A beautiful room is one that carefully coordinates colour and texture without compensating the owner’s taste and style. Oftentimes, in the effort of expressing our own personality in home design, we tend to crowd the space with too many fittings and items that it doesn’t become the kind of relaxing haven we envision it to be.
Similarly, in order to achieve balance, harmony and elegance in our home, we sometimes forget to integrate our character into the design because we follow strict rules-of-thumb and guidelines. However, we can avoid these mistakes with our choice of design elements, particularly the colour scheme.
Undeniably, the selection and design of colours create the biggest amount of impact in a space. No matter how pricey the pieces in the room or how personal they are, it is always the colours that first catches the attention of the observer.
One of the best ways of balancing colours is the 60-30-10 design rule. The core idea of this is simple – 60% of one colour, 30% of another, and a meagre 10% of a final one. Yes, it sounds easy but its effect should be maximised to create the desired impression. So how do you use the 60-30-10 rule in your space? Here are some smart tips you can follow.
Dominant – 60%
This is the leading colour in the room and obviously, this sets the overall tone and theme of the room. The 60% is quite large but you can easily incorporate the colour on the walls and floors. Think of it as the backdrop for the entire home design on which you can layer on other colours and some patterns.
This does not need to be the exact same colour, but they need to be in the same family. For example, you can go light grey on the wall and dark grey on the floor, or beige and light brown. Just make sure the colours have similar tones and shades in order to create depth and dimension.
Passive – 30%
The 30% may not be that large but you can still play a lot with that percentage. Your colour choice does not have to be strong and striking; instead, go soft with the 30% so it complements well with the dominating 60%. It is hard to achieve harmony when colours are constantly vying for attention.
For the 30%, you can splash your colour choice on the furniture, upholstery, curtains, carpets, and all the textiles in the room. Similar to the floors and walls, you can opt for similar colours in varying shades and even textures.
If you consider yourself as someone with a vibrant personality, you will not just settle with a single colour. Instead, play with shades and textures to add more life and fun to your design scheme.
Bold – 10%
The remaining 10% should be your accent colour. This is a very small percentage, so it needs to pop and stand out against the overwhelming 60% and 30%. Thus, your colour choice should be graceful and striking in order to further liven up the space. You can place this accent colour on cushions, vases, and other decorative items.
How to choose your three colours?
This is entirely up to your taste, but it is best to start with something which you can use as an anchor. The “anchor” should speak about your personality and this ultimately becomes the highlight or the unifying thing in the entire space. This can be a piece of artwork which you want to display, some family heirloom or vintage items, some framed photographs for your gallery wall, or even a beautiful wallpaper for your feature wall.
With this initial inspiration, you can now use the 60-30-10 rule to make colours support and complement your “anchor,” making it stand out and become the focus of the space. As a general rule, play soft with 60% and 30%, and daring with the 10%.
Playing with patterns is another great way to spice up the 60-30-10 rule. The tricks are simple, and the easiest one to remember is to use patterns on the 30%. Add patterns on the upholstery, furniture covers, and even curtains while letting the other elements sit back in subdued texture.
If you are the minimalist type, go easy on the 60% and 30% but go all-out crazy on the 10%. If you are more adventurous, opt for a patterned wallpaper for the 60%, play it cool with 30%, and integrate another quirky yet matching pattern with 10%.
In the end, the 60-30-10 colour scheme is a good framework which you can follow for your home design. It is a proven formula to create huge impact and lasting impression for your home. However, you do not have to strictly follow the rule when it compromises your own taste and likes.
If you love using lots of colours, especially deep and strong colours, this may not be the right design tool that will work for you. The 60-30-10 rule is simply a guideline to help you create a harmonious and well-coordinated space.
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