You are setting off on a new adventure and want to use your creativity to decorate your home using color. It doesn’t really matter if what you call home is a house, apartment, duplex, mobile home or a single room. Color will add beauty to anything it touches. It’s a known fact, that certain colors tend to stimulate the human brain more than others. Color is one of the major elements in interior design and makes a lot of visual difference to an area. Keep in mind, that using light colors reflect light, making a room appear larger, while dark colors make the room seem smaller but cozier. The choice is up to you.

If you are unsure of where to begin, may I suggest that you purchase a color wheel from your local craft or home improvement store. Investing in this small object, will be well worth its weight in gold and could save you tons of money in the long run, by helping you to choose harmonious colors. That simply means, colors that look pretty together. The use of a color wheel will definitely make choosing the right combination of colors for painting your walls, adding accents, choosing furnishings and furniture and gathering accessories, a much easier task. If you are located in an area that doesn’t have a home improvement or craft store available to you, a color wheel may be purchased on line at a reasonable price.

Interior designers have found that using a light color for the background area of your room, such as a paint color for the walls, a medium color for major pieces of furniture, windows, doors and closets, and a dark color for the room’s accessories, seems to work well. Lighter colors tend to recede into the background and darker colors want to attract our attention immediately and seem to occupy more space. If space is an issue, using furnishings in same color as your walls, with colorful accessories works well. However, all that being said, this is your special area and you can decorate it as uniquely as you desire. Try to stick with the theory of the color wheel though for beautiful results.

Understanding The Color Wheel

Perhaps you don’t even know what a color wheel is. Its fairly easy to understand. The color wheel is shaped in a circular pattern and shows how colors are related to one another. In order to understand how to use the color wheel, you must first recognize some important terms pertaining to color.

Five Color Terms Defined

a. Hue sounds important but its actually just another word for color.
b. Tint describes a color to which the color white has been added.
c. Tone is a color to which the color grey (white and black combined) is added.
d. Shade describes a color to which the color black has been added.
e. Value describes the lightness or darkness of any color.

Pretty simple explanation, right?

How The Color Wheel Works

On the color wheel, there are three primary colors. These colors would include red, blue and yellow. Next, there are three secondary colors. They are purple, orange and green. We get the secondary colors by mixing the primary colors such as red and blue to create purple. Yellow and red to create orange. And blue and yellow to create green. There is a step further on the color wheel when a primary color is mixed with a secondary color to create a tertiary color. Here we would come up with colors such as red-orange, yellow-green and blue-purple or violet. When these colors are mixed with pure white or pure black, we end up with numerous tints and shades of the various colors. Sounds a lot like a rainbow, don’t you agree?

The Four Basic Color Schemes

Color scheme help you to determine the harmony between colors. This is especially important in home décor. When you are ready to begin your decorating project, you must first decide which room in your home, you are planning to decorate and what type of color scheme you want to incorporate. A color scheme is simply using a combination of colors that harmonize with each other in order to give your room a completed look that seems harmonious. You can choose any of the four color schemes listed below. However, the most popular color schemes in interior design, would be either a mono-chromatic or complimentary.

1. Mono-Chromatic Color Scheme
A mono-chromatic scheme would mean that you are using one color in your room, using this color in its various tints, tones and shades.

2. Complimentary Color Scheme
A complimentary scheme means you are going to use two colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel . Once again, you may add varying tints, tones and shades of these two colors.

3. Analogous Color Scheme
An analogous scheme simply means you are using three colors that are neighbors on the color wheel in your room.

4. Triadic Color Scheme
A triadic scheme is when your room will host three colors that are equal distance apart on the color wheel.

Once you have decided on your color scheme, visit your home improvement store and get cardboard samples of the colors you plan to use. If you keep these with you wherever you go, you’ll never know when an item for your room, just perfect in color, will pop up. Professional interior designers like to plan the room on paper by putting a sample board together containing the fabrics, colors and textures that are to be used. Picturing it in your mind may not be as easy as seeing it on paper.

Once you’re decorating project is completed, you’ll understand why the color wheel was a vital part of the project. Your hard work and diligence has paid off by giving you a space that is uniquely yours and showcases your colorful personality. Welcome to the world of color and beauty!

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