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Achieve Harmony with One Basic Rule in Your Home

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

Make Easy Home Decor Decisions Using 60 - 30- 10 Rule.

If you love easy, you'll love this!

This straight-forward 60 - 30 -10 rule will harmonize your home by proportionally balancing colors, yet lets your focal point and accents pop!

It's simplicity makes it a great rule to give you courage!

This straight-forward approach begins by dividing your color scheme into three proportions:

60 - 30 - 10.

In the Lego block tower below illustrates:

Green = 60%,

Red = 30% (half the amount of Green),

Blue =10%

The colors represent the proportion of the 60-30-10 rule.

To apply to your home: Start with the BIG stuff:

In your room, look at the large items and fixtures: your walls, ceiling, carpet, and large furniture pieces.

Then group the GREATEST VOLUME in your mind's eye into one color category.

In the photo below the carpet, walls, ceiling and couch are all shades of cream.

Living room of Kate Moynihan Artist
"Ivory" color makes up 60% of this room color

DOMINATE COLOR = 60% color.

This anchors the space, and also serves as a backdrop for what comes next, your secondary items.


This could be draperies, accent chairs, bed linens, furniture, or even creating an accent wall.

In the photo of the living room above, the secondary color is black, consisting of the desk, coffee table, TV, and console.

The idea is that the secondary color supports the main color, but is different enough to set them apart and give the room interest.

IDEALLY this color is half as much as your main color.


Here comes the FUN!

(Side note: If color is not your fancy, this works in monochromatic - one-color - schemes, too.)

In the photo above the accent colors are in the orange side chair, orange glass wall art, throw pillows, and painting.

Accents are the place to play around with a variety of color families, patterns, and textures. Go beyond color and try mixing metals and wood surfaces.

Keep in mind that 10% is not a hard-and-fast rule, but rather the idea that a few bold choices can go a long way to adding depth and sparkle to a room, but you don’t need to do more. The choice is yours.

For review in the room above, the ivory and black are balanced even though there is great contrast to the two color values. Toss in a bit of the bright orange and this vibrant color adds just the needed energy and interest for the room.

Simple 60 - 30 -10 Rule gives unity

Let's go through another example

In the room below:

DOMINANT COLOR = 60% White of the ceiling, walls, fireplace, and couches.

SECONDARY = 30% Coral of the painted walls.

ACCENT = 10% Aqua pillows and vases.

What I love most about the 60 - 30 - 10:

it's puts the focus on the BIG fixtures that are difficult to change.

But what if you DON'T LIKE the BIG stuff?

For demonstration purposes in the photo above, let's pick the geometric burgundy and white floor.

You think: Oh My! In my chaotic kitchen, which is crazy from three high school kids, and a frisky Springer Spaniel yapping for treats, there's TOO MUCH energy already. And the strong color contrast and pattern from the floor has my head spinning!

Implement Plan B



You can't afford a remodel.

SOLUTION: Cover the floor, making the area rugs part of the DOMINANT COLOR!

But wait!

Check the proportions in the room above.

90% = DOMINANT COLOR = white

10% = ACCENT COLOR = burgundy


Changing shower curtain give the room an entirely different proportion

60% = DOMINANT COLOR = white

30% = ACCENT COLOR = burgundy

10% = ACCENT COLOR = aqua

The 60 - 30 -10 rule gives you a starting place to make decisions which will achieve balance in your home decor, including your FOCAL POINT

Once you group your BIG fixtures, and your SECONDARY items,by color, you can make decisions regarding the 10% accents. Although 10% is the smallest, it can be dynamic!

  1. One of the most important elements in any room is a also known as a center of interest. A focal point anchors the décor and helps create a natural, beautiful flow.

You can make art the focal point.

By building your room around a dramatic piece of artwork, you'll keep your space interesting, and using the 60 - 30 - 10 rule, you'll finish off your room with balance and harmony.

Bonus Tip:

A beautiful piece of art will draw your eye as soon as you walk into the room, reflect your personality and the mood you want to capture in the room.

Need a starting point for your room?

Kate Moynihan 60-30-10 Rule Decison-Making worksheet

60 - 30 - 10 Rule, 3-step Decision-Making Worksheet

(Download Below)
60-30-10 Rule Worksheet
Download PDF • 1.04MB

The 60 - 30 -10 rule is a great place to let your decorating and art courage soar!

So I challenge you to take a good look at your room with a fresh eye.

Think and divide the color into proportions.


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