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Color Schemes for Interior Design

Different Color Schemes to Use When Designing a Room

To begin with, it is best to understand and reference the color wheel. Use it as a basic guide for selecting the different types of color combinations.

First, you have your Primary colors (Red, Blue, and Yellow) that cannot be made from mixing any other colors.

Then there are Secondary colors (Orange, Purple, and Green) that can be made by mixing the primary colors together.

Finally, there are Tertiary colors (Red-Purple, Red-Orange, Blue-Green, Blue-Purple, Yellow-Green, and Yellow-Orange)


Understanding Hue, Tint, Shade, And Tone

Tint, Shade, and Tone can add further variation to the variety of colors that are already available.


Hue: The pure variation of the color without the addition of tint, shade, or tone

Tint: The lightening of color with the addition of white

Shade: The darkening of color with the addition of black

Tone: The slight darkening of color with the addition of gray


Different Color schemes


Complementary color scheme

               The simplest of the color schemes are complementary. Complementary color schemes use two colors that sit on opposite sides of the color wheel to create a dramatic contrast. Since the contrast is so great when using complementary colors, it is often best to use a dominant neutral color and utilize the complementary colors when you want to draw attention to a certain design element.


Split-Complementary color scheme

If a complementary color scheme is too bold for your taste you may want to consider a split-complimentary color scheme. This scheme uses one base color and the two colors on both sides of the opposing color.  These two colors can give a good sense of balance throughout the room without losing too much of the contrast from the base.

Analogous color scheme

               An analogous color scheme uses three colors that are side by side on the color wheel and uses the 60-30-10 rule for variation of the color. You will choose one color to be the dominant shade taking up 60% of the color, one supporting color taking up 30%, and one accent color taking up 10%.

Triadic Color Scheme

               The Triadic color scheme refers to the usage of three colors with equal distance between each on the color wheel. This color scheme creates a lively environment with a contrast between all three colors.

Tetradic Color Scheme

               If the Triadic scheme balances three colors in a space Tetradic scheme balances four different colors in a space.  This is done by using two pairs of complementary colors, often two warm colors and two cool colors to create a sense of balance.

Square Color Scheme

               The square color scheme uses four different colors with even spacing between each color on the color wheel. This will result in the use of one primary color, one secondary color, and two tertiary colors. It is important to pay attention to the balance of warm and cool colors when using the square color scheme to create a sense of balance throughout the room.

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