Applying Color Theory to Home Decorating

Home decorating involves the use of color, shape and texture to elicit a comfortable and warm living space. Understanding color theory will help immensely when decorating any room in the house. Combining the right combination of colors enables an individual to select shapes and textures that flow together smoothly and create a visually pleasing décor.

Color theory begins with understanding the difference between the primary and secondary colors. The primary colors are red, blue and yellow. All other colors are made from these three primary colors. Secondary colors are a mix of two primary colors that set next to each other on the color wheel. Secondary colors include purple, green and orange. The color wheel is arranged in this manner: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Make your own color wheel by drawing a six pointed star. Place a primary color on every other point. Add the correct secondary color on the open points.

Now, look at the color wheel. Locate the colors that are directly across from one another. These colors are complimentary colors. The complimentary colors red and green, yellow and purple, and blue and orange. Complimentary colors enhance the look of the opposite color when decorating.

Analogus colors set next to one another on a color wheel. They are normally in groups of three. Red, orange and yellow are analogous colors. These three colors are also considered warm or hot colors. A combination of this set of analogus colors promotes happiness and vitality. The are active colors and should never be used this combination in a bedroom or area of meditation.

Another set of analogus colors is green, blue and purple. These three colors are known as cool colors. They promote warmth, comfort and calming. Blue is the most calming color of the three. Use tones and shades of green, blue or purple in sleeping areas to help promote a restful nights sleep.

Monochromatic colors are tints and shades of the same color. This simply means they are the dark and light of a particular color. For example, light blue, blue and dark blue create a pleasing effect when used together to decorate a room. The same visually pleasing effect is achieved when using any group of monochromatic colors.

Earth tones are those colors that remind of us nature. Most generally browns, tans, rusts, greens and blues are grouped together in the earth tone color grouping. A combination of earth tones create a room that is warm and comfortable.

Neutral colors include the colors brown, beige, ivory, white, gray and black. These colors may be combined with any other color and look harmonious together. The neutrality of neutral paint colors allows a home decorator more versatility in the accent colors used within the living space.

No matter what color grouping is used to decorate a home, the most important aspect is that the individual or individuals who live in the home are happy and content with the outcome. Remember, you can always re-paint if the wall color does not prove to be one that is enjoyed by all.