Home Color Schemes
There are many different colour schemes that can be used within the home. Each has its own qualities and characteristics, some producing a relaxing ambience, others creating a stimulating environment. Spend some time deciding the right colour scheme for your family.
The colour wheel
Before choosing a colour scheme, it is advisable to learn a few basic rules about how colours work together. Every colour in the spectrum is made up of a combination of red, blue and yellow – the three primary colours. If a pair of primary colours is mixed together, it creates a secondary colour. If a primary colour is mixed with an adjacent secondary colour, it creates a tertiary colour: red/violet, violet/blue, blue/green, green/yellow, yellow/orange and orange/red. These colours form a basic colour wheel consisting of 12 colours: three primaries, three secomlartrs and six tertiaries.
Colours adjacent to each other on the colour wheel blend together well and are termed harmonious – red and orange, blue and violet, for example. Colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel contrast with each other and are termed ‘complementary’ – red and green, yellow and violet, for instance. Another feature of the colour wheel is that the colours on one side – the red/orange/yellow sequence -appear warm, while the colours on the other side – the green/blue sequence -appear cool.
For a harmonious colour scheme, the colours used are found next to each other on the colour wheel. A room decorated with a harmonious scheme will be easy on the eye. The stalling point for such a scheme could be a blue sofa, for example; simply feature aquamarine and soft greens in the rest of the room’s decoration to create a calm, restful, yet visually pleasing living room.
This type of scheme is based upon tones of just one colour. It produces a relaxing atmosphere and can be the perfect background to a strong central feature within the room. In a bedroom, for example, a strikingly patterned bed cover can be enhanced by flooring, walls and curtaining in varying tones of a harmonious colour.
If you decide to decorate with a monochromatic scheme, make sure that you have ample tonal variation. This ensures that the finished room is visually interesting. This type of scheme also benefits from the introduction of an accent colour. This additional colour can either be harmonious to your main colour – that is, one of its neighbours on the colour wheel -or it can be a contrasting accent – that is, found opposite your main colour on the wheel. A contrasting accent colour creates a more powerful scheme.
This form of colour scheme is created by mixing colours that he on opposite sides of the colour wheel – blue and orange, for example. It creates a vibrant mid lively scheme, the ideal stimulating environment for a child’s playroom or a family silting room, but not the best option for a relaxing bedroom.
The neutral scheme is a blend of creams and whites through to browns and black. It creates a very calming environment, ideal as a background to interesting pieces of furniture and paintings. The successful natural scheme is reliant on the introduction of texture to the room, whether through interesting woven textiles or textural floor coverings. While a cream sofa is certainly not the best option for a busy playroom, a neutral scheme can work extremely well in a more formal living room and can even be quite practical if machine-washable fabrics and stain-resistant products are used.