what is 60 of 10

Perfecting the 60-30-10 Rule for an Ideal Living Space

Oliwia Urban 


What is the 60-30-10 rule? In the realm of interior design, this rule plays a vital role in achieving a well-balanced and visually appealing color scheme in your living space. In this article, we will explore how you can perfect the 60-30-10 rule and create a harmonious ambiance that reflects your personal style and taste.

Understanding the 60-30-10 Rule

The 60-30-10 rule is a timeless and straightforward decorating principle that simplifies the process of selecting colors for your home. By following this rule, you allocate proportions of colors to different elements in your space, resulting in a visually pleasing and cohesive design. Here’s how it works:

  • 60 percent: The main color chosen should dominate approximately 60 percent of the room.
  • 30 percent: The secondary color should complement the main color and make up around 30 percent of the room.
  • 10 percent: The accent color, used sparingly, adds pops of visual interest and should constitute about 10 percent of the room.

To better illustrate the concept, consider the following example: Imagine a room with all-white walls and a white sectional sofa as the main color (60 percent). The secondary color (30 percent) could consist of neutral flooring, side tables, and upholstered side chairs. Finally, the accent color (10 percent) can be introduced through small items such as toss pillows, artwork, and other decorative pieces.

How to Apply the 60-30-10 Rule in Design

Understanding how to implement the 60-30-10 rule is crucial for achieving a well-balanced and aesthetically pleasing living space. Let’s delve into the specifics of each color proportion:

The 60 Percent Color Rule

The main color takes up 60 percent of the room and serves as the foundation for the overall color scheme. Elements that fall under the 60 percent category include:

  • Walls
  • Area rugs
  • Large furniture pieces like sofas

The 30 Percent Color Rule

The secondary color occupies 30 percent of the room and complements the main color while adding depth and contrast. Examples of items that fall within the 30 percent category are:

  • Window coverings and draperies
  • Accent chairs
  • Bed linens
  • Painted furniture
  • Accent walls

The 10 Percent Color Rule

The accent color, accounting for 10 percent of the room, injects personality and visual interest. You can draw the accent color from artwork or printed fabrics found in larger items. Consider the following as part of the 10 percent category:

  • Throw pillows and blankets on sofas or beds
  • Decorative accessories like frames and vases
  • Lamps and candles
  • Artwork

Breaking the 60-30-10 Rule

While the 60-30-10 rule provides a solid framework for achieving color balance, it’s not mandatory to adhere strictly to these proportions. Design rebels and those seeking more freedom in their color choices can explore alternative approaches. However, understanding the rule’s fundamentals is crucial before customizing color usage in your space.

Adding Another 10 Percent: Expanding the Rule

One way to think outside the box with the 60-30-10 rule is to introduce an additional 10 percent to the equation. This revised approach, referred to as the 110 percent color scheme, incorporates the following breakdown:

  • 60 percent: Main color
  • 30 percent: Secondary color
  • Two 10 percent accent colors instead of one

By expanding the accent color category, you can infuse more vibrancy and variety into your space, allowing for even greater personal expression.

The 60-30-10 Rule in Monochromatic Spaces

The 60-30-10 rule can also be applied to monochromatic color schemes, resulting in a soothing and cohesive ambiance. In such schemes, the main, secondary, and accent colors are all derived from varying shades of the same color, rather than using three distinct or contrasting colors. Here’s an example of a monochromatic breakdown:

  • 60 percent main color: Soothing neutral greige
  • 30 percent secondary color: Deeper shade of the same greige
  • 10 percent accent color: Pale shade of the main greige tone

By utilizing different shades of a single color, you can create a calming and unified atmosphere in your living space.

When the 60-30-10 Rule Falls Short

While the 60-30-10 rule is a valuable guideline, it may not always yield the desired results. If you find that the rule doesn’t align with your preferences or vision for your space, don’t hesitate to adapt it or create your own formula. Experiment with different proportions and pay attention to how the colors balance and interact with each other. Achieving the right balance is subjective, and understanding the visual impact of your color choices will help you find a combination that resonates with you.


Mastering the 60-30-10 rule in interior design empowers you to create a well-balanced and visually pleasing living space. By allocating proportions of colors to different elements in your room, you can achieve a harmonious ambiance that reflects your personal style. Remember that while the 60-30-10 rule is a useful guideline, you have the freedom to adapt and customize it to suit your preferences. So go ahead and embark on your color journey, creating a space that truly speaks to you.