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Color Theory Part II: The 60-30-10 Rule

Last week, I broke down how to use the color wheel when selecting colors for a space. This week, I’ll share how much of each color to use in order to achieve a harmonic, stylish balance. This is the 60-30-10 rule.

Following this rule will allow your eyes to seamlessly flow from one focal point to the next without startling obstructions. Sixty percent of the room should be a dominant color, 30 percent of the room should be a secondary color and 10 percent should be the accent color! Simple right? I know! :)

An easy way to apply this rule is to focus the 60 percent portion on your wall color, the 30 percent for your furniture or upholstery, and the 10 percent for accents like throw pillows, floral arrangements or other small decorative accessories.

Here are some examples in the slideshow! Stay tuned for my article about my own living room “redeco” job, where I put my own advice into action!

TTYL, “HOME-ies”!!



Color Theory Part I: The Color Wheel

I’m sure you’ve heard of colors having influence over senses and emotions. These claims come from the popular studies of color theory, which in short is the “practical guidance to color mixing and the visual effects of a specific color combination.” I will breakdown how to use the color wheel when redecorating a space.

Let’s think of the color wheel as a pie chart. It holds all the color combinations made by red, yellow and blue. These colors can be divided in half and labeled as warm and cool. When someone asks, “How does this room feel?”, warm and cool can refer to more than just the temperature. Warm colors can make a room look vibrant, happy and energetic, while cool colors can reflect freshness, tranquility and cheerfulness.


First, we have the monochromatic colors (longest name, easiest definition). These hues are all the same color, but vary in intensity from light to dark. This is when you hear the term “ombre” in the design world. It is very “safe”, simple and elegant.




Second, we have analogous colors.  When you hear this, think “love your neighbors”. These consist of three colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel.  Still safe and clean with a little more dimension and variety.




Third, we have complimentary colors, which are simply opposite of each other on the color wheel. This is when we get a bit more daring…contrasting colors. Ever notice those colors that always seem to look good together? Blue and yellow, pink and green, red and green? This is why!

The last color theory collection is triadic colors. This combination is bold, yet balanced. (This is why it’s important to use a color wheel!) It is created by three colors that form a triangle on the wheel.

The next time you go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and are perusing the paint section, go ahead and test out these tips. When you start your next (or first) reno / ”redeco” project, pull up a color wheel and this article to plan a colorfully coordinated space.