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Key Elements of 80-20 Rule in Interior Design That You Must Know

Key Elements of 80-20 Rule in Interior Design That You Must Know

May 30, 2023

The 80-20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle, is a popular concept in many fields, including business, economics and management. It states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes. But how can you use this rule to improve your interior design?


What is the 80-20 rule in interior design?



Achieve simplicity with the 80-20 rule in your minimalist living room while maintaining a captivating focal point


The 80-20 rule in interior design is a simple guideline that helps you create a balanced and harmonious space. It suggests that you should choose one dominant style or color scheme for 80% of your room, and a contrasting or complementary style or color scheme for the remaining 20%. This way, you can achieve a cohesive look without being too boring or too chaotic.

For example, if you want to create a modern and minimalist room, you can use white, gray and black as your main colors for 80% of your space, and add some pops of bright colors or patterns for the remaining 20%. Or if you prefer a cozy and rustic room, you can use wood, natural fabrics and earthy tones for 80% of your space, and add some metallic accents or geometric shapes for the remaining 20%.


What are the key elements of the 80-20 rule?



Apply the 80-20 rule to create a vintage touch in your living room


The 80-20 rule can be applied to various elements of interior design, such as furniture, accessories, lighting, artwork and rugs. Here are some tips on how to use the rule for each element:

  • Furniture: Choose one main style of furniture for 80% of your room, such as modern, traditional, vintage or industrial. Then mix in some pieces from a different style for the remaining 20%, such as a classic armchair, a retro coffee table or a bohemian pouf. This will create some visual interest and personality in your space.
  • Accessories: Choose one main theme or color scheme for 80% of your accessories, such as plants, candles, books or pillows. Then add some contrast or variety with the remaining 20%, such as a statement vase, a quirky sculpture or a colorful throw. This will create some focal points and texture in your space.
  • Lighting: Choose one main type of lighting for 80% of your room, such as natural light, ambient light or task light. Then add some drama or mood with the remaining 20%, such as a pendant lamp, a floor lamp or a string light. This will create some depth and ambiance in your space.
  • Artwork: Choose one main style or genre of artwork for 80% of your room, such as abstract, landscape or portrait. Then add some spice or surprise with the remaining 20%, such as a pop art poster, a graffiti mural or a collage. This will create some character and expression in your space.
  • Rugs: Choose one main pattern or material for 80% of your rugs, such as solid, striped or wool. Then add some flair or warmth with the remaining 20%, such as a floral print, a cowhide or a shaggy rug. This will create some dimension and coziness in your space.


How to perfect the 80-20 technique in interior design?


Hestya-interior-design-using-80-20-rule-for-a-living-room-with-natural-lightAn 80-20 rule living room illuminated by natural light


The 80-20 rule is not a strict formula, but rather a flexible guideline that you can adapt to your own taste and preference. Here are some ways to perfect the technique and make it work for you:

  • Experiment with different ratios: You don’t have to stick to exactly 80% and 20%. You can try different proportions depending on the size and shape of your room, the mood and atmosphere you want to create, and the amount of contrast and harmony you want to achieve. For example, you can go for 70-30, 60-40 or even 50-50 if you want more balance or diversity in your space.
  • Play with different elements: You don’t have to apply the rule to every element in your room. You can focus on one or two elements that you want to highlight or emphasize, and leave the rest more neutral or simple. For example, you can use the rule for your furniture and accessories only, and keep your lighting and artwork more consistent or minimal.
  • Have fun with different styles and colors: You don’t have to limit yourself to one style or color scheme for each category. You can mix and match different styles and colors within the same category as long as they complement each other and create a cohesive look. For example, you can use different shades of blue for your main color scheme, and different types of wood for your main furniture style.


Why You Should Try the 80-20 Rule in Your Home


  • The 80-20 rule can help you save time and money by focusing on the most impactful elements of your interior design and avoiding unnecessary clutter or expenses.
  • It can also help you create a more spacious and airy feel in your room by reducing the amount of furniture and accessories that take up space and block light.
  • Moreover, it helps you express your personality and taste by allowing you to showcase your favorite style or color scheme and adding some unique touches that reflect your interests and hobbies.
  • Last but not least, you can achieve a more balanced and harmonious look in your room by creating a contrast between the dominant and the secondary elements and avoiding too much monotony or confusion by just applying the rule.


Ready to try the 80-20 rule in interior design?


If you are looking for some inspiration and guidance on how to apply the 80-20 rule in interior design, look no further than Hestya. Hestya is an online interior design company that offers high-quality custom products, affordable service and a 3D scanning app for interior design.


Hestya helps you find your unique style by taking a fun and easy style quiz that matches you with one of their expert designers. Hestya also helps you visualize your dream space by using their innovative app that scans your room in minutes and creates a realistic 3D model that you can customize with their products.


Hestya offers a wide range of products that suit any style and budget, from furniture and lighting to rugs and artwork.

So what are you waiting for? Let Hestya help you transform your space with the 80-20 rule in interior design!





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Start your journey with guidance on furniture selection and their arrangement, including 2 revisions.

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Enhance your vision with a realistic 3D visualization of your furnished room and benefit from 4 revisions.

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For a bespoke touch, we design custom-made furniture tailored to your preferences, from size and color to materials.

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