Decorating a space in terms of color is easy if you use the 60-30-10.
Take a look at some rooms in magazines , you'll notice that the rooms you like the most are almost invariably divided into percentages of 60-30-10. Why this works is anybody's guess. Perhaps it is the human tendency to see an overall theme in the 60 percent hue, unifying the coloration. The 30 percent provides visual interest and the 10 percent, not unlike jewelry, provides that little spark of sparkle.
So, when decorating a particular room, divide the colors into percentages:
60% of a dominant color
30% of a secondary color
10% of an accent color
When you think about it, this color breakdown is similar to a man's business suit:
60% of the outfit's color is the slacks and jacket
30% of the outfit's color is the shirt
10% of the outfit's color is the tie
Translated to a room setting, it typically means:
60% of the room's color is the walls
30% of the room's color is the upholstery
10% of the room's color is, say, an accent piece or a floral arrangement
Choosing a Color Scheme
Trying to decide on the right color scheme for a room or an entire home can be difficult. You can simplify the process by using a color wheel and narrowing down your choices to two color schemes. There are more, of course, but these are the most effective and provide a great place to start.
Complementary Color Scheme
Complementary colors are across from each other on the color wheel, such as red and green, blue and yellow, or purple and orange. Rooms decorated with a complementary color scheme tend to provide a clear separation of colors and often are more formal and more visually challenging. Complementary color schemes should be used in the more formal areas of the home — for example, the living room or dining room.
Analogous Color Scheme
Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel, such as yellow and green, blue and violet, or red and orange. Rooms using an analogous color scheme typically are more causal, restful and muted in terms of coloration. This color scheme is best used in the more informal areas of the home. Family rooms, dens and bedrooms — places where you’re searching for rest and recovery from the day — look and "feel" great in analogous colors.
To help you choose a color scheme, look at the colors in the largest pattern in the room first, be it drapery, upholstery fabric, an Oriental rug or a large artwork. Then choose colors based upon that piece. This is much easier (and less expensive) than painting the walls a particular color and finding that absolutely nothing else on the planet, let alone in your room, will match it. In other words, if your favorite piece of art is red, black and gray, you can choose the gray to be 60 percent, the red to be 30 percent and the black to be the 10 percent — or the red could be the dominant color with the gray and black taking secondary and accent roles.