How to decorate: Understand the ’60-30-10 golden rule’ to make any room beautiful

Adding colour to the home shouldn’t be done haphazardly, it could ruin the whole look.

To create a beautiful space that is overtly pleasant to the eye, apply the 60-30-10 rule when decorating.

What is the 60-30-10 rule?

Minotti London cautioned against using too many colours, which can make the room feel overwhelming to look at and disjointed.

Instead, the 60-30-10 rule, implemented by interior decorators, is rooted in colour theory.

Considered the “golden rule” of interiors, colour has to be divided as follows:

  • 60 percent background colour
  • 30 percent contrasting colour
  • 10 percent accent colour.

How to apply the 60-30-10 golden rule

The 60 percent background colour is the most predominant colour you can find in the room, which is usually a neutral or pastel colour.

The neutral or pastel colour is used on larger elements of the room, such as walls, rugs, and large sofas. The secondary colour takes up 30 percent of the visuals, adding interest to the room.

This is where a feature wall comes into play, for instance, which can be painted in the secondary colour you have chosen.

The secondary colour could also be used on large pieces of furniture, chairs, curtains, and rugs.

Remaining is the 10 percent accent colour, which should be used sparingly around the room.

An accent colour adds little touches around the room, such as decorate items, on throw pillows, candles and lamps.

To summarise:

  • Use 60 percent of the primary colour on walls and large furniture that will serve as the focal point of the room
  • Use 30 percent of the secondary colour on furniture, curtains and other distinctive elements in the room
  • Use 10 percent of accent colours on throw pillows, decorative items and small accessories.

Such a simple formula works beautifully when choosing colours that are good together.

Choosing a colour palette

Utilising the colour wheel is a great start when it comes to picking colours for your space.

There are monochromatic, analogous, contrasting and complementary colour pairings to choose from.

Also, remember to trust what you can see; which colours do you think go well together?

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