Interior Design Rules and Ratios

Interior Design Rules and Ratios

Decorating our space is therapeutic as much as it is expressive of who we truly are as individuals. We are free to style our space in ways comforting to us, that’s true. However, there are also simple rules and ratios to follow to make sure that we’re striking the right balance between being personal yet stylish.

In this blog, we will cover the 3 most basic rules and ratios to keep in mind:

The 80:20 Colour Theory Rule

The 80:20 Colour Theory Rule

Taken from the Pareto Principle, this colour theory brings focus to the design elements you want to highlight while still giving room for playfulness. For instance, when painting walls with neutral colours (80%), the remaining 20% of the room should be accentuated with bright-coloured upholstery and beddings.

Other ways you can incorporate the 80/20 colour theory rule:

  • 80% primary style, 20% accent style
  • 80% classic style, 20% abstract style
  • 80% traditional style, 20% modern style
The 60:40 Rule of Proportion

The 60:40 Rule of Proportion

Most of the time, proportion and scale are used interchangeably. We shouldn’t confuse ourselves with the terms as scale is how the object’s size is related in the space. To simplify it, it can also be described as to how the size of the object relates to the human figure. On the other hand, proportion refers to the relationship between parts of a whole.

In the 60:40 Rule of Proportion, it simply states that 60% of the space should be filled, leaving the remaining 40% clear. One good example of this is a floor space. 60% of the floor space should be filled with furniture. Under 60% is tipping to the unfriendly side of minimalism while going beyond 60% is close to looking cluttered. 

Speaking of furniture, this rule can also be applied when choosing pieces of furniture to match together. Your room needs varying furniture height to help move your eye through the room. To make sure that you are still creating a balance while doing this, make sure that the smaller pieces of furniture are about ⅔ the size of the bigger pieces. Apply this to sofas and coffee tables, tables and chairs.

Speaking of sofas, this rule can also be applied. You may want to leave 60% of the space clear while decorating the remaining 40% with pillows. 

The general rule of three in interior design

The general rule of three in interior design

This rule simply states that arranging things in odd numbers is more appealing to the eye than even-numbered groupings. Psychologically, our brain sends signal to our eyes to move around when there is a pattern - arranging things into 3 is the easiest way to do so. 

Ways you can incorporate rule of three:

  • Arranging pillows
  • Creating vignettes
  • Displaying artwork

It is a human inclination to always seek the right amount of balance and this applies to interior design as well. Once you know the basic interior design ratios, it would be easy for you to transform any space.

For more interior design tips like this, keep visiting our blog where we upload useful design resources.

Other interior design-related blogs: