The quickest way to liven up a room is to paint it. I know, there are thousands of color variations and it can be intimidating. So what do you do? Begin with understating the rules of decorating with color; learn the basic elements, the terms and the methodology of working with color. When you understand these simple tools of using color, you will be able to create the space of your dreams.
A useful tool used by designers and artists is the color wheel. The color wheel allows you to immediately view the relationship between various shades by dividing the spectrum into 12 basic hues: three primary colors, three secondary colors and six tertiary colors. Primary colors are pure colors; red, blue and yellow. You cannot create these colors by mixing other colors; all colors are created from primaries. Mixing any two of the primaries in equal amounts produces secondary hues, orange, green and purple. Tertiary colors are created by mixing equal amounts of primary with secondary.
The shades on the color wheel are intense with varying degrees of contrast. With that being said, there are four types of color schemes: monochromatic – tone on tone combinations using several shades of a single hue for a subtle palette; analogous – colors found side by side on the color wheel offer a colorful, but restful feel; contrast – using colors that are similar in tone or adjacent to each other on the color wheel; and complementary – this dynamic color scheme consists of using to hues opposite each other on the color wheel. They provide maximum color contrast when placed side by side and will definitely add liveliness to any space.
Colors affect emotion and create mood. Blues and greens are considered cool and soothing. Reds and yellows are considered energetic. Colors are also considered warm and cool because of association. For instance, blues, greens and purples are considered cool because they are associated with the sky, water and nature. Reds, oranges and yellows are considered warm because they are associates with the sun.
When you are ready to create your signature color palette, use the color wheel to help you make the right choices or look to Mother Nature for a color combination that works every time.
NEXT: Decorating with Color: 5 Steps to creating a room with color
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