If you’ve ever seen a professional decorator use this small round device, filled with all the colors of the rainbow, it may seem like a tool only a pro could understand. But they are surprisingly easy to use, and can be the key to finding just the right color to paint the interior of your home.
A color wheel can generally be divided into two halves: the warm tones like reds, pinks, oranges and yellows; and the cooler colors, such as blues, violets, and greens. If you are going for a livelier, warmer look, go for the warm tones, and if you want a calming effect, try the cooler tones.
Before you start, it’s important to take stock of the colors you already have in the room.
- What color is your furniture?
- What color and style are your bedclothes?
- Are you wanting to make a favorite sofa the focal point?
You can use the color wheel to help you choose your paint, by first understanding the colors you have to work with, already.
There are several ways, however, to choose colors from the color wheel for your home’s next interior painting project.
You can transform a space by using the same color in varying intensities from light to dark. That is known as the “monochromatic look,” and it can be achieved by using the same color in varying tones throughout a room.
You often see this used with varying shades of the same beige/browns in many homes, which has a calming effect. A common way to use this would be light beige on the walls, for instance, with a darker brown couch, and medium beige to accent the trey ceiling.
An easy way to accomplish this look is to use the paint chips they supply from the paint store, which generally have several different light/dark versions of the same shade on the chip. Choose a lighter version for your main walls, a dark version for an accent wall, as an example.
Think of it as the “hombre” color scheme for your home.
Analogous color schemes can be achieved by using colors that are next to each other, horizontally, on the color wheel. So, if the red wedge is next to the orange wedge and the yellow wedge, then those colors will coordinate with each other.
The important thing here is to match them well horizontally on the wheel. You will notice each wedge has several different shades going down the wedge. If you like the third shade down the wedge, for example, then you would need to go one wedge over and pick the color the third shade down on that wedge, too. This should give you two related and harmonious colors to work with, and can be the key to creating a safe, solid color match.
Colors that are complementary are the wedges directly across the color wheel from each other. It can make for some very harmonious and unexpected color combinations, like violet and yellow, or mauve and green, or orange and blue.
Remember when you choose the wall color for your home the color of your wall “counts” as part of the overall number of colors in your room. Most designers don’t recommend more than six colors in any one room, counting paint, trims, fabrics, curtains, and even some woods.
So don’t be afraid to embrace color in your home. Just embrace a few simple rules, and you’ll find that choosing your next room color should be easy and fun.