Interior Decorating 101 – Using the Color Wheel

The color wheel is a terrific way to understand the relationships between colors.  You can use it as your guide for selecting color schemes for your home.  And it can give you inspiration for you next room makeover. 

There are 12 colors in a standard color wheel.  They are divided into three designations – primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.

Primary Colors: red, blue and yellow. 

Secondary Colors: these are combinations of two primary colors – orange (red+yellow), green (yellow + blue) and violet (blue + red). 

Tertiary Colors: These colors are a combination of a primary and a secondary color; such as red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, and red-violet.

Color Intensity describes the brightness or dullness of a color.  Color Value refers to a color’s lightness or darkness.  Tint is what you do if you add white to a color.  Shade is what you do if you add black to a color. 

Warm colors are oranges, reds, and yellows.  These colors create intimate, cozy rooms.  They make a space feel condensed so use them thoughtfully in small rooms. 

Cool colors are greens, blues, and violets.  These colors are soothing and create a feeling of expansiveness.  They’ll make a room feel larger. 

Color Schemes

Color schemes are based on the color wheel.  These four color schemes provide guidelines for selecting colors for a room.  Using these guidelines helps you have a cohesive, pulled-together look.

Monochromatic: Just one color, but add tinting or shading to that color to create different versions of the color in the room and using neutrals (black and white) to add contrast. 

Complementary: Two colors that are opposite on the color wheel.  For example, red and green.   

Analogous: Using adjacent colors on the color wheel.  For example, red, yellow and green. 

Triad: Using three equally-spaced colors from the color wheel.  Pick one dominant color, a secondary color, and then an accent color.  For example:  blue-violet, yellow-green, and red-orange. 

Using the color wheel helps take stress out of making color selections.  And finding photos in magazines of colors that make you smile is another good tool to make your color selections.  Once you paint the walls the rest of the design of the room will start coming together based on the feeling you’ve created by your selection of wall-color.  You can take it step-by-step and change your mind along the way if things don’t feel right to you.  Trust your intuition!

More on selecting colors next time!  Please feel free to leave me a question or comment.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s