How to Incorporate the 60-30-10 Colour Rule into Your Space

Updated: Jul 27


Adding colour to your interior can be fun — but it’s equally intimidating! With a diverse range of colours and shades out there, you can easily get stuck trying to choose the right number of hues and adding them in the right proportion.  If you’re in the same boat, the 60-30-10 colour rule can help you curate the perfect colour palette with confidence! This is our comprehensive guide on the 60-30-10 colour rule and how to incorporate it into your space.

Adding colour to your interior can be fun — but it’s equally intimidating! With a diverse range of colours and shades out there, you can easily get stuck trying to choose the right number of hues and adding them in the right proportion.


If you’re in the same boat, the 60-30-10 colour rule can help you curate the perfect colour palette with confidence! This is our comprehensive guide on the 60-30-10 colour rule and how to incorporate it into your space.


What Is The 60-30-10 Colour Rule?


The 60-30-10 colour rule is an interior design trick that allows you to put together a colour scheme that works coherently and keeps the space looking pulled-together despite using different hues. It divides the colour palette into three distinct categories:

  • The primary colour — 60% of the room should be the primary (or dominant) colour. This is usually a light hue, such as beige, grey, or white.

  • The secondary colour — 30% of the room should be the secondary (or complementary) colour. This is used to create contrast whilst adding visual interest to the space.

  • The accent colour — The remaining 10% should be the accent colour. This is usually a bold hue incorporated to add a burst of colour.

An example palette would be white as the primary colour, navy blue as the secondary, and mustard yellow as the accent shade.


The 60-30-10 colour rule is an interior design trick that allows you to put together a colour scheme that works coherently and keeps the space looking pulled-together despite using different hues. It divides the colour palette into three distinct categories: The primary colour — 60% of the room should be the primary (or dominant) colour. This is usually a light hue, such as beige, grey, or white. The secondary colour — 30% of the room should be the secondary (or complementary) colour. This is used to create contrast whilst adding visual interest to the space. The accent colour — The remaining 10% should be the accent colour. This is usually a bold hue incorporated to add a burst of colour. An example palette would be white as the primary colour, navy blue as the secondary, and mustard yellow as the accent shade.

Primary: White, Secondary: Blue, Accent: Mustard Yellow


How To Incorporate The 60-30-10 Colour Rule Into Your Space


Incorporating the 60-30-10 colour rule may seem like a tedious task — but remember, this colour rule merely provides a general framework — you don’t need calculations; an estimate of the proportions will do just fine.


Analyse Your Space & Requirements


Start off by assessing your space and focusing on the feeling you wish to create. Adding colours to your bedroom? A relaxing palette with a slight pop of colour would be ideal for that private sanctuary. Looking to liven up your kitchen and dining area? Go for bolder hues.


Select Three Colours


The 60-30-10 rule follows a palette of three different colours (but hey, what if I want four? Hold up, you can — more on that in a minute). Choose colours based on the ambience you’re seeking.


Set The Base With The Primary Colour


Begin by incorporating the primary colour. Because this takes up 60% of the space, it makes sense to use it on the walls. The idea is to anchor the space with this colour and provide a solid base for the next two hues.


Create Interest With The Secondary Colour


An easy way to incorporate this 30% is by remembering that the secondary colour should be seen half as much as the primary one. It is typically used in the window treatments, textiles (such as bed linens and area rugs), and accent chairs. You can also consider incorporating it through an accent wall.


Add A Burst Of The Accent Colour


Finally, the remaining 10% of the room should use the accent shade. This colour helps add character to the space, and is typically added through the artwork, lamp shades, and throw pillows (here’s how to mix and match cushions if you’ve been struggling with the arrangement).


You can switch things up however you wish, though. If you want to add the accent colour through the draperies and rug — or use a few throw pillows as a part of the secondary hue — go for it!


