How to Master the Numeric Formula of Colours: 60-30-10 Rule in Your Home

1 comment Aug 6, 2023

It's a simple, timeless decorating rule that helps you put a colour scheme together easily. It's a decorating tool worth following. The concept involves sticking to proportions of colour to give your room a balanced and harmonious look. The 60-30-10 rule works like this: 

  • 60 percent: The main colour you choose should represent 60 percent of a room. 
  • 30 percent: The secondary colour should represent 30 percent of a room. 
  • 10 percent: The accent colour you choose should represent 10 percent of a room. 

 A quick 60-30-10 rule example would be the following: Your room has all white walls and a white sectional sofa (60 percent), neutral flooring, side tables, and upholstered side chairs (30 percent), and pops of one color around the room using toss pillows, artwork, and other small items (10 percent).

How You Can Use Use This Rule In Design

The 60-30-10 rule is important because it can make choosing color simple to help you achieve balance in decorating. For details on how the concept works, here are more examples you can use to guide your color choices.

The 60 Percent Color Rule

The 60 percent proportion refers to the main color you're going to use in your room design. This color will anchor the space and also serves as a backdrop for the rest of the colors you plan to use. Examples of what 60 percent of a room includes:

  • Walls
  • Area rugs
  • Sofa or other large pieces of furniture


The 30 Percent Colour Rule 

The 30 percent proportion refers to the secondary color in the room. It is used half as much as the main color. The secondary color supports the main color but is different enough to set them apart and give the room contrast and interest. Examples of what items 30 percent of a room includes: 

  • Window coverings and draperies 
  • Accent chairs 
  • Bed linens 
  • Painted furniture 
  • Accent wall 


The 10 Percent Color Rule 

The 10 percent proportion refers to the accent colour in a room. This color will add fun into your space. Pull a color from the artwork in a room or from a printed fabric on a larger item to use as an accent color. Here are examples of what comprises 10 percent of a room: 

  • Throw pillows and throw blankets (on a sofa or bed) 
  • Decorative accessories (frames and vases, for example) 
  • Lamps and candles 
  • Artwork 


Do We Really Have to Do This, Though? 

If you’re a decorating rebel who prefers to follow your own design and colour scheme rules or you want more than three choices to express your color ideas, there are ways to do it while still creating colour balance in your home. 

The key is to learn the rules before you break them so you understand the basic idea of the concept. Once you understand the basic idea behind the rule, then it will be easier to customize color use in your spaces. 


What If You Don’t Like What You See? 

This decorating rule is helpful, but what if you don't like the results? Breaking the rules and writing your own formula may work best for you. If a 30-30-20-20 formula feels right to you, then experiment with those proportions. Pay attention to how the colors balance in the space. When you become aware of the visual weight of your color proportions, you can make adjustments to find the balance that speaks to you. Designers also use the 70-20-10 colour rule, which follows the same general concepts of the 60-30-10 rule, just with varying percentages of color.



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1 comment

  • graham patterson October 5, 2023 at 8:08 am

    I bought 2 outdoor mats and 2 indoor ones from u recently- very happy although would like tips on how to clean? Now I’m after a lounge rug like a tricolour flag , white, black and red! Can u do it ?

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