Sunday, June 29, 2008

Color Schemes

Colors can be combined in many different ways. That's what a color scheme is - any combination of colors. There are four different types of color schemes that you can take advantage of, whether choosing paints or fabrics for your home (or any colors that affect your everyday, such as clothing or make-up).

Let me give you a summary of each color scheme:

Monochromatic- one color along with the tints ( lighter versions) and shades (darker versions) of this one color
Complementary- colors that are opposite on the color wheel - like blue and orange - they work well with each other, whether in the pure state or using tints or shades of each color. Using a complimetary color scheme offers great contrast.
Split complimentary- This is similar to complementary colors in that you use colors that are in contrast with eachother - but here you use two opposites. So for example, if you choose to use blue as your main color in the room, then compliment it with orange/red and orange/ yellow ( or tints or shades of these colors).
Analogous - using colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel; like orange and yellow or blue with green - and all the shades and tints in between the two. This creates a soft palette, a very peaceful color story.

The most popular in my experience are the first two; Monochromatic and Complementary. These are the easiest to understand and from what I have seen, shown the most in decorative home magazines.
When trying to create a monochromatic color story in your room you can choose shades and tints of one color. Take a look back at the color wheel illustration from my earlier post to help you visualize the different schemes. Choose the colors that you like, and see what combinations best suit you.

This is the point in time that most will then ask... where do I start? paint colors? fabrics? furniture?
I say it all depends on what project you are working on, an existing room that needs a "room lift" ? or a brand new space. Obviously if it is a renovation, you need to look at what exists in the room that is not leaving... that you will not replace. Sometimes this makes it easier to pick your paint color palette as you have items that you need to match. For the case that you are starting from scratch, you have the luxury of a clean palette!

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