Colorful spaces are misleading. We have bumped into some horrible color clashes and it wasn’t a nice spectacle at all. The difference between a minimal space and a colorful space is that it is way harder to design the latter. Colorful spaces require a deep understanding of color theory or an innate talent (there are some lucky bastards who are endowed with it).

So here’s one rule that can facilitate the process of choosing colors for your space. It’s not mandatory, but it definitely works. The name of the rule is “60-30-10”, and no, this is not the standard sizes of models nowadays (or is it?)

What does the rule say?

The 60% is the primary color- most of the walls, carpeting, and closets will be painted with this color. The primary color provides a background to the colors that follow.

The 30% is the secondary color (you can also divide it into 15%-15% of two analogous tones), and it’ll appear half of the time of the primary color. This color will be incorporated into draperies, chairs, sheets, and some areas on the wall.

The 10% is the accent color that enhances the space’s look and feel. It’ll usually appear on pillows, lamps, pictures, and monuments.

the 60-30-10 rule

But how do you choose the colors?

That is a good question! And it is probably the million-dollar question, because color theory is not something you can teach in just one article. However, we would definitely recommend for you to look for a color combination that you like on clothing, fabrics, pictures, or anything else with color. Many great designers choose colors based on color inspiration combinations in nature and in our everyday life. Open your eyes and choose the colors you like.


In general, the primary color should be moderate and neutral in comparison to the secondary and accent colors. The smaller the surface, the bolder and stronger the color can be (but it’s not at all obligatory: as you may have noticed, most of the illustrations in this article prove otherwise).


the 60-30-10 rule


And what if we want to break the rules?

You may! and it can turn our amazing, but there’s a way to do that and keep the color balance of the space even if we want to add new colors.


You may! And it can turn out amazing, but there’s a way to do it and maintain the color balance of the space even if we want to add new colors.


For instance, you can add another tone of 10%, so the space will contain 110% hues- 60%-30%-10%-10%, because there are many cases where 10% is not enough and we’d want to add some punch to the space. Sometimes, you can divide the colors into 30%-30%-20%-20%. As long as you’re aware of the primary color segments that you’ve chosen, the chances that you’ll find yourselves with unwanted results decrease dramatically.


60-30-10 rule palette


Monochromatic palette- relaxed vibes

If you want to use this rule and create a calm environment, you should choose a monochromatic color palette. A monochromatic palette is based one hue that was blended with white (tinted) or black (shaded), but not by any other hue. Spaces that are based on a neutral, monochromatic palette create a calm and relaxed feeling.


Related: How to upgrade your bathroom in 7 easy steps


Why should you follow the rule?

Using colors eclectically and making it work is not easy, and the possibility of it turning into a big mess is a somewhat likely scenario. The 60-30-10 rule is an excellent rule of thumb for anyone who wants to take risks with colors but with confidence. There are so many colors and combination options that creating a palette based on a scheme can facilitate the process and help you achieve the right results with minimum effort.

60-30-10 rule
Image: Albert Pinto Interior Design


Why shouldn’t you follow the rule?

Because rules are meant to be broken! Haha. On a serious note, there’s a lot of style that requires more than 3 colors in the space (Cuban, Indian, Eclectic), so like in so many other things we say- follow your heart! If you get lost, you can always pull out the rule again. But most importantly- bring colors to your spaces and it will change your life!

boho chick the jungalow
Image: The Jungalow



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