We all love sprucing up our favorite rooms, but we all have concerns about one prominent issue-color. Do these colors go together? Can I use two shades of the same color? How many colors can I use? Well, let’s take a look at a great tool, the color wheel, which can help answer some of your decorating questions.
The color wheel provides a way to understand color relationships by dividing the spectrum into 12 basic hues: three primary colors, three secondaries, and six tertiaries.
Here are four common color schemes:
Monochromatic Scheme: These tone-on-tone combinations use several shades (adding black) and tints (adding white) of a single hue for a subtle palette. Think pale blue, sky blue, and navy.
Analogous Scheme: For a bit more contrast, an analogous palette includes colors found side by side on the wheel, such as orange, yellow, and green, for a colorful but relaxing feel.
Contrast Scheme: A triad creates an adventurous palette by using three hues evenly spaced on the wheel, such as blue-green, red-violet, and yellow-orange, for vivid contrast with balanced colors.
Complementary Scheme: This is the most dynamic — yet simple — color scheme. Using two hues opposite each other on the color wheel, such as blue and orange, is guaranteed to add energy to any room.
Color can also affect emotional responses and create a mood. Greens tend to soothe, for instance, while yellows are uplifting and energetic. Bold reds are passionate and daring, but soft pink is considered sweet and delicate. Blues are perceived as calming and quiet; oranges are warm and cozy; and purple, a truly complex color, can be seen as romantic or spiritual. Colors are considered warm or cool because of association. In our minds we compare reds, oranges, and yellows with the warmth of the sun and fire. Blues, greens, and violets are cool because of their association with water, sky, and foliage. As you create a color palette, your scheme should never be all warm colors or all cool colors. Let one dominate and set the overall tone of the room, but be sure to include elements that offer contrast.
Watch this Decorating with the Color Wheel Video brought to you by Better Homes and Gardens.