How To Incorporate The 60-30-10 Colour Rule Into Your Space  Incorporating the 60-30-10 colour rule may seem like a tedious task — but remember, this colour rule merely provides a general framework — you don’t need calculations; an estimate of the proportions will do just fine.  Analyse Your Space & Requirements  Start off by assessing your space and focusing on the feeling you wish to create. Adding colours to your bedroom? A relaxing palette with a slight pop of colour would be ideal for that private sanctuary. Looking to liven up your kitchen and dining area? Go for bolder hues.  Select Three Colours  The 60-30-10 rule follows a palette of three different colours (but hey, what if I want four? Hold up, you can — more on that in a minute). Choose colours based on the ambience you’re seeking.  Set The Base With The Primary Colour  Begin by incorporating the primary colour. Because this takes up 60% of the space, it makes sense to use it on the walls. The idea is to anchor the space with this colour and provide a solid base for the next two hues.  Create Interest With The Secondary Colour  An easy way to incorporate this 30% is by remembering that the secondary colour should be seen half as much as the primary one. It is typically used in the window treatments, textiles (such as bed linens and area rugs), and accent furniture. You can also consider incorporating it through an accent wall.  Add A Burst Of The Accent Colour  Finally, the remaining 10% of the room should use the accent shade. This colour helps add character to the space, and is typically added through the artwork, throw pillows, and lamp shades.  You can switch things up however you wish, though. If you want to add the accent colour through the draperies and use a few throw pillows as a part of the secondary hue, go for it!

Primary: White, Secondary: Grey, Accent: Orange

Credit: Elephant Stock


How To Incorporate The 60-30-10 Colour Rule Into Your Space  Incorporating the 60-30-10 colour rule may seem like a tedious task — but remember, this colour rule merely provides a general framework — you don’t need calculations; an estimate of the proportions will do just fine.  Analyse Your Space & Requirements  Start off by assessing your space and focusing on the feeling you wish to create. Adding colours to your bedroom? A relaxing palette with a slight pop of colour would be ideal for that private sanctuary. Looking to liven up your kitchen and dining area? Go for bolder hues.  Select Three Colours  The 60-30-10 rule follows a palette of three different colours (but hey, what if I want four? Hold up, you can — more on that in a minute). Choose colours based on the ambience you’re seeking.  Set The Base With The Primary Colour  Begin by incorporating the primary colour. Because this takes up 60% of the space, it makes sense to use it on the walls. The idea is to anchor the space with this colour and provide a solid base for the next two hues.  Create Interest With The Secondary Colour  An easy way to incorporate this 30% is by remembering that the secondary colour should be seen half as much as the primary one. It is typically used in the window treatments, textiles (such as bed linens and area rugs), and accent furniture. You can also consider incorporating it through an accent wall.  Add A Burst Of The Accent Colour  Finally, the remaining 10% of the room should use the accent shade. This colour helps add character to the space, and is typically added through the artwork, throw pillows, and lamp shades.  You can switch things up however you wish, though. If you want to add the accent colour through the draperies and use a few throw pillows as a part of the secondary hue, go for it!

Primary: White, Secondary: Black, Accent: Navy Blue


How To Incorporate The 60-30-10 Colour Rule Into Your Space  Incorporating the 60-30-10 colour rule may seem like a tedious task — but remember, this colour rule merely provides a general framework — you don’t need calculations; an estimate of the proportions will do just fine.  Analyse Your Space & Requirements  Start off by assessing your space and focusing on the feeling you wish to create. Adding colours to your bedroom? A relaxing palette with a slight pop of colour would be ideal for that private sanctuary. Looking to liven up your kitchen and dining area? Go for bolder hues.  Select Three Colours  The 60-30-10 rule follows a palette of three different colours (but hey, what if I want four? Hold up, you can — more on that in a minute). Choose colours based on the ambience you’re seeking.  Set The Base With The Primary Colour  Begin by incorporating the primary colour. Because this takes up 60% of the space, it makes sense to use it on the walls. The idea is to anchor the space with this colour and provide a solid base for the next two hues.  Create Interest With The Secondary Colour  An easy way to incorporate this 30% is by remembering that the secondary colour should be seen half as much as the primary one. It is typically used in the window treatments, textiles (such as bed linens and area rugs), and accent furniture. You can also consider incorporating it through an accent wall.  Add A Burst Of The Accent Colour  Finally, the remaining 10% of the room should use the accent shade. This colour helps add character to the space, and is typically added through the artwork, throw pillows, and lamp shades.  You can switch things up however you wish, though. If you want to add the accent colour through the draperies and use a few throw pillows as a part of the secondary hue, go for it!

Primary: Mint, Secondary: Yellow, Accent: White