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It's time to rethink these design myths. 

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated February 18, 2020
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As times change, it's inevitable that certain interior design concepts that were coined decades (or even centuries) ago no longer apply. Now that it's 2020, the new decade is prompting us to reconsider some potentially outdated decor ideas. From the tropes of the "masculine" bachelor pad or the limiting concept that only certain colors "go together," we're reevaluating a few design ideas that are all too easy to take for granted. To make 2020 the year we stop confining our homes to unnecessary rules and start creating spaces that truly make us happy, here are three design ideas it may be time to ditch.

1
"Masculine" vs. "Feminine" Decor

As someone who spends a lot of time reading about interiors, it's not unusual to see a dark, moody bedroom described as "masculine" or a floral wallpapered powder room referred to as "feminine" (and I am guilty of having used those terms myself in the past), but 2020 is the year to let go of these descriptors. As our society reevaluates gender norms—and ditches old-fashioned edicts like "pink is for girls, blue is for boys"—it's time for the design world to follow suit.

These labels may be easy ways to describe a space, but they're also a little lazy, and over time, may reinforce certain stereotypes. So, what can you say instead? How about: delicate, rustic, lavish, elegant, eclectic, glam, soulful, unfussy, practical, imaginative, cozy, romantic, minimal, frilly...the list goes on.

2
That Certain Colors Don't "Go Together"

You've probably heard certain rules about which colors look good together and which don't (like don't mix navy and black). But generally, these rules are oversimplications of color theory, as really any hues can look good together—as long as you choose the correct shades and put them together in the right context. While these rules may be helpful for those who are unsure, they can also be limiting.

This year, forget what you've learned about colors that "don't go," and instead, decorate with the colors you want to live with. If you're unsure, start out with a small investment, like two throw pillows in the color pairing you want to try. Live with them for a couple weeks so you can be sure you love the combination before you start painting or installing new tile.

3
That You Have to Pick a Style

Is your home decor style more modern, farmhouse, traditional, boho, or beachy? While these labels can be helpful ways to identify which furniture, colors, and materials you gravitate towards, they don't have to define your space. In recent years, we've seen the rise of "eclectic" decor, or homes that embrace a combination of styles. There might be traditional architecture paired with modern furniture, or classic furniture with contemporary paint colors.

One added bonus of more eclectic decor: Your home won't suddenly look dated the moment farmhouse or mid-century modern goes out of style.

RELATED: 5 Decor Trends That Will Be Huge in 2020, According to Real Simple Editors