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Key interior guideline tip to choose paint colours

This Key Interior Design Guideline Can Help You Choose Paint Colours for any Room

Are you constantly decorating some part of your home? Or does your inspiration to redecorate only come up every few years? In either scenario, choosing paint colours is an important early task in the process.

And it can be one of the toughest steps to get through. Especially if you’ve painted a room a few times, coming up with a colour scheme can be one of the more frustrating parts of the project.

Try the ‘Golden Ratio’ to Choose Paint Colour Combinations that Work Every Time

You can use a basic guiding principle of interior design to help you choose paint colours for any room in your home. But the guideline has nothing to do with paint colours. Instead, it is a rule of thumb for the proportion each colour in your combination should occupy in the finished room.

And the color combination might not be exclusive to wall paint colours. It could include other elements of your room, like furniture, accessories or accents.


It’s known as the ‘golden ratio’ of choosing colour combinations for interior designs. It’s why if you ever hire a professional interior designer they will likely, at some point in process, show you colour combinations of three colours for a room.

The primary colour (60%) might appear on most walls, the accent colour (30%) can work for a single wall or signature piece of furniture, and the accessories colour (10%) can work for things like door trim or throw pillows.

How to Start Choosing Colours

Even knowing something as important as the golden rule still doesn’t tell you which colour combinations work together. Sometimes using a colour wheel, designers often begin with just a colour pairing. These can be either analogous colours, which are often more calm and soothing, or complementary colours, which can be stronger and more energetic.

The third colour in your combination depends on the first two you choose. If the original pairing is more subdued, you might be able to go bolder with your third colour. If one or both of your first two colours are fairly strong or bold, you might not want to compete with that in your choice for colour number three.

The only real rule for choosing paint colour combinations is that there are no rules. If you find a colour combination and proportion that doesn’t fit any of the guidelines listed here, but it works, then you’re done!

If you’d like to take even more of the guessing out of which paint colours will work, Benjamin Moore’s Colour Handbook offers lots of colour combinations that work every time.

If you’re still stuck, or simply want to talk to a human being about it, call or visit us here at The Paint People.


Key interior guideline tip to choose paint colours


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