Volume 3, Issue 3

October 2004


Color Standards

The color wheel is a circular arrangement of the visible spectrum. Use a color wheel to visualize warm colors as opposed to cool colors, how families of color blend, harmonize or contrast effectively, and how to create the most dramatic or subtle effects.

Monochromatic Color Schemes use only one hue in varying tints, shades and intensities. If the hue is red, for example, the variations could range from the barest tinge of rose to the richest depths of ruby red. Vivid or deep monochromatic schemes are best in areas used briefly: entrance halls, hallways, powder rooms, etc. Conversely, light monochromatics can be visually boring or tedious when there is no contrