3 Golden Rules of Interior Design

Continuing with our mission to help you move, after you've bought that dream home, there are bound to be parts of your new space which you're simply bursting to put your own stamp on.

But before you reach for the paint brushes and order carpet samples, it's important to take a step back and plan, plan then plan some more. After all, as the old saying goes, if you fail to prepare, you better be prepared to fail.

So grab yourself a coffee and take a look through some of our blog posts, which are here to keep you "on trend," whilst giving budding amateur interior designers insights into some of the most prevalent design styles, whilst educating you on the intricacies of choosing a colour palette or even give you handy DIY hacks to make the whole process a whole lot easier.

In this blog post, we'll be taking a look at three "Gold Standard" interior design rules which professionals use and that if you keep in mind will help you on your way to achieving a space which will be the talk of the town and the envy of others.

Manning Stainton

3/3 Vertical Rule

3/3 Vertical Rule

The first rule comes from interior designer Mark McCauley's who first proposed the concept in his book "Colour Therapy at Home: Real Life Solutions for Adding Colour To Your Life," The rule centres around concepts found in nature.

McCauley suggests that nature works from the ground up, with the darkest tones being found at the bottom, (dark grasses, stones, mud) whilst medium tones are expressed in the middle (trees and plant life) while finely lighter tones are found at the top (the sky.)  

This theory is applicable when choosing your colour palette, and can be applied to any colour on the colour wheel, taking into account the general rules of the most popular types of palettes.

10-30-60 Rule


The 10-30-60 rule also applies to using colour in your space and describes an intelligent way of applying your chosen colour palette. It involves choosing a dominant shade, a secondary shade and an accent colour.

The rule dictates that your dominant shade should occupy 60% of your room. This is often a neutral colour, although this is dependent on the effect you're trying to achieve. 60% is a hefty percentage and because of this, the dominant shade is often used for wall colour and floor coverings.

Your secondary shade can be a more striking colour, it will occupy 30% of your space, so it is often implemented in furniture.

The accent colour should be the boldest choice, it should be a colour which makes a statement and can be found in accessories such as wall ornaments and cushions.

The Rules Of Three


It's often said that the devil is the detail, and whilst the original quote was meant to be applied to architecture, the same is true for interior design. When it comes to the accessories you choose in your home, the devil really is in the detail.

Odd numbered groupings are regarded as more visually interesting than even number groupings, in interior design, three is the magic number with less or more feeling either overly simplistic or cluttered.

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