Ekta Makadia - Color Theory - 60:30:10 Rule

Mastering the 60:30:10 Color Rule for Home Interiors

Before you start painting your home while interior designing, it’s essential to understand color theory to ensure your space looks harmonious and well-designed. One of the most effective and widely used theories in interior design is the 60:30:10 color rule for home interiors. This rule helps you create a balanced and aesthetically pleasing color scheme by dividing the color usage into three distinct parts: dominant, secondary, and accent colors.

The 60:30:10 Rule Explained

60% – Dominant Color

The dominant color should cover about 60% of the room. This color serves as the base or backdrop for the space, creating a unified and harmonious look. Typically, dominant colors are used on large surfaces such as floors, walls, and ceilings. Neutral shades are ideal for this purpose as they provide a versatile foundation that can complement various styles and accessories. Common neutral colors include:

These colors are calming and provide a perfect canvas for layering other hues and textures.

30% – Secondary Color

The secondary color occupies 30% of the space and complements the dominant color. This color is typically used for larger furniture pieces, such as sofas, cabinets, and curtains. The secondary color should be a shade that harmonizes well with the dominant color but adds more depth and interest to the room. For instance, if your dominant color is beige, your secondary color might be a darker shade of the same color or another neutral hue like taupe or charcoal.

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Using darker shades of the dominant color creates a cohesive look while adding more visual interest and richness to the space.

10% – Accent Color

The accent color makes up the remaining 10% of the room and is used for smaller, eye-catching items. This is where you can get creative and add a pop of color that stands out against the more subdued dominant and secondary colors. Accent colors are typically used for decor items such as cushions, armchairs, artwork, and other accessories. High contrast colors work well here, providing a striking visual focal point. Examples of accent colors include:

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These colors add personality and vibrancy to the room, making it more dynamic and engaging.

Applying the 60:30:10 Rule in Different Rooms

1) Living Room

Dominant Color (60%): Light grey walls and ceiling, light beige flooring

Light grey is an excellent choice for the living room’s dominant color as it offers a neutral and calming backdrop. Pairing this with light beige flooring enhances the overall warmth and coziness of the space. This combination creates a versatile foundation that can accommodate a variety of styles and color accents.

Secondary Color (30%): Dark grey sofa, beige curtains

A darker shade of grey for the sofa introduces depth without overwhelming the room. Beige curtains add a touch of warmth and help to soften the look, making the space feel more inviting and balanced. This secondary color provides a subtle contrast that enriches the dominant light grey.

Accent Color (10%): Bright yellow cushions, blue armchair, colorful artwork

Bright yellow cushions introduce a vibrant and cheerful element to the room. A blue armchair adds another layer of contrast, while colorful artwork ties the look together, creating focal points that draw the eye and add interest to the space.

2) Bedroom

Dominant Color (60%): Soft white walls, pale grey bed linens

Soft white walls in the bedroom create a serene and tranquil atmosphere, perfect for relaxation. Pale grey bed linens add a touch of sophistication and maintain the calming effect of the dominant color.

Secondary Color (30%): Charcoal grey headboard, muted blue throw pillows

A charcoal grey headboard provides a striking contrast against the soft white walls, adding a touch of drama and elegance. Muted blue throw pillows introduce a subtle pop of color that complements the grey tones without overpowering the space.

Accent Color (10%): Gold bedside lamps, vibrant artwork, patterned rug

Gold bedside lamps bring a hint of luxury and warmth to the bedroom. Vibrant artwork adds personality and serves as a focal point, while a patterned rug under the bed ties the look together, introducing texture and interest.

3) Bathroom

Dominant Color (60%): White tiles, light grey flooring

White tiles create a clean and bright foundation for the bathroom, making it feel more spacious and airy. Light grey flooring adds a subtle contrast, maintaining the overall brightness while introducing a touch of warmth.

Secondary Color (30%): Navy blue vanity, chrome fixtures

A navy blue vanity provides a bold and sophisticated element in the bathroom, adding depth and richness to the space. Chrome fixtures complement the blue tones and add a modern, polished touch.

Accent Color (10%): Patterned shower curtain, decorative mirrors

A patterned shower curtain adds visual interest and texture, while decorative mirrors serve as functional and stylish accents.

Benefits of the 60:30:10 color rule for home interiors

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Creates Balance and Harmony

The 60:30:10 rule ensures that the colors in your space are balanced and harmonious. By dedicating 60% of the space to a dominant color, you create a cohesive backdrop that ties the room together. The 30% secondary color adds depth and interest, while the 10% accent color provides pops of personality and vibrancy.

Simplifies the Design Process

Following the 60:30:10 rule simplifies the design process by providing a clear framework for color distribution. This guideline helps you make informed decisions about where to apply each color, making it easier to achieve a well-designed and aesthetically pleasing space.

Enhances Visual Appeal

Using the 60:30:10 rule enhances the visual appeal of your space by ensuring that the colors are proportionate and complementary. This rule helps you avoid overwhelming the room with too many bold colors, creating a more sophisticated and elegant look.

Provides Flexibility

The 60:30:10 rule offers flexibility in color selection and application. While the rule provides a framework, it allows you to experiment with different shades and combinations to suit your personal style and preferences. Whether you prefer a neutral palette or bold and vibrant hues, this rule can be adapted to fit your vision.

Lighting is a fundamental element that can enhance the ambiance and functionality of your home. We will delve into the three primary types of lighting – ambient, task, and accent – and their respective roles in creating a well-lit and inviting space. From chandeliers to sconces, we will discuss various lighting fixtures and their placement to achieve the desired atmosphere. Furthermore, we will explore the benefits of natural light and ways to optimize it within your home.

Tips for Implementing the 60:30:10 color rule for home interiors

Choose a Neutral Dominant Color

When selecting your dominant color, consider choosing a neutral shade such as off white, ivory, beige, or light grey. These colors provide a versatile foundation that complements various styles and allows you to easily incorporate different secondary and accent colors.

Experiment with Secondary Colors

Don’t be afraid to experiment with secondary colors to add depth and interest to your space. Choose shades that harmonize with your dominant color but provide enough contrast to create visual intrigue. Consider using secondary colors on larger furniture pieces, such as sofas, curtains, and cabinets, to make a statement.

Get Creative with Accent Colors

Accent colors are your opportunity to get creative and add pops of personality to your space. Choose bold and vibrant hues that stand out against the dominant and secondary colors. Use accent colors sparingly on smaller decor items, such as cushions, artwork, and accessories, to create focal points that draw the eye.

Consider the Overall Mood and Atmosphere

When selecting colors for your space, consider the overall mood and atmosphere you want to create. Neutral and muted tones create a calm and serene environment, while bold and vibrant hues add energy and excitement. Think about how you want to feel in each room and choose colors that reflect that mood.

Test Your Colors

Before committing to a color scheme, test your colors in the space to see how they look in different lighting conditions. Paint small sections of the wall or use sample boards to visualize how the colors will interact with each other. This step helps you make informed decisions and ensures that you are happy with the final result.


Understanding and applying the 60:30:10 color rule for home interiors can significantly enhance the look and feel of your home. It ensures a balanced distribution of colors, creating a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing space. By dedicating 60% of the space to a dominant color, 30% to a secondary color, and 10% to an accent color, you can create a harmonious and visually appealing environment.

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