Monday, September 23, 2013

Designing with Color

The color wheel is the easiest way to determine which colors go well together.  Red, yellow and blue are the three primary colors from which all other colors on the wheel can be mixed.  For decorating purposes, the color purple relates to both red and blue and green derives yellow and blue.  Many people have troubles reading the color wheel.  In general, you are most likely to use tints which are lighter and tones which are also known as shades that are darker.  So basically that means you cannot use an intense green and instead you should opt for a sage green or a dark green.  Colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel make each other more vivid when paired together.  Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel match perfectly together because they share the same hue.  

The color wheel will also help you determine which colors are warm colors and which colors are cool colors.  The half of the color wheel that goes from red to yellow-green are warm colors.  The sun is warm and is yellow and fire is warm and is red.  The other half of the color wheel is cool colors.  Cool colors are used in a small room to make it look larger.  Cool colors are colors such as blue, green or purple.  Cool colors are often associated with the sky and ocean.  

A warm color scheme needs a small touch of cool colors to complete the look such as a green plant in a yellow room.  A cool color scheme needs a hint of warm colors to make things brighter such as a red end table in a green room.  

In decorating terms, the value of a color is known as how light or dark a color is.  A colors value becomes lighter if you add the color white and darker if you add the color black.  Colors that are light are pale pink and sky blue.  Colors that are considered dark are maroon and sage green.  Light and medium colors pair very well together but to keep a light colored room from looking too boring, you may want to add a darker color as well.  So if you have a room that is painted light yellow, adding a dark blue vase will freshen up the room.  

Colors also have intensity to them.  This means that a certain color will be more saturated.  Adding a softer color will result in a less intense color scheme.  Colors that are low in intensity create a calm atmosphere whereas a color that is more intense will give you more energy.  

Knowing just how the color wheel works can help you choose a color scheme.

No comments: