04/27/2012 08:36 am ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

Dering Hall: Designer Madeline Stuart's Golden Rules For A Great Room

Interior designer Madeline Stuart isn't exactly your typical decorator. After all, she's the daughter of Mel Stuart, the legendary director of the original Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. But, in the world of design Madeline stands tall on her own, with a signature furniture line and celebrity clients that have included Jason Alexander (Seinfeld). So naturally, she's got a wealth of knowledge when it comes to outfitting a home.

Dering Hall, the online marketplace for unique designer furnishings, tapped Madeline, one of their go-to experts, to get some insight on her 'tried-and-true rules' in decorating a great room. Here are a few highlight we picked out from the interview.

According to Madeline, objects in different sizes, color and materials will make a room look and feel more personal. And, there should always be one dark accent along with one shiny item to strike balance in a room.

"I think a great room is all about proportion and balance. Not everything should be large or small and there should be a harmonious mix of materials. I don’t think all woods should be the same tone or color—that looks so contrived. I think there should always be a hit of black, and something reflective."

The one design element that she tries to stay away from? Recessed lighting.

"It’s so unflattering and doesn’t reflect light back onto the ceiling, which in turn creates a dreary room."

For more of Madeline's tips and to read the full article, head over to Dering Hall. Do you have any golden rules when it comes to sprucing up your own home? Let us know in comments below.

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