What Is Colour Theory and How Can You Use It To Make Smart Interior Design Decisions?18th October 2021
Your choice of colours can determine the success or failure of your home’s decorative scheme.
When selected properly, colour can unify furnishings and finishes to give a room and the entire home a cohesive and pleasing result.
Additionally, colour plays a crucial role in establishing and defining the mood of a scheme. It can lighten a gloomy room or tone down a dazzlingly bright one and make it feel more comfortable.
When matched correctly with the shape and proportions, you will get the effect you desire for a specific room.
Colour is also another key element you can use to change the size and proportions of a room. For instance, plain wallpaper in hues of off-white, dark blue and grey, and light green can make spaces look bigger. They can also help lower high ceilings or raise low ones visually.
Using Colours to Achieve Your Interior Design Goals
The key to maximising the effects of colours in your interior design is knowing how to use them correctly.
Using colour theory as your guide as you incorporate hues in your décor can help you get on the right track.
The colour theory refers to the science behind the way people process and interpret colours in terms of combinations and proportions.
It can be considered as the baseline for understanding general interpretations of colours since everyone sees them differently. It also involves assigning each hue a different meaning based on their experiences in and sensitivity to and perception of interior environments.
With this in mind, colour theory can have various applications in interior design. If you want to use it in your home to improve its style and appeal, here are the five vital principles you have to keep in mind:
1. Basic colours
The right colour scheme is crucial for having a well-put-together and appealing room.
Knowing the basic colours allows you to set a foundation for the colour scheme you want for a particular room.
There are three basic classifications of colours. These are:
- Primary, which is composed of red, blue, and yellow. These hues cannot be made by mixing other colours.
- Secondary, which is composed of orange, purple, and green. They can be produced by combining the primary colours.
- Tertiary, which are the six shades that can be made by mixing different primary and secondary colours.
Using one of these 12 colours is often a good starting point for creating your colour scheme. Simply choose one to narrow down your selections and use it as your foundation.
2. Colour wheel
Aside from knowing the basic colours, reviewing your knowledge of the colour wheel can also help you create a scheme that works for the room you want.
A colour wheel gives you a visual representation of the arrangement of the primary, secondary, and tertiary colours. Using this tool, you’ll have a good idea about which hues blend nicely together.
Because of this, you won’t have to guess and experiment several times to find out which ones work well.
If you are having a hard time remembering the hues that go into a colour wheel, go online to find one.
3. Colour scheme
Using the colour wheel, you can choose a colour scheme that you can implement for your room.
The most widely used colour schemes in interior design are:
- Monochromatic – This is a colour scheme made only of a single hue, tint, and shade. This type gives a room a relaxing look and vibe since it lacks definition or a focal area.
- Complementary – This scheme involves selecting two colours and creating shades, tints, and tones from them. A complementary scheme gives a space depth and character.
- Analogous – This scheme uses harmonising colours on either the warm or cool spectrum. Examples of these are red, orange, and yellow combinations and green, blue, and violet blends.
- Split complementary – To make this colour scheme, choose your base shade. Next, look at the colour directly opposite it and select the two shades on the side of it. Use these two shades to complement your base hue and create a balanced palette in a room.
4. Colour temperature
Colours also give off a temperature, which gives or enhances the atmosphere in a room.
If you want to give a room a pleasant, comfy, and homey feel, shades of red, yellow, and orange are your best choices since these are considered warm colours.
These shades work well in the kitchen and living room if you want them to give off a welcoming and vibrant vibe.
Remember this principle if you are thinking of getting living room wallpaper for your home.
Wallpaper is a great alternative to paint since you have numerous colours and designs to choose from. You can get the shade you want without mixing hues of paint, which is often time-consuming.
On the other hand, if you want a room to feel relaxing, cool, and intimate, opt for hues of blue, green, and purple. Consider these shades in bedrooms and bathrooms.
5. 60:30:10 rule
Lastly, it can be easy to go overboard when you find a hue that you love. To ensure a room doesn’t get too overwhelmed by only a single colour, follow the 60:30:10 rule.
This means selecting one colour to fill about 60% of the space. To be on the safe side, you can pick a neutral colour as your dominant hue.
Next, choose a secondary hue from your colour scheme, which should fill about 30% of the space.
Your accent hue should be present in 10% of the room’s features and fixtures.
By following this ratio, you can ensure the room remains visually balanced and appealing.
With these colour theory principles in mind, you can have well-designed rooms and an attractive home even without the services of a professional interior designer.
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