A Lesson in Colour Accents

By / Food / July 30th, 2013 / 2

The 60-30-10 rule dictates the distribution of colour within a room. 60% goes to the wall, 30% to fabric and 10% to accents. The key to making any décor brilliant is the 10%.

The 10%:

Bright & Dark Rooms
Define, finish and add depth. Subtle versions unify as pillows, placemats or boxes. Bold versions, especially black, define in a coffee table, bookshelf or lampshade.

Dark & Neutral Rooms
Add spark with vivid colours that energize and excite. Use in one or two places as a focus – try a large piece of art with a few matching throw pillows.

Bright & Neutral Rooms
Deep, rich colours are traditional and elegant. Use in rooms with natural materials – wood, metal, stone – to enhance the patterns and colours.

Neutral Rooms
Like changing your surroundings a few times a year? Try a seasonal rotation – store accent pieces in the four themes and switch with the seasons.

Seasonal, Steam Punk, Victorian – these have a set colour scheme. If your room is designed around a theme, find the 60%, 30% and 10% that works best for you.

Using the 10%:

Scatter chunks of colour in groups of three similar items – put them on your shelves, the mantel or on the wall.

Try one large pattern in your rug or duvet and complement that with two different patterns in throw pillows. Keep the patterned pieces the same colour for oomph.

Framed Pattern
If you like a fabric or wallpaper pattern, get a sample, frame it and hang it on your wall.

Featured Wall
Paint or wallpaper one wall with an accent colour and add floating shelves. This draws the eye through the room to find other items in that colour.


A freelance writer and editor, Lisa Hoekstra loves learning and trying new things. She can be found with her nose in a book or multiple tabs open on her browser as she researches the latest and greatest in the world of food, style and everything in between.

One response to “A Lesson in Colour Accents”

  1. […] colour that complements the walls. Area rugs however could incorporate all of your room’s accent colours in a strong pattern. This unifies a room and adds another dimension to the […]

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