Decorating Color Schemes | Interior Design Colors

Last Updated on May 3, 2024 by

Decorating Color Schemes | Interior Design Colors

Talking about Tones: An easy way to create decorating color schemes for your home

When selecting decorating color schemes, you can follow some simple rules. These rules have remained in fashion because they work. This article looks at a tried and tested way of interior decorating with color.

A number of years ago, a paint company (I think it was Taubmans) promoted and recommended the 60/30/10 rule. The rule was not a new idea it had originally been developed by color theorists. This rule became popular with DIY decorators. It can still be used to create stylish room color schemes.

Use the 60/30/10 rule

The rule can be described this way: 60% of the color in room is for the largest/broad areas the floor, walls and ceiling. This can be achieved by selecting the floor color first. Then interior design colors for the ceiling and walls would be considered.

60% is the background color

Tip: It is best not to make final color selections for painted surfaces until the furniture, upholstery and other items have been selected. At this stage, gather ideas and samples of the colors. If you go to the Creative Buzz blog you will find examples of mood color boards created on the old SampleBoard site. This is a fun way to play around with your ideas for Decorating color schemes. Then check the proposed Interior design colors with the selections for furniture and other major items.

Three tones

Three tones of the same color can be used to create interesting decorating color schemes. The darkest tone should be used for the floor, a mid tone for the walls and a tint of the color for the ceiling. Toned colors are usually created by adding grey. Tinted colors are created by adding white to a color.

30% is secondary areas and 10% is for accessories

The 30% of interior decorating color schemes in the 60/30/10 rule is for secondary areas, for example: window coverings, feature walls, upholstery, timber or furniture color or bed linen. The 10% of decorating color schemes for the accessories cushions, lamp shades, vases and flowers among other things. The color for these items is usually the brightest or strongest in room color schemes.

Tip: If the floor coverings are already in place, work with this color, take it into consideration when selecting other interior design color schemes for the room.

Neutrals can be used instead of colors

Neutrals can also be used instead of colors. For example, black (darkest tone) marble flooring with fine grey grain, grey (mid tone) walls, then tinted grey (lightest color) ceiling color. Black or white timber would work very well with these home interior color schemes.

Upholstery fabric in red, white, black or grey would also work very well. A metallic silver paint used on a feature wall with a chrome and glass coffee and side tables will create a modern, sleek look. Accessories can be used to create interest and drama. You can also use three tonal variations of warm white, beige or taupe in the same way.

If you create a neutral background by selecting neutral colors for the broad areas, you’ll find that you can easily update the room with new accessories or a painted or wallpapered feature wall. Many architects and interior designers create all white or neutral rooms then add splashes of color.

Test your decorating color schemes on our Interior design mood board editor now to see which colors are best to use for different parts of the room or view the Creative Community for color scheme inspiration.

Author: Rosena MacFadzean