@Nicholas ask and you shall receive. I am an interior designer in LA. I work with Sasha Emerson. Here are some rules we both live by.
  1. If anyone uses the word "chic" find the nearest exit
    For example- shabby chic, granny chic. I'll add Ralph Lauren and Hollywood Regency looks to this as well.
  2. Remember that most men are color blind
    Ignore your husband, the walls are not pink.
  3. Overstuff your pillows
    Karate chopping the top of your pillows just looks strange. If you have a 20"square pillow, get a 24" down insert.
  4. Add wallpaper
    I love wallpaper in bathrooms, bedrooms, and accent walls. I even wallpapered my kitchen!
  5. I don't like the color brown!
    Natural woods are ok. BUT not mahogany!
  6. Keep your lighting low
    If it's over a table-3ft. If over your head-7ft. Get rid of flushmounts if you can. Cans are for track homes, try to limit them to a minimum- they look like chicken pox.
  7. Matching metals
    Don't mix too many metal finishes together. My favorites are oil rubbed bronze and unlaquered brass.
  8. Mix old and new
  9. Don't look through your clients nightstand while tidying up
  10. I'm not your cleaning lady
    Unfortunately this rule is broken often.
  11. Don't work for people you don't like
    This is a very intimate job. It's a great and glamorous job at times, but you are invited into people's private lives. I often know where my client keeps their scissors and their underwear.
  12. Mix high and low
    For my last job, we spent over 100k on outdoor furniture but also went on a shopping spree at TJ Maxx Home Goods.
  13. Don't buy yourself everything from one store
    Restoration Hardware has great things but don't make your house look like their catalogue.
  14. Iced tea with milk
    I'm not sure if this is a rule, but Sasha and I both independently drink iced tea with milk. Is this a designer thing? Who knows.