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Color your home! Some guidelines to getting it right.

Giving your home a refresh is a time-honored action at this time of year.

It's also a great time to evaluate the color palette for your home. Sound hard? It's not with these easy tips.

The Rule of 60/30/10

This designer standard says 60% of your room should be one color. This would be your dominant color and most people go with a neutral such as a brown or gray. Most times this is the color of your walls. Neutral colors are visually resting and will not compete with other colors in your room.

30% of the room should be decorated in what is called a supporting color, and 10% should be an accent color. Utilizing this formula gives a room the right amount of depth while balancing the palette.

The color formula should include all things in the room, furniture, carpet, walls, drapes, accessories, everything you see.

Using accent chairs, sofas, and lampshades as supporting color pieces often helps to break out of the "everything is a safe shade of brown" color rut.

A colorful living room


This color scheme still uses the rule of 60/30/10, it just picks one color palette and utilizes different shades of that one color in the proper proportions. An example would be light gray for the dominant color, a darker gray for complementary, and black for the accent color. Monochromatic rooms are peaceful and relaxing. Most often used for bedrooms.


Your sofa can be one shade of blue, your drapes another shade of blue. It doesn't (and shouldn't) all be exactly the same, but they should be in the same family.

Room to Room

It will be easy to move your color story from room to room by shifting your 3 colors and how they are weighted.

In one room you may have beige as the main color, blue as your supporting color and orange as your accent color. But then as you move from living to dining you can shift your main color to blue, your supporting color to orange, and your accents to blue.

See how it works? This way your home is not all the same, but it flows in perfect color harmony and does not resemble a patchwork quilt, but a beautiful symphony instead.

Color Theory

What is the mood you'd like to create in the space? Color theory can help evoke that desired energy.

Some colors are defined as "warm". Warm colors are considered active and represent energy. Warm colors are reds, oranges, and yellows. Colors you associate with fire or the sun.

"Cool" colors are said to be more peaceful and relaxing.Cool colors include blues, greens and light purples.

Example: A playroom is perfect for bright orange, while you may use orange as an accent color only in your bedroom.

Neutrals are considered white, black, browns, grays. Neutral colors are often chosen as dominant colors in a scheme. They are always safe bets and easiest to find while shopping.

A balanced room can have both warm and cool colors, but color theory is a great tool to consider when thinking about the mood you want a room to have.  More on this in upcoming posts.

A colorful living room

The Most Important Rule? Just Do You!

In most circumstances, rules are made to be broken. These are just guidelines. It's your space, you'll know when it feels right. If you want two accent colors - do it. If you want your bedroom to be bright yellow, do it. Maybe you want to think of your color theory as a bright a cheery morning instead of a relaxing night. This is your home. You make the rules. Making it pleasing to you is the only rule that should never be broken.