by Erin Nolan
As a follow up to Color Palettes in Interior Design, this entry delves deeper in the world of complimentary colors and the different methods of combining color schemes. Here is a summary if you are not up for the quick read:
Monochromatic color schemes are all of a single tint, shade and hue. Because they lack definition or focal areas they tend to be relaxing. They are really easy to manage as there are no more decisions to be made concerning color. However, depending on which hue is chosen, it could be stimulating as well – imagine a room entirely of coral! Yikes! This is the easiest color guide. Just choose one color and go!
This palette uses harmonizing colors, either in the warm or cool spectrum. For instance, red-orange-yellow combinations or green-blue-violet are more appealing than violet-green-orange. Again there are exceptions. Try not to use too many analogous colors because it will ruin the flow of the area.
Ok. Choose two colors. Now create shades, tints and tones of those same colors. Congratulations! You just created your own complementary color palette. Using shades creates depth and character to your room. In this palette, the tints are used for focal points. This can create everything from a bright cheerful style to a soothing formal look.
On the color wheel there are exact opposites. Red’s opposite is green. Violet’s nemesis is yellow and the anti-blue is orange. Here is where it gets difficult, so I’ll break it down. 1. Choose a color (I’ll choose blue). 2. Find its complimentary (orange). 3. Now choose colors on either side of orange on the color wheel (yellow-orange and red-orange). This allows for nuances of color, yet still maintains strong focal areas.
Have you ever played cat’s cradle with a piece of string? Working with a triad complementary color scheme is kind of like that. It looks easy if you know what you’re doing. If you don’t, you just end up with a mess. The fundamental idea is that you take three colors which are evenly spaced around the color wheel. When everything is working the palette provides a rich, balanced, and harmonious style that the others do not have. Because of its nature, it is used by many artists.
Tetradic (Double Complementary)
Don’t. Just don’t… unless you like the sound of “triadic double split complementary.” Yeah. I thought so. Google it if you really want to know.