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What Is The 60 30 10 Decorating Rule

In the realm of interior design, achieving a harmonious and visually appealing space often involves the strategic use of color palettes and proportions. The 60 30 10 decorating rule is a widely recognized guideline that interior designers and homeowners utilize to create a well-balanced and aesthetically pleasing color scheme within a room. Understanding this fundamental principle can empower individuals to curate cohesive and visually striking interiors that reflect their unique style and preferences.


Understanding the Basics

The 60 30 10 decorating rule simplifies the process of color coordination by breaking down the use of color into three distinct proportions. According to this principle, a well-balanced and cohesive color scheme should consist of:

  • 60% dominant color
  • 30% secondary color
  • 10% accent color

By allocating these specific percentages to different colors within a space, designers can create a sense of visual equilibrium, allowing each hue to complement the others and contribute to an overall cohesive design aesthetic.


Implementing the Rule

The dominant color, representing 60% of the color scheme, serves as the primary backdrop for the room. This color typically encompasses the walls, large furniture pieces, or major decorative elements. Selecting a neutral or muted tone as the dominant color can provide a versatile and timeless foundation for the overall design, allowing for flexibility in the introduction of complementary hues.

The secondary color, constituting 30% of the scheme, functions as a complementary counterpart to the dominant color. This shade can be applied to upholstery, drapery, accent walls, or additional furniture pieces, creating visual interest and depth within the space. Choosing a color that contrasts or harmonizes with the dominant color enhances the overall aesthetic appeal and adds dimension to the room.

The accent color, making up the remaining 10% of the scheme, is a vibrant or bold hue that injects personality and flair into the design. This color is typically incorporated through accessories, throw pillows, artwork, or other decorative accents that serve as focal points within the room. The accent color acts as a visual punctuation mark, drawing attention to specific design elements and infusing the space with a sense of vibrancy and style.


Applying Flexibility and Creativity

While the 60 30 10 decorating rule provides a practical framework for color coordination, it is essential to approach it with a degree of flexibility and creativity. Designers and homeowners are encouraged to experiment with various color combinations, textures, and patterns to achieve a personalized and distinctive aesthetic that reflects their individual taste and preferences. Embracing the rule as a guiding principle rather than a rigid formula allows for the exploration of diverse design possibilities and encourages a nuanced approach to color integration within the space.


In conclusion, the 60 30 10 decorating rule serves as a valuable tool for achieving balance, cohesion, and visual appeal within interior design. By thoughtfully allocating proportions to different colors, designers can create dynamic and engaging spaces that reflect a harmonious interplay of hues, textures, and design elements. Embracing this principle as a fundamental guideline, while incorporating personal creativity and style, can empower individuals to curate captivating and visually stunning interiors that evoke a sense of warmth, character, and aesthetic sophistication.