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Golden Ratio Guide

The Golden Ratio, also known as the Golden Section, was first studied and learned by the Ancient Greeks. Commonly found in nature, the Golden Ratio can also be applied to design and architecture to foster organic and aesthetically-pleasing forms. You might be thinking to yourself, “What is the Golden Ratio?”. In Layman’s terms, the Golden Ratio exists when a line is divided into two parts, and the longer part (a) divided by the smaller part (b) is equal to the sum of (a) + (b). It is closely related to the Fibonacci sequence, which could be explained in an entirely separate blog post. The exact ratio is 1:1.618, but it can also be seen as the 40:60 rule, or even the 10:30:60 rule. The golden rectangle is a great example of how the Golden Ratio might be used (see below).

the golden rectangle
The Golden Rectangle

The Golden Ratio is often used is in architecture and design. Since this ratio provides the viewer with aesthetically-pleasing forms, architects and designers incorporate the Golden Ratio into the structure of a building. Oftentimes, the best floor plans are derived from this ratio. Without even realizing it, architects will incorporate the Golden r Ratio into many aspects of their designs. Look at the image above of the golden rectangle. Does it not resemble a living room, kitchen, then bedroom space with a bathroom and closet? One could say that it is reminiscent of the average household's floor plan.

“Since we always begin with the floor plan rather than the façade or front elevation, the finished layout invariably suggests how that façade should look and as a result, it too is based on the golden ratio.”

- Jim O’Leary, Winter Park Home

The golden ratio can also be applied to interior design. Using the 40:60 rule, interior designers will often use up 60% of the floor, wall, or ceiling space with furniture, colour, pattern, or texture, and leave 40% void of decoration. This will look much better than if they were to fill the space completely This theory can also be applied when selecting colour palettes. For example, a primary colour can take up 60% of the wall space, and then the secondary colour can account for 30%. If you need a third colour or “accent” colour, use up to 10% of said wall space to accommodate this colour. This ratio, when used properly, will make any space look inviting, aesthetically-pleasing, and complete.

a lving room using the golden ratio with using more grey and white, and less green
Using the Golden Ratio in Colour Themes and Furniture Layout

In the image above, the designer has used white for 60% of the space, 30% utilizes a dark grey-brown, and 10% utilizes green. This is the perfect example of the Golden Ratio in action. While this living room style may, or may not be, a design that interests you, you can probably still agree that it is pleasing to the eye.

For years, the validity of the Golden Ratio has been discussed amongst mathematicians and professionals, questioning its logic. It is said that the golden ratio has never been the reason anything in nature is the way it is, or why certain things look better than others. The concept of the Golden Ratio is still debated to this day. We at thinkform believe that, whether fact or fiction, math or myth, the Golden Ratio is a very helpful tool in both architecture and interior design.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!


A, N. (n.d.). Golden ratio: Key to perfection in building design and Interiors. Real Estate Industry News & Insights. Retrieved March 25, 2022, from https://content.magicbricks.com/property-news/golden-ratio-key-to-perfection-in-building-design-and-interiors/111914.html

Phil, K. (2020, April 1). The golden ratio in modern architecture: Phil Kean design group. Phil Kean Design Group | Distinctive Custom Luxury Residences. Retrieved March 25, 2022, from https://philkeandesigns.com/blog/golden-ratio-modern-architecture/

Searle, L. (2021, October 15). The golden ratio in interior design – how to use this formula to create balanced schemes. homesandgardens.com. Retrieved March 25, 2022, from https://www.homesandgardens.com/advice/the-golden-ratio

Very, & true, V. (2012, February 23). Myths of maths: The golden ratio. Plus Maths. Retrieved March 25, 2022, from https://plus.maths.org/content/myths-maths-golden-ratio

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