Color Schemes and Palettes

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Creating a color scheme for your home is like having a road map that can guide in making the best decorating decisions. It's easy to become overwhelmed with paint samples and fabric swatches when you don't have a clear idea of what you want. Luckily, there are several easy ways to create color palettes you'll love, to remove the guesswork out of decorating your home.

Creating a Color Scheme Starts Here

Choosing color for your home should be fun, not stressful. The key to creating a color palette without stress is all about focus and planning. There are simple steps you can take before you choose even one color, that will make all the difference.

  • Plan your color scheme: Decide what type of color scheme you'll use. Will you choose colors based on the color wheel? Or perhaps use a piece of art or fabric to find your colors.
  • Get color inspiration: Start collecting photos and links to rooms and colors that inspire you. Pinterest is a great way to create a collection of inspiring images and sites.
  • Choose color chips and swatches: A visit to a paint store or furniture showroom should include grabbing samples to take home. Be sure not to overwhelm your decision-making by bringing home too many colors at once - it will make choosing harder.
  • Narrow it down: This can be as simple as creating keep, consider, set aside, piles for color chips or fabric swatches. This will make the next step much easier, and less-costly.
  • Sample your paint colors: Really, don't skip this step if you're choosing paint color. Even a neutral color will yield a surprise when painted on a wall, even if it looked perfect online. Sampling paint colors is the only way to make your final decision.

Easy Color Theory for Busy People

You don't have to know everything about color theory to create a scheme using its principals. The color wheel is the main tool is creating color schemes using this theory, and every one of these simple color scheme recipes start there. The color wheel is divided into twelve colors. The relationship to the other colors on the wheel is how these schemes are identified. It's really as simple as drawing a line or triangle in the center of a color scheme to find the right colors.

Monochromatic

A monochromatic color scheme is created by selecting one color on the color wheel. The variation for your color palette comes from using varying shades of the same color. A monochromatic color scheme in gray might include charcoal, silver, and a medium gray. A monochromatic color scheme can be very relaxing visually.

Complementary

Creating a complementary color scheme is as simple as drawing a straight line from any color on the wheel to the color directly opposite. These two colors are truly opposites, and create a strong contrast. For your home, a complementary color scheme can be successful when you choose varying shades of the two opposite colors. A complementary color scheme might be yellow and violet, blue and orange, or red and green - or softer shades of those colors.

Split Complementary

The split complementary color scheme is a little more complex than a simple, two-color complementary scheme. To find this combination, choose one color, then instead of choosing the complementary color directly opposite, choose the color on either side of the target complementary. This color scheme is more versatile than a simple complementary color palette, as it offers more color variations for accents.

Analogous

Like the monochromatic color schemes, the analogous color scheme can be relaxing and harmonious. The difference between the two is that the analogous color scheme uses three colors. Find analogous by looking at the colors on either side of any color on the color wheel, include red, yellow, and orange, or blue, green, and purple. This scheme offers the most flexibility.

Which Type of Color Scheme Should I Choose?

There's absolutely no reason why you can't create a color scheme with colors you love without using any structure. However, you'll find it quicker and easier to use a framework based on color theory or inspiration to find the best color combinations.

Color Schemes and Palettes