Matt’s Musings: Trust Your (Basic) Instincts

Photo credit: Domino

Love two different chandeliers? Use them both. Eff the rules!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about design (duh) and about how to articulate to my bG design team (or to a client) what drives my decision-making with regards to decorating -- my secret sauce, if you will. (Stop laughing; I’m not being dirty.)

Take for example, the pairing of this rustic table with modern chairs. Two totally different styles, yet the combination gives me an all over tingly feeling. I L-O-V-E it. But the question people often ask is, why does the combination of two opposite styles work?

To which I respond, "It just works, people!" 

Kessler Chairs - Kathy Kuo Home ($300)

Rules are for the Birds

My success as a designer is largely due to an early recognition that there are really only a few decorating rules worth heeding -- and I got comfortable with the resulting ambiguity. I love this about design; it's a world in which endless palette and decor combinations are available to me -- and none of them are wrong. Well, some are righter than others...

So, the answer to the question about why does the above combination work is that there is not a singular right answer to what works and what doesn't work. You have to trust your gut.

Photo credit: Luxe Interiors + Design

For example, take the room above. There is a lot going on, a mix of styles, colors, materials -- nothing actually "goes with" anything else -- but together, the combination works. It's so good. 

Photo credit: Architectural Digest

This does't mean that more always equals more. Monochromatic works too. Gawd, I love green.

I find that when I’m feeling good and the world is all sunshine and roses, I tend to go bolder in my design choices -- and I’m always happy I did. When I feel uncertain and start second-guessing my decisions (it’s true, we all have our moments), I try to remember this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt:

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

These are my dreams and I’ll decorate them as I like. I hope you do the same.

Over time, I’ve learned a number of important guidelines, and I’ve developed a good sense for what I like and what I think looks good. But talent and training are only part of the equation. More important is my love of design and embracing a, “screw all y'all, I like it” attitude.

Photo credit: Architectural Digest

Do this too and before you know it, you'll be opting for the hot lips sofa. And you'll love it.

Follow your instincts, friends, and confident design will follow.

Matthew O'Dorisio,
bluGloss Chief Designer

Want to try out new looks before you buy? Come on over to to unlock the secret of home decorating.

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