Getting the most out of colour
Posted Wednesday, May 2 2012 at 12:35
So you have heard (more than once I am sure) how changing the colour of your walls is the easiest way to give a room, or your entire home, a facelift.
Sounds easy enough, does it not? If only picking a colour were as simple as playing roulette with the colour wheel and hoping that your gamble will pay off...
Unfortunately, hitting “the jackpot” (freshly spruced home interiors to brag about) is not a game of luck.
Letting your colour preferences guide your choices is good, but allowing them to reign supreme is easily a recipe for disaster; just because you love pink, that is not an excuse to have a house that looks like cotton candy.
Before making any choices, it helps to understand the theory of colour as well as considering the room’s function and architecture.
Let these things, together with your style, dictate what will eventually go to your walls.
The theory of colour
Lest you think that I am taking you back to an art class where words like “mosaic” and “collage” were thrown around and you were often lost in some daytime reverie as the teacher droned on, be assured that only what is relevant to your home décor shall be delved into.
Now, knowing and understanding colour harmony is probably the best information to be armed with if you want to get the most out of colour, and it is definitely a bonus if you plan on involving a design consultant; we do not want to seem ignorant now do we?
Simply put, these harmonies are relationships between colours on the colour wheel and the result of these relationships is a visually appealing interior.
Here are some colour schemes to play with:
Monochromatic — This scheme consists of different tints and shades (light and dark) of a single colour. This scheme is easy to get right and although it may lack visual diversity, its simplicity can be soothing.
Achromatic — This colour scheme contains various shades and tints of whites, blacks, and greys, but no colour. It speaks of simplicity and sophistication and is one of those schemes that you cannot go wrong with.
Analogous — Analogous colours are those that are adjacent to each other on the colour wheel. This scheme, therefore, consists of three colours that share a similar hue, such as yellow, yellow-orange, and orange. They usually work well together and create serene and comfortable designs.
Complementary — Complementary colours lie opposite each other on the colour wheel, like blue and orange, red and green, and purple and yellow.
Complementary colour schemes, especially when in high contrast, create a vibrant look. However, caution must be taken not to overwhelm your space.
Split-analogous — This scheme includes a main colour and the two colours one space away from it on each side of the colour wheel. An example is red, violet, and blue.
Split-complementary — This is a variation of the complementary colour scheme. In addition to the base colour, it uses the two colours adjacent to its complement.