Wheel Your Way to Color

by Jane VanOsdol on July 29, 2011

Are you staring at that bedroom or bathroom in your home that’s crying for some attention? You know, the one with the faded or outdated paint. Perhaps you’ve decided it’s finally time to change the lollypop pink from your daughter’s room– who is now in her first apartment! Whatever your situation is, as you find yourself staring at the walls looking for some inspiration, grab a tool that’s been around a long time to help you develop a color scheme for your room:  the color wheel.

Artists and interior designers know how invaluable a color wheel is as they’re mixing and matching colors, and you’ll soon discover you can’t live without it either when you put on your decorator’s hat. Let’s consider four ways you can use a 12-part color wheel.

First of all, if you want to work with a harmonious color scheme for your interior painting project, choose three neighboring colors, called analogous colors, on the color wheel to use in your room. As an example of that, if we start with yellow as our color choice, then we have two possibilities, depending upon which way we move on the color wheel. If we move to the left, our analogous color palette will be yellow, yellow-orange, and orange. If we move to the right, our harmonious color palette will be yellow, yellow-green, and green. Use one of these combinations for your room.

A second way to choose your colors from the color wheel is to choose complementary colors. Complementary colors are those directly opposite of each other on the color wheel. One example would be violet and yellow. Opposing colors often bring energy to a room. A well-known example would also be red and green. You’re probably familiar with this complementary pair, because they are often used in Christmas decorating.

A third way to use your color wheel for your home improvement project is by finding a triad of colors. A triad simply means that you find three colors on the 12-part color wheel that together form a triangle and use those colors as your inspiration. For example, yellow-orange, blue-green, and red-violet are a triad grouping.

The fourth way to use your color wheel is by selecting one color and incorporating the colors directly below it on the color wheel, which are listed as tint, tone, and shade. These colors represent a monochromatic color scheme. This is very easy to do in a paint store. Simply pick up a paint chip card. All the colors on that card are monochromatic colors and will work beautifully for your painting color scheme.

Regardless of the way you choose to use your color wheel, one of the three colors you pick will be the predominant color you use in the room, while the others will be your accent colors.

Choosing color doesn’t have to be a hair-pulling, frustrating experience. Using the simple color wheel tool will have you painting and decorating like a pro, with the colorful results to prove it.

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