As interior designers, we can’t tell you how many questions we get from clients and friends about choosing the right colors for their homes and offices. Because color is such a powerful element of design, we thought we’d compile a brief list of rules of thumb for achieving the look you’re after.

Color wheel

1. Follow the 60-30-10 rule – In other words, 60% dominant color, 30% secondary color, and 10% accent color.

Duet Design Group, Soul Mark – Dominant shades of gray, secondary whites, and touches of blue and green accents

Duet Design Group, Soul Mark – Dominant shades of gray, secondary whites, and touches of blue and green accents

2. Pick colors from dominating pattern – Patterned rugs and other upholstered elements of a room are often a treasure trove for finding accent colors. Pick a color you like from these dominate design pieces and run with it.

Duet Design Group, Platte Park 2101 – Dominating pinks and fuchsias in a patterned rug are a great option for accent colors in this living room

Duet Design Group, Platte Park 2101 – Dominating pinks and fuchsias in a patterned rug are a great option for accent colors in this living room

3. Color psychology 101 – There is a psychology to color that influences the way a room makes us feel. A couple examples: Blues/greens – Calming; Yellow/Orange/Red – Raise energy levels

Duet Design Group, Garfield – A soft shade of blue adds a calming touch to this master bedroom

Duet Design Group, Garfield – A soft shade of blue adds a calming touch to this master bedroom

4. Add splashes of color – Splashes of color are a great way to add life to any room. If you don’t want to go all out with color, you can add color to staples such as lampshades (shown below) or curtains.

Duet Design Group, Platte Park 2101 – Red and bright blue accents pop against the neutral background of this office space

Duet Design Group, Platte Park 2101 – Red and bright blue accents pop against the neutral background of this office space

5. Look in your closet – Our clothing picks speak volumes about colors we’re attracted to, so use your wardrobe to help guide you.

Neutrals, metallics and and soft pinks/purples

Neutrals, metallics and and soft pinks/purples

6. Don’t design a room around wall color – Wall color is one of the easiest and least costly things to change in any interior design project. Don’t let it dictate the colors in your room.

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