Ashton Woods Expertise

Breaking All the (Design) Rules

by Jaclyn Davis

Jaclyn Davis, Orlando Studio Manager

A well-known saying among my co-workers that comes from our Division President is “We have rules so we know when we’re breaking them.” And now that I know this phrase, I find myself using it quite often. This quote likely originated from the Dali Lama’s, “Know the rules well so you can break them effectively.” Rules are important to give us guidelines, but equally important to knowing the rules is knowing when it’s better for us to break them. The design world has its guiding principles including rhythm, harmony, balance, scale and proportion, but I believe that talented designers are at their best when they are breaking these rules. If a novice designer doesn’t understand scale and orders a huge sofa with a teeny weeny coffee table, it’s b-a-d, with a capital B. On the flip side, if a talented designer places two larger-than-life pendants over the kitchen island, it’s brilliant. Below are some of my favorite examples of designers breaking the rules to create drama or add visual interest, in my opinion, quite successfully.