increases dynamics but does not become a sole focus of attention. His broad artistic background and nearly two decades of piano playing provide a harmonious influence so recognizable in his work. When it comes to design influences, whenever asked about them Benjamin always puts Billy Baldwin and Albert Hadley at the top of the list.


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Future plans

Being name One to watch by Architectural Digest in its January 2015 edition is no surprise and somewhat foreshadows Benjamin’s future plans. He outgrew Nashville, without any undermining of the importance the city has for his work and life. New York, Los Angeles and Mexico are just a few places where you could meet him incorporating another one of his original designs.

Broad interests and welcoming but at the same time unique style that leaves his clients fully pleased are obviously the best recommendation.