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The Color Wheel in Home Decor
The Color Wheel
When you construct a circle out of the spectrum of colors (basically the colors of the rainbow), you have a color wheel. Primary colors on the color wheel are red, yellow and blue. The full spectrum of colors includes red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. In a circle or wheel arrangement, it is easy to see how the colors interact with each other. The chroma of a color is the intensity (amount of lightness or darkness in the color) and purity in the hue. A neutralized color is a color that has been muted or "grayed" so that it loses some of its intensity.
In the following descriptions, you can refer back
to the color wheel see how they fall in comparison to each other.
Lime green and shocking pink are complimentary colors because they
fall directly opposite on the color wheel. They are ideal colors
together because they intensify and compliment each other.
On the color wheel above, you see strong orange and royal blue opposite each other (again, complimentary colors), keep in mind as we go though this sections that this also holds true for all values and tints of those colors, thus sky blue and peach would be complimentary colors.
Types of Color Schemes Based on the Color Wheel
In reading the following, you may want to go back and look at the color wheel to see where the colors (also their tints and values) fall compared to each other. Determine where your home decor falls on the color wheel.
A "Little" Technical Background on Color Schemes
Most rooms color schemes and home decor will typically be made up of 3 to 5 colors. One (or two) of the colors should be the dominant color and will be used extensively throughout the room. It will cover the majority of the space, such as the color on the walls or wall to wall carpeting.
A secondary color or colors are used a little less than the dominant and will provide interest and balance to the color scheme. It might be the background color of a printed upholstery fabric or the color of the fabric for the window treatment. It will not be the main color in the room, or be the color of major room decor, but will play a secondary role. There are usually only 1 or 2 secondary colors.
Accent colors are used the least, so often, a strong color that makes a statement is used. Accent colors breathe life into a room and are used in home decor items, pillows, rugs, art pieces, or as contrasts on window treatments.
There is no hard set way to determine which colors in a room fall into which categories, you may have two designers that think a room has a different secondary color than the other. This doesn't necessarily mean that one is right and one is wrong. With color - everything is very subjective - therefore, it helps to digest the above information, but that doesn't mean that you can't bend the rules a little. ....after all, Picasso did.
Neutrals are used to anchor a color scheme. Neutrals are not just white, ivory, off white and gray. Almost any color can become a neutral once it is "grayed" or neutralized with its complementary color. Neutrals are often used for trim work, but can also be used as the dominant color, the secondary color, or even an accent in a room. A room that is built around neutrals as the dominant and secondary colors is often a very sophisticated and elegant space Often, in traditional interiors the dominant color is neutralized and accents are more bold. There is no reason why you cannot do the reverse and allow your accents to be the more neutralized colors in the room and the walls more vivid. This is done frequently in contemporary design.
Color Facts & Home Decor
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