Understanding Colour to Create the Look and Feel of Interior Spaces
Color is often quoted as one of the most intimidating aspects of designing your own home, but it doesn’t have to be. Here we will help you understand how colours interact and blend and blend to create beautiful visual landscapes. The best place to start is usually the colour wheel. (Note the above colour wheel is only one example – there are various versions available on the internet to work with)
The color wheel is exactly what it sounds like; a wheel depicting all of the major colors that are visible to the human eye. While there’s nothing threatening about the wheel there are a huge number of ways to look at it, picking out primary, complementary, and analogous colors.
Analogous colors are the easiest to find on the color wheel. Analogous colours are groups of three colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel, sharing a common colour, with one being the dominant colour, which tends to be a primary or secondary colour, and a tertiary colour. Red, orange, and red-orange are examples. The name comes from the close relationship that the colors share which is what makes them fitting shades to use together in a space.
Analogous color schemes are a common sight in nature, occurring often in plants. The most popular example of a naturally occurring analogous scheme is the changing color of leaves in fall, yet analogous colors can be seen even in the petals of a single flower or in the sky at sunrise and sunset.
It is probably the connection with nature, that rooms featuring analogous color palettes, often have a serene, harmonious feel. When decorating with these colors, it is important to create a balance between the colors by choosing one to focus on. This will be the major color of the room, allowing you to bring in the other shades as accents and small pops. A good place to start when choosing the main colour is to select any primary color (red, yellow, or blue) present in your group, using the secondary and tertiary colors as accents.
Make sure that you get the most out of an analogous colour scheme. With the colours in your palette so closely related, it’s easy for them to blend into each other, resulting in a jumbled look that can be visually overwhelming. Luckily, there are a number of ways to avoid this. One way to do this is picking a focal colour; creating a distinction between your colourful pieces with a pattern is another. One of the best ways is by balancing the level of your colors, making small, medium, and large colour choices to create an even blend of tones throughout the space.
Your best bet, however, is to use some combination of these methods to ensure that, while your colors are analogous, you are not focusing so much on colors directly adjacent to one another on the color wheel (e.g. green and yellow-green) that they are canceling each other out.
Author: Reneé Engelbrecht