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Color Theory in Home Design: Understanding The Basics

by Contributing Author

One of the first classes I took while studying art at university was on color theory, a key element of design. And with a deeper knowledge of color theory, you can feel more confident about making color decisions for your home. For some, this may be the beginning of their journey into the world of color theory. Some may be seasoned color experts, but I always find it beneficial to go back to basics. This lesson introduces the color wheel as an important design tool, and the next lesson delves deeper into color theory. let’s start!

This lesson is part of the Color School series. If you missed it, start over.

Lesson 1: Are you scared of color?

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What is Color Theory?

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At its simplest level, color theory is the art and science of how humans perceive color and how colors interact. From the perfection of home design, color theory can convey the look and feel of a room and should be used as an ally rather than an enemy. Raise your hand if you usually choose paint and furniture colors based on trial and error and intuition. Hello 👋 it’s me. He took three coats of paint before I was finally satisfied, which is sometimes unavoidable. But color theory can help. Let’s take a look at our good friend, the color wheel.

What is the color wheel?

Surely we’ve all seen the color wheel, or at least iterations of it. A color wheel consists of: three primary colors (red, yellow, blue), 3 secondary colors (orange, green, purple), and 6 tertiary colors (Mixing secondary and primary colors). Obviously the color possibilities seem endless when you start mixing tertiary colors with his secondary colors and so on, but you get the idea. Here are some other important definitions to add to your vocabulary.

Hue: This is what we really mean when we say “color”.

Tint: Any shade with the addition of white.

Shade: Any shade mixed with black.

Tone: Any hue mixed with gray.

Value: How bright or dark the color is.

Saturation (Saturation): How dull or bright a color is.

I highly recommend spending $7 on this if you are a visual learner interactive color wheel. There is no better way to understand all of these terms than to spin the wheel and see the effect of how colors interact with other colors: whites, blacks, and grays. On the contrary, you can see that the composition of colors is actually done. More on this later.

Another way to improve your color literacy is to have fun. one of our favorite board games, shades and cues, not only will color perception and communication be put to the test, but it’s also great for game night.this I love Hue The apps are captivating, addictive, and even newer i love fue too version. In both games, you drag and drop color tiles on the spectrum of colors into the proper arrangement. This is very satisfying and trains your eyes to recognize even the slightest changes in color.

Color temperature (warm vs. cool)

You can cut the color wheel in half to separate warm and cool colors. red, orange, yellow It’s warm. green, blue, purple cool.

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But of course, if you mix a little bit of blue into a warm color like red, you suddenly get a cold red, so it’s more complicated than that. Although technically still considered warm, there are some cool shades. Now, if you keep mixing blue until you get more blue than red, the color is considered cool with warm undertones. Clear as mud? More on this in the next lesson.

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As the name suggests, warm colors remind us. heat and sunshineAnd you can evoke coziness and passion in your space. When we think of cool colors, we tend to associate them with them. sky and water, and they make us feel calm and refreshed. I can’t wait to explore the psychology of each color in more detail in future lessons!

color harmony

This is the question I get asked most about using color at home. ‘How do you keep the colors in your home consistent and balanced instead of clashing?’ There are already some real color configurations.of $7 color wheel As mentioned above, it helps identify the right color scheme. Here are some of the more common ones:

Complementary: Combine opposites on the color wheel.

triad: Three equally spaced colors on the color wheel.

It was similar: happy little neighbors.

monochromatic: A single hue with different shades and shades.

If you want to dig deeper and explore more color harmonies, here’s what I found: This blog post will help.



I tend to gravitate toward complementary and monochromatic color palettes in my home. For me, they feel the most balanced and simple, allowing me to focus on other design elements such as textures, patterns and shapes. So it’s okay to stop overthinking. Also, I hope I don’t beat you as much as I say after all this information overload, but there really aren’t hard and fast rules when it comes to home design. Feel free to explore colors in a way that resonates with you and your personal style and preferences. What is said about the rules? It’s important to learn to know when to break.

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