Room Color Schemes - Using The Color Wheel

by HDME Staff

Trying to sort out your room color schemes? It is common knowledge that certain colors clash so badly that they can not exist in the same item, outfit, or room without creating a sense of dissonance that can lead to being completely uncomfortable.

However, not everyone realizes which color combinations clash the worst or how many poor matches are possible before finding room color schemes that match well. This is why use of the color wheel can prove quite useful in selecting one's room color schemes.

First, one must understand a few simple terms used when referring to the color wheel. Hue is another word meaning color, but the two words are not interchangeable. This is because it is possible to create different hues of the same color by adding different things to it.

We can tint a color by adding pure white to it. Shading a color is accomplished by adding black to it. A color's tone is changed by adding gray, which is a fifty/fifty mix of black and white. A color's value is determined by how dark or light it is.

Now, armed with these definitions, we are ready to look at how the color wheel can be helpful. There are four basic room color schemes that can be chosen from using the color wheel to select colors that go together. These are monochromatic, complimentary, analogous, and triadic.

A monochromatic room color schemes make use of a single color. This color can be changed using different tints, tones, shades, and values to create a broad spectrum of hues while remaining true to the single color theme.

Complementary room color schemes involve two colors that lay exactly 180 degrees apart on the color wheel. Examples would be red and green or yellow and violet. Taking two opposing colors and working with their different tones, tints, and shades can create a very dramatic color scheme.

Analogous room color schemes make use of three colors that lie adjacent to one another one the color wheel. One can choose to make such color schemes have a warm or a cool feeling by varying the tint or shade of the colors.

Triadic room color schemes are those that lie an equal distance apart on the color wheel. One example would be the three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. Combining three triadic colors in different tints and shades can be very dramatic and energizing or very relaxing, depending on the effect being sought and which hues are dominant in the color scheme.

The Big Question for YOU!
Which color scheme strategy above do you prefer to use in decorating and why? Tell us some of your best secrets for selecting and matching colors whether it involves paint, fabric, etc.

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This is a great help for clueless me!
by: Dad@Home

I have several talents I'm happy to boast about but coordinating room color schemes when decorating isn't one of them! The last time I tried it was a mini disaster so I was happy to read about such things as hues and color wheels. I really had no idea and feel better prepared to tackle my youngest child's room now. She is begging for it to have a makeover and I had run out of excuses.

Always have a hard time
by: Misty

I am terrible when it comes to picking out room color schemes, especially complimentary colors. When I was pregnant and we had to get our daughter's nursery ready I let my husband decide on colors. Now that I understand the color wheel though I'm going to have to see if I can pick out something nice for our bedroom, which we are redecorating this year.

Awesome- thanks!!
by: MariaP

My daughter wants to paint her room this summer (Again!). She has already picked out the colors and I said they will clash! I am going to show her a color wheel (now that you have explained it) and have her pick again!

Good ideas
by: Tori

I am so afraid of color and 'messing up' that I always go with a monochromatic look. It's clean, but boring. I am going to get a color wheel and see if I can devise some complimentary room color schemes for once!

by: jimmy

I have used the color wheel on a lot of different remodeling jobs I have worked on. I can verify that if you use that method for room color schemes you will never go wrong with colors.

A little confused
by: sarahluv

I too have trouble matching colors. I am still a little confused from reading that even. Perhaps if I had a color wheel I would better understand the colors that go well together.

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