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6 Things You Need To Know About Interior Design Color Matching

6 Things You Need To Know About Interior Design Color Matching

When it comes to interior design, two colors are better than one, and no one can beat three! 

The rule of threes is one of the first rules you need to know before color matching. But did you know there’s an entire rule book on color schemes, patterns, and matching? 

It might sound daunting, but we’ve got your back! 

We’re looking at six things you need to know about interior design color matching. From the rule of three’s to computer-aids, and working in percentages – here’s everything you need to know!

Everything You Need To Know About Interior Design Color Matching

1. 60-30-10 Rule

Elegant pendant lamps in sitting space

Credits: Pexels, Mark McCammom

We’ll start off with a rule that forms the cornerstone of interior design color matching. That would be the sixty-thirty-ten rule. 

Essentially, designers work in percentages when matching color schemes. For example, a main color, a secondary color and a tertiary color. 

While any novice would be aware of the terms ‘main color’ and ‘secondary color,’ what many people don’t know is that designers harmonize these colors in perfect proportions.

  • Main Color

The main color forms the foundation of the room; that is, it decides the tone of the space you’re working in. For better understanding, think of a modern decorated space. The main color would probably be a neutral shade. Contemporary decorated spaces, on the other hand, would have darker and bolder colors as their main colors.

Once you’ve decided on a main color, incorporate into about sixty-percent of your space. This includes the walls (safe for one), the floor, and main furnishings like sofas and chair. 

  • Secondary Color

Next comes your secondary color which is a stronger hue of the first color, or within the same color scheme as the first color. Incorporate this into about thirty-percent of your space. This includes some furnishings and art pieces. 

  • Accent Color

Your third color is your accent color. This color is bolder, and more contrasting than the other two colors. It should only be incorporated into ten-percent of your space. Therefore, throw pillows, some art pieces, and borders at most. 

2. Focus on the Accents

festive decor pieces in accent colors

Credits: Pexels, Inna Lesyk

While the accent color is only incorporated into your space for about ten-percent, it is inevitably the color that ties the entire space together. 

Ask any interior designer and they’ll tell you that picking the main and secondary colors were easier than deciding upon an accent color. 

Since the first two colors are somewhat similar to one another, they’re usually no-brainers. However, the third color is in direct contrast with the first two and therefore the hardest one to pick. 

Here are a few color contrast examples that work to give you better insight: 

  • Hunter Green-Red 
  • Blue-Neons 
  • Forrest Green-Light Gray 
  • Blue-White 
  • Blush Pink-Black

3. Using a Color Wheel

color wheel palette

Credits: Pexels, Digital Buggu

There’s a great tool for people who are new to color-matching, color wheels. A color wheel consists of analogous and contemporary colors that are usually represented as primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. 

These colors are represented on a wheel in close approximation with one another to give designers an outlook on what their color matches would look like. 

Select analogous colors from the wheel. Choose a primary, secondary, and a tertiary color, and then incorporate them into your space in percentages of sixty-thirty-ten. 

4. Light Fixtures

Gremio Luxury Full Moon Wall Lamp

Product in Image: Gremio Luxury Full Moon Wall Lamp

While most people wouldn’t give their lighting fixtures a second thought when it comes to color-matching, it might just be what ties the entire room together! 

When lighting a space that has been carefully curated with appropriate color patterns, you’ll need to find a fixture that contrasts your main color. 


Because the main color takes up more than half of your space. It is also usually represented in wall colors, carpeting, and larger furnishings. 

The lighting fixture is the main centerpiece of the room. If it’s the same color as your main color, the other colors in your space would seem dissolved instead of having a personality of their own. 

Therefore, your lighting fixture needs to be in contrast to your main color!

For more inspiration, visit Light Atelier where you can find the perfect lighting fixture that matches your living space in an array of colors and designs. Browse through our catalog for well over a hundred designs and inspirations – you don’t want to miss out!

5. Odd Numbers

Cozy sitting space with gorgeous color scheme

Credits: Pexels, Pixabay

Why can’t you pick two or four colors for your space? We’ll tell you why. 

When you select even numbers for a living space, you essentially create pairs of colors. Here, two colors would accentuate one another but would starkly differ from the other pair. 

This creates disharmony in your space. As a result, your eyes will shift from one corner of the room to another without it making any sense. 

Odd numbers, primarily three colors, are a great choice for the three fundamentals of color matching – main color, secondary color, and accent color.

6. Using Computer AidsComputer aids for color palettes

Credits: Pexels, Eduardo Dutra

Lastly, if you can’t seem to crack the color matching code, all you need to find the best schemes and patterns that work with one another is computer software. 

Software like Color Snap, Visualize Color, and Color Designer are straight-forward, and simple tools that help in selecting a color palette for your space.

Computer aids are used by some of the most well-known designers in the field because they are the future. They’re quick, hassle-free, and most importantly, they work! 

For example, with Color Snap all you’ll need to do is upload an image that represents the vibe you’re going for. The software then automatically decides an appropriate color scheme that matches that vibe. 

Let’s say a beach. The software will bring forth blue, green, and sandy yellow. This gives you a better idea of what the color palette for your space should be. 

Color-matching might seem daunting at first. There are close to an infinite number of colors in this world. And finding the three that work best with one another might seem taxing. 

However, you don’t have to settle with plain, boring, old colors anymore. With these six rules for color-matching you’ll have a space that looks straight out of a dream!