This is the seventh post of a series “Style, Substance and Color:...
Spring is a time of awakening and transformation, much like a butterfly. The season brings with it a collage of vibrant colors from fresh green grass and bright blue skies to sprouting tulips and blooming azaleas. Why not breathe some new life into your living spaces, too, with a minimalist and professional look? Perhaps all you need are updated accessories and complimentary wall paint. Maybe take it a step further by replacing old lighting fixtures with a unique chandelier, or swap out a worn out door with an attractive barn door track system. You can do it all on your own. Before you head to the store get a little help with a tool that is essential to professional painters and decorators the color wheel.
What is a color wheel?
The color wheel is basically a handy circular diagram of primary, secondary and tertiary colors. It illustrates how colors relate to one another from primary to tertiary colors. Red, blue and yellow are known as primary colors and are the base for all other colors. Secondary colors, orange, green and purple, are created by combing two primary colors. Tertiary colors are a combination of a primary color and a secondary color or a combination of two secondary colors. Examples are blue-green, violet and yellow-green. These can be mixed with white, black or gray to create countless cool and warm shades such as peach, mint, and maroon. Color wheels are available from simple charts that contain basic, primary and tertiary shades to more detailed illustrations that include countless variations from which to choose.
How does it work?
This is where the magic happens. Once you have chosen a color to transform your space, a color wheel helps the user to understand the relationships between the colors. Those relationships makes it easier to find a complimentary shade to consider when choosing accessories and furnishings. Cooler shades are on one side and warmer shades are on the other. Take your color wheel and draw a straight line from your color choice to the color range on the opposite side of the wheel. Voila! You have discovered your color's ideal partner. While you are not limited by those shades, you will find the contrast of cool and warm colors offer a pop of complimentary cohesion. For example, across the color wheel from yellow are shades of violet such as lilac to deep amethyst. These two colors, when used together in a space, create a soothing environment. If you enjoy a bold red, consider popping it with spring green for a happy and bright space.
How do I pull it all together?
It is important not to overwork a complimentary shade. Keep it simple, especially if your primary color is bold. Perhaps you have neutral furniture and would like to paint all four walls apricot. Select drapes, artwork, and an upholstered chair in an appealing shade of deep periwinkle in a nod to apricot's opposite. The final look is subtle, yet interesting when blended with neutral furnishings and floor coverings such as off-white or ecru. If you choose a bold shade like orange, use its complimentary shade even more sparingly with some toss pillows and a throw.
This year, introduce yourself to a helpful tool of the trade to refresh and renew any room from living spaces to work spaces. With a color wheel in hand, you can feel confident in creating a designer look by remembering that opposite colors on the wheel attract. Once you understand their relationships, you will find that warm and cool shades make for a happy couple when paired together.