And one you shouldn't!
Dark Paint Dining
Credit: Laurey W. Glenn

You know what they say: the rules are made to be broken. And while we admit, that's not always the case (we like the one about always having a place to put a drink), ditching the rules can lead to some pretty innovative spaces. It's fun to loosen up every now and then and see where your creativity can take you. Here, five rules you should consider bending in the new year—and one to always keep.

Stick to a hard-and-fast color palette.

Over time, an incredibly precise, formulaic palette will look forced and eventually, tired. (Reference: my super-exact, super-overwhelming hot orange and neon pink middle-school bedroom.) Having a broad, flexible palette allows for pieces you truly love and therefore, a room with personality and natural style.

Use only one metal and/or finish.

Matchy-matchy metals are over! Don't be afraid to subtly mix in a few different finishes to a room. This will have a collected effect—without waiting years. See how Rachel Halvorson pulled it off in this dreamy old-meets-new Nashville kitchen.

Have a formal living and dining space.

One more place to dust, we say. If you really love sit-down dinner parties, then maybe it's warranted. (And we love that!) But if you're more of a casual, paper-towels-as-napkins kind of family, ditch the formal rooms.

Avoid dark colors in small spaces.

The ultimate misconception. Dark colors can totally amp up a small space, without making it feel like a claustrophobic nightmare. Just look at this Charleston loft.

Don't believe "beige, brown, and white are the-only-neutrals" philosophy

Time to redefine what counts as a neutral. Ditch all-beige-everything and chilly grays. Live a little and throw some colors on the walls as a base for a dynamic palette. A wide variety of colors now count as a neutral—everything from millennial pink to forest green.

WATCH: Bunny Williams' Formula for a Well-Decorated Home

Finally…DO play to proportion.

That's what makes all the other rule-breaking possible. In a room grounded by properly sized rugs and framed by properly hung drapes, anything is possible with color and pattern.