60-30-10 Rule of Interior Design

60-30-10 Rule of Interior Design

60-30-10 ruleAdding color to a space can be quite difficult. There are so many colors, shades, tones, and combinations it can be overwhelming to choose. In addition, the colors need to be put together in proportions that work well with each other otherwise the space won’t look harmonious. Have you ever heard of the 60-30-10 rule in interior design? The timeless 60-30-10 interior design rule helps determine how much color to use while balancing a room’s atmosphere effortlessly. This concept is incredibly simple to apply, so keep reading for all the details.


Color Schemes

First, you have to choose a color scheme and the design world is full of different color schemes. However, for the purpose of the 60-30-10 rule you only need to know four of these schemes.


A complementary color scheme uses two colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. This creates a high contrast look that can be both striking and elegant. While a complementary color scheme can be used with any two colors, it is often seen with a bright color paired with a neutral. For example, blue and yellow is a popular combo, as is red and green. When using a complementary color scheme, it is important to use the colors in equal amounts to achieve the desired effect. Too much of one color will overwhelm the other, resulting in a look that is unbalanced and jarring.

60-30-10 Rule


A monochromatic color scheme features a single color throughout an entire space. This can be achieved by using different shades, tints, and tones of the same color. Monochromatic schemes are often used in design to create a feeling of harmony and tranquility. They can also be used to make a space feel larger or more cohesive. When using a monochromatic scheme, it is important to consider the undertone of the chosen color. For example, a blue with a warm undertone will create a different feeling than a blue with a cool undertone. By carefully choosing the right colors, you can create any mood or feeling you want in your space.


Analogous color schemes use colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. This type of color scheme is often found in nature and can create a harmonious and relaxing feeling. To use an analogous color scheme in your own home, try painting walls in three adjoining colors or using different shades of the same color. furniture and décor in complementary colors can also help to tie the look together. When using an analogous color scheme, it is important to vary the tones and textures to avoid monotony. For example, pair a light blue wall with a dark green sofa and a medium brown coffee table. By including a mix of light, dark, and medium tones, you will create an inviting and visually interesting space.


A triadic color scheme is a color palette that consists of three colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel. This type of color scheme is often used in design because it is both visually appealing and harmonious. When using a triadic color scheme, it is important to find a balance between the three colors. One way to do this is to use one dominant color, one secondary color, and one accent color. For example, a common triadic color scheme might consist of blue, yellow, and red. In this case, blue would be the dominant color, yellow would be the secondary color, and red would be the accent color. By careful selection of colors and careful placement within the design, a triadic color scheme can create a pleasing and balanced composition.


60-30-10 Rule

color wheelInterior design is all about creating a cohesive and well-rounded look in any given space. One great way to achieve this is by following the 60-30-10 rule. This rule dictates that 60% of the room should be dominated by one color, 30% by a second color, and 10% by an accent color. This provides a visual balance that can make any room feel more harmonious.


color scheme

Applying the 60-30-10 Rule

Start by choosing a dominant color. This color should be used for 60% of the room, including walls, floors, and large furniture. The remaining 30% of the room should be devoted to a secondary color, which can be used for smaller items such as curtains, throw pillows, accent walls, side chairs or artwork. The final 10% of the room should be reserved for an accent color, which can add visual interest and contrast.

One popular way to use the 60-30-10 rule is to paint three walls in the 60% color, one wall in the 30% color, and use the 10% color as an accent. This can be done by painting stripes, using different paint finishes, or by simply adding accessories in the accent color.

Another way to use the 60-30-10 rule is to choose furniture and fabrics in the two dominant colors, and then use the accent color in smaller doses throughout the room. This might mean adding a throw pillow in the accent color or using it as an accent wall behind a piece of furniture.


Interior Design Tips

Warm or Cool Colors?

Warm and cool colors both have distinct benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to understand the difference between the two before deciding. Warm colors, such as red, yellow, and orange, tend to be inviting and energizing. They can help to create a cozy feeling in a space, and they are often used in rooms where people gather to socialize. However, warm colors can also be overwhelming, and they can make a small room feel even smaller. Cool colors, on the other hand, such as blue and green, tend to have a calming effect. They can make a room feel more spacious and serene, making them ideal for bedrooms and bathrooms. However, cool colors can also seem aloof and impersonal. The best way to choose a color scheme is to experiment with different shades and tones until you find something that feels just right for your home.

110% Rule

Once you have mastered the 60-30-10 rule and are ready to advance to the next level, or if the 60-30-10 rule seems too strict, add another 10%. Two accent colors are better than one. Break the rules, grab that extra throw pillow or picture frame, and add a little more color.

Color Wheel

Learn more about color theory and try out different color combinations with Canva’s color wheel.


Interior Design Help

Interior design rule

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the 60-30-10 rule and all of the color options out there, don’t worry! You can always contact a professional to help you choose the right colors for your space. The team at L’IMAGE Design Studio specializes in interior design and architecture and can help you find the perfect colors for your home or business. With their expertise, you will be able to create a beautiful and cohesive space that is sure to impress. Have you ever used the 60-30-10 rule when choosing colors? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below.