Monday, March 4, 2013

Acheiving Successful Color Schemes in Our Homes

Sometimes coming up with a successful color scheme can elude the best of us. What starts out as a fun and energetic color scheme, can soon become too bright and too energetic, wearing us out day after day. Our brains, I believe, are designed to seek balance. Although I, unlike most of the design world, do not subscribe to "rules," there are guidelines that can be helpful in helping a homeowner create a more restful nest without compromising your tastes.

{photo credit: Stewart Shining / Domino Magazine}

Try the 60-30-10 "rule"....

60 percent of the room is one color (usually the wall color), 30 percent of another (the furniture, usually), and 10 percent is your accent color, seen in your accessories.  In a kitchen it would be 60 for wall color, 30 for cabinetry, and 10 for accessories. I think this works for the most part, but I think many designers break the 10 percent part of the rule, I know I do. I think it could be too safe (depending on the mood you are going for)  and very boring to only have 3 colors in your room. Yes, you can vary it up by imparting different shades, tints, or tones of the same color into the accessories, but even that is too safe for me at times. I agree with others who have said that you can bring in many complimentary colors in the 10 percent of your room, and this works, as long as it is part of the 10 percent.

Domino Magazine via

Use The Color Wheel

When picking your dominant color, try complimenting it with your second color opposite of it in the color wheel to bring balance.  If you were to do a bold color scheme in your room you could use red and it's opposite, which is green. This brings balance to your poor eyes. You could vary it by picking different "shades" of those colors, instead. Notice in the above photos how pink and green are opposite on the color wheel. Well, red is it's opposite, but pink is a lighter "shade" of red, or more accurately, a tint of red. This theory still works when using different "shades."

Go Monochromatic

Choose one color and vary it in shade, tones, and tints. It creates a soothing room when paired with neutrals, but you can try any color you like.
Charles Allem Designs
Linking up with these lovely ladies: HERE


  1. Interesting post. I didn't know about this rule. I break it all the time.

    1. Yeah, I'm not big on rules for a person's home, but they can be helpful as guidelines. :)

  2. Thank you, Elizabeth! I can't wait to see what's going on with your room this Wednesday!

  3. Hi Lucy,
    I knew there were rules. Now I'm glad I know what it is. I was just trying to set up a home school room in our house (among other rooms), but was unsure of how to set it up. I'm one of those people who gets overwhelmed at the how-to and end up doing nothing. The more I read your blog, the more I am motivated to make my home look like one of the pictures you post here.


    I'm a .net now. YAY!!

    1. I don't know why my last reply didn't go through to you, Karina, but I wanted to say thank you for the thoughtful comment, it made my day:) I'm glad my posts motivate you. I would like to do more with my blog this year with posts and projects and I plan on it, Lord willing, when I get moved in my new house. Well new to me. I love your blog and all the good it does for our country and individuals. I hope you will share the home school room when it is done!

      Oh, and I don't know all the rules, I have a terrible memory,too so I doubt I will, but they aren't really rules. Some designers think so, I like to call them guidelines, they are helpful when you are stumped. I mostly just use my "eye" and it seems to work for me, but if I get stumped or want to change something up, using the color wheel is a big help!

  4. Wow, what great tips! Thanks for sharing ;) I've nominated you for a Liebster Award! Check out my post:

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