The 60-30-10 Color Rule in Home Design



Colors are one of those elements in home design you can never decide on hastily. Otherwise, you might end up with a room that’s not easy on the eyes or doesn’t have the right ‘feel’. Fortunately, there’s a guiding principle you can use when applying colors in your space. If you use it right, you can guarantee a sense of visual balance in your design.

The 60-30-10 Rule

The 60-30-10 rule is very simple, in that the numbers describe the distribution of hues in the room. Sixty percent of the space will have the dominant color. It’s the background hue, so to speak, so it covers most of the walls. It’s also on major pieces in the room, like sofas and rugs, again, because it’s the primary color. 

30% of the space, on the other hand, will have the secondary shade. It will be on your curtains, some of the small furniture, like side chairs and console tables, and architectural details, like columns and frames of residential windows. Salt Lake City-based interior designers say that this shade should be distinct enough from the first one to give the room a little contrast and more visual interest.

The remaining 10% will get the accent hue. In most instances, this is a much bolder color than the two. A bright pop of color. But there are also times when it’s a subtler tone is more appropriate, especially when the room aims for a neutral color scheme. Your accent will be on accent pieces, of course. This includes your throw pillows, artwork, and other decorative accessories, like mirror frames, vases, jars, etc.

Choice of Colors

To get your magic-three colors and finalize your palette, the color wheel will be your best friend. There are different ways to use it. You can, for instance, go monochromatic. Just select one color from the wheel, and then use the lighter and darker version of that hue on your space. You can also choose a complementary scheme. Pick two colors opposite from each other on the wheel. You should have warm and cool shades, leaving you with a nice, visually-appealing balance and contrast. 

There’s also the option to go for analogous. For this, you just have to choose one central color. After that, pick the hues on either side of it in the wheel. So for example, you got the green, the blue-green and yellow-green will be your two other picks.

Just a reminder when selecting colors at the wheel: go beyond visual appeal. Consider the mood they create in a specific room. Make sure that they align with the function of the room. You don’t want your bedroom, your sleeping sanctuary, to be screaming in bright, warm reds and oranges, right? Envision the atmosphere in the room when you use a certain color.

Colors in Interior Design

Color palettes are one of the hardest to finalize when revamping a space. It forms the base of the design, so you can’t afford to make a mistake on it. Thankfully, there’s the 60-30-10 rule. Fortunately, there’s the color wheel. Use these concepts as you spruce up your design.