Choosing colors in interior design is not just about picking your favorite shades. The top color rules for home decorating can help you achieve the look you want while still making sure you’re respecting some simple tips for creating a comfortable space to live in.

Check out the most important color rules for home decorating, and you’ll be able to make the right decisions when you’re choosing shades for every element of interior design.

Don’t Ignore the 60-30-10 Rule

The fundamental rule that applies to any space sets the correct color percentages for a room that’s really beautiful and comfortable. The 60-30-10 rule states the right way to combine colors in a room includes: 60% a dominant color (walls), 30% a secondary color (furniture or upholstery) and 10% an accent color. Using this simple tip, you’ll be able to create the same proportions you see in design magazines.

Use the Color Wheel

One of the top color rules for home decorating lets you choose between complementary colors and analogous covers on the color wheel. Complementary colors (opposites on the color wheel) create a more formal look, suited to the living room and dining room. Analogous colors (neighbors on the colors wheel) are the right way to go for bedrooms and other rooms with a restful vibe.

Color Rules Home Decor

Balance Dark and Light Colors Correctly

Since darker colors tend to look more heavy, the best way to create a space you’ll love is to decorate vertically. Floors should have a darker shade, walls lighter and the ceiling should always be lighter. This is one of the best color rules for home decorating, that ensures a natural atmosphere in the room, making it comfortable and pleasant to live in.

Go for High Contrast

Just like complementary colors give a more formal look to a room, contrast between the colors you choose also has a big impact in the way a room feels. When you’re using a high contrast combination, like dark purple and gold, you’re also setting a more formal and well defined tone in your space. Low contrast, like green and yellow or gray and blue, makes for a less visually striking and more restful space.

Use a Touch of Black

One of the best color rules for home decorating states that every room should have one black detail. Whether it’s a picture frame or part of a lamp, black always makes other colors pop, enhancing them and adding a bit more definition to a space. You can also add a white element in each room to enhance the contrast in a more subtle way, but black always gets the job done.

Choose a Restful Color for the Bedroom

Emotional response to color is also very important, because some associations simply can’t be rationalized away. For instance a vibrant shade of red will prove very tiresome in the bedroom, a space that’s supposed to have a soothing vibe. The same goes for orange and bright yellow. Going for cooler colors or dark shades is a much better choice for the bedroom.

Avoid Warm Shades in the Dining Area

One of the emotional responses to color that you may be even less aware of is that warm colors can enhance your appetite, while cool ones keep it down. That’s why one of the smartest color rules for home decorating is to use cooler colors for any dining space, whether it’s a full room or part of the kitchen. If you surround yourself with reds, yellows and other warm colors where you eat, colors that the fast food industry loves, you’ll find yourself eating slightly bigger portions and snacking more frequently.

Choosing Color Interior Design

Test Drive Your Colors

You can’t really “test drive” your furniture, upholstery and window treatments, but seeing how the color feels in your space is very important. Ask for samples in colors you’re thinking of using for a particular room and place the sample in the space. Check it a few times in different lighting to make an informed decision.

Pay Attention to the Room’s Exposure

Choosing the right colors for a space should also take into account the direction the windows face in any room. One of the most useful color rules for home decorating advises you to use lighter colors in rooms with northern exposure, because they have less natural light. The opposite is true for rooms with southern exposure, where colors will look lighter than they are in natural lighting.