The Rule For Using Accent Colors - Home Decorating & Painting Advice

The Rule For Using Accent Colors

When it comes to decorating rules, it’s helpful to know them, but completely acceptable to break them! So if you’re looking for a rule for using accent colors, here it is: think 60/30/10. 60% of your room should be the main color, 30% should be the main accent color, and the last 10% should be a secondary accent color. But feel free to play around with the ratios as you like.

A Place to Start

So now that you’ve got a rule to guide you, how do you go about figuring out a color scheme, accent colors and all? You might base it on a fabric that will be going into the room, like for curtains, upholstery or throw pillows. You can pull colors from a favorite photo, print or painting. You can even look to a favorite item of clothing for inspiration! There are also recommended coordinating colors listed on the back of each Glidden paint chip.

Here’s a bedroom as an example. The main color is grey. It’s on the walls, the ceiling and in the bedding. The main accent color would be white, as there is a lot of it in the curtains, the trim, on the entrance and closet doors, and also in the bedding and accessories. Then the last accent would be that happy, bright green. It has the smallest percentage in the room, but it makes a big impact!

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Coincidentally, the same palette shows up on the back of Glidden paint’s Freshen Up Lime paint chip. Grey (Elegant Charcoal), Green (Freshen Up Lime), and White (or nearly so, with Silver Screen).

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Using Balance

Playing around with the ratios of each color would give a room a very different feeling. This bedroom felt cozy with its dark grey walls. Make white the dominant color, and it would have felt light and airy. Make lime green the main color, and it would have been a very fun room, but maybe not so conducive to sleeping!

How do you use accent colors in decorating? Do you find that you stick to the 60/30/10 rule, or do you like to mix it up?