Learning about colors in interior design is essential if you want to create a look that’s aesthetically pleasing to both you and your family. So, if you want to create a stunning look for your home, using color theory and the color wheel can help you get there.
Here is a brief lesson in pairing colors and using complementary colors in interior design. But first, a quick history of the color wheel.
What’s the Color Wheel?
The color wheel is based on the color theory, which is used to determine what colors look best together. The color theory, invented by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666, uses art and science to highlight the relationships between colors. Artists and designers use the color wheel to create the look and feel they want when crafting their masterpieces.
Now, the color wheel has an active and a passive range — and active colors can look advanced when placed against passive colors, while passive colors look like they’re receding when placed against active colors.
There are different types of color combinations and schemes you can play with when considering your interior design. They include:
- Complementary: Complementary colors are the most dynamic, but they’re still simple. Using complementary colors means using two colors opposite each other on the color wheel, like yellow and purple.
- Monochromatic: This type of combination uses a few different shades (adding black) and tints (adding white) of one color for a more subtle combination.
- Contrast (Triadic): If you’re in love with the idea of contrasting colors, find three colors evenly spaced on the color wheel, such as red-violet, blue-green, or yellow-orange.
- Tetradic: This is a bold color scheme in which you select four colors that are evenly spaced on the color wheel.
- Analogous: An analogous scheme is what you use when you want more contrast and includes colors found side by side on the color wheel, such as orange, yellow, and green.
No matter what look you’re after, use this as a guide to choosing colors that go well together; after all, you don’t want a color scheme that’s hard on the eyes.
Why Should You Use Complementary Colors?
Complementary colors are two different colors on opposite sides of the color wheel that typically either contrast one another or have a high impact when combined. When used together, complementary colors usually appear brighter and more noticeable. When combined, however, complementary colors blend to create gray — or they’ll neutralize one another. Complementary colors can create harmony and balance, and using them is a great way to formulate a color palette in your home.
Why Do Color Accents and Different Design Styles Matter?
Once you know which complementary colors to use, you can decide on a design style and color accents to complete your look. There are tons of different design styles from which to choose, including:
- Mid-century modern
- Shabby chic
Each of these design themes incorporates different accents you can use to create the perfect look. For example, you can do an accent wall; find a nice trim you like; or get accent pillows, light fixtures, lamps, area rugs, trinkets, or wall art prints to bring together all the elements in a particular room.
Knowing how to pair colors when it comes to interior design gives you the best chance at creating a design scheme you’ll fall in love with. So, start thinking about the color schemes and accents you might want for your home, as well as which design theme(s) you might want to incorporate. Pulling together a look that suits your tastes shouldn’t be too difficult, as long as you keep the above in mind when planning your interior design.