A Decorator’s Golden Colour Rule

by | Jun 5, 2018

In art, architecture, and even in music there are certain mathematical rules that apply. You may have heard of something called The Divine Ratio or The Golden Mean. The ‘rule’ of composing has been around since before Aristotle. When used to create something lovely like a building, or a painting, these rules make a composition more pleasing to the human beings who see them. Such rules are true in the business of home staging as well. Take, for example, the ways in which the real estate stylist selects the colour scheme for the rooms in your house.

The 60 + 30 + 10 rule in decorating is used to create balance and appeal in any arrangement containing colour, whether it is a flower arrangement or the sofa pillows you select to complement your living area.

The Main Colour – 60 Percent

  • The main colour in your room is often the colour you’ve chosen for your walls. If you’ve stayed safe and gone with white, then you’ll identify your main colour in the sofa, rugs, or window coverings if you have a large bank of windows. These are the big pieces that set the tone of the room – the anchor for everything else.

The Secondary Colour – 30 Percent

  • Your secondary colour will take up about half the visual attention that your main colour commands. Using this colour for an accent wall, or for the doona cover on your bed as well as lamp shades, is about right. And, if your windows are not a major focal point in your room, using your secondary colour here makes perfect sense.

The Accent Colour – 10 Percent

  • The accent colour you select can be pulled from the rug, a piece of artwork, or a fabric you’ve fallen in love with and used to upholster a wing chair. (Or even a sofa pillow.)

When colours are used in this ratio, the overall look is one that “fits” together perfectly. Paint manufacturers make it easy to select a scheme using colours that are perfectly suited together by using them in paint chips that are especially lovely together.

A piece of artwork that will play a prominent role in your room is another place to find a great colour scheme. Or, if you prefer, go to a fabric store and find something that tickles your fancy. In this case it is the fabric manufacturer who has already done the matching work for you. In either case, you can’t go wrong this way. You can also use the colour wheel if you’re feeling inventive. (Watch for another blog soon on the different sorts of colour schemes based on relationships on the colour wheel.)

One foolproof way to select colours is to consult with the real estate stylist you’ve chosen to handle the staging of your home. If they will be doing the whole house for you, you don’t need to fret over it. Your stylist will have already made a few decisions about how your home will best be decorated and furnished — the colour scheme may already have taken shape in the stylist’s mind.

If you’re on your own, spend some time with quality home decorating magazines or websites. The colour schemes there will be perfectly chosen to look sensational and, they will also adhere to the 60 + 30 + 10 rule so simply follow those leads.

Photo credit: Image courtesy of Taubmans.

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