The Color Wheel: How To Use Colors that Complement Each Other

April 28, 2022

If you want to re-do your interior design but are struggling with creating the perfect color scheme, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we will be introducing you to the color wheel, which is a fool-proof way to create an outstanding color palette that not only looks good on paper but in real life as well. Keep reading to learn about the basics behind understanding the color wheel and how to use it to create extraordinary color combinations.

The Color Wheel Explained

The color wheel is organized based on scientific color principles. It shows how colors are supposed to combine, blend and contrast naturally. It’s divided into 12 parts (colors) and three categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary. The primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. All of the others are created from the three primary ones.

The secondary colors are green, orange, and purple, which are made from a combination of two primary colors.

When a primary color is combined with its neighboring secondary color, a tertiary color is made. They are red-orange, blue-violet, blue-green, yellow-green, yellow-orange, red-orange, and red-violet.

What Are Color Schemes? 

If you’re an aspiring interior stylist, then you should know that the color wheel is one of the most essential decorating tools you can use. With help from the color wheel, you can create color schemes that make each and every space have its own unique atmosphere. 

For example, blues, greens, and purples are cooler tones that create a more calming feeling. On the other hand, yellows, reds, browns, and pinks are warmer tones that give a brighter, more enthusiastic feel to a room. This is why you should have an idea of what ‘feel’ you want a room to have before starting with the color design creation process.

Here are some popular color schemes to get you inspired. 

Stay Sophisticated With a Monochromatic Scheme

If there’s a color you love more than anything and you can’t imagine your home without it, a monochromatic color scheme might be for you. Using one color (or slightly different shades of the same color) is a great way to make a room look elegant, sophisticated, and put together.

Start by choosing your favorite color, then look for paint, decor, furniture, etc., in varying shades of this color. Of course, you can also choose to keep things simple and go for one shade, but including a spectrum of shades from light to dark can help give a monochrome color scheme some depth.

For a room to be well-balanced, it should have both warm and cool tones, though they don’t have to be present in equal amounts. So, if you’ve created a palette of monochromatic colors, try to either warm it up or cool it down by adding it up by adding some white, black, gray, beige, or otherwise neutral colors that will help provide the space with some balance.

Eye-Catching Analogous Color Schemes

If you enjoy the monochromatic color scheme’s minimalistic feel but want to spice it up a bit, then the analogous color scheme is the right fit for you. There’s almost no way to fail with this color combo, as it offers just the right amount of contrast. To get started, you need to pair two to three different colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. 

To create a cohesive look, try following the 60-30-10 rule, meaning that 60% of the room is decorated with the primary color, 20% with the secondary, and 10% with the accent color. Many professional designers and decorators use this strategy to make a space as visually appealing as possible. You can create this strategy with both warmer and cooler tones, so the first step is choosing what feel you want the room to have.

Have Fun With Complementary Colors

Using two complementary colors in your design scheme can create an intriguing, fun, and energizing atmosphere. The concept is relatively simple: pair two colors that are opposites on the color wheel. For example, you can pair yellow and violet, blue and orange, light green and pink, etc.

Some of the best complementary color schemes include non-primary colors—for example, the combination of blue-green with coral. After choosing the two contrasting colors, you can now create different styles by mixing and matching them. One route you can take is to favor one of the colors over the other, or alternatively, you can use them both as accents over a neutral background. The first option will give the room a more eccentric and electric feel, while the second is more minimalistic and adds a dash of color into an otherwise plain space.

Final Thoughts 

Once you understand the color wheel, interior design becomes a whole new ball game. You can mix and match colors in any way you see fit to create rooms with different ambiances and design schemes. Use the color combination tips above to experiment with your favorite colors and turn your home into the cohesive color scheme of your dreams!

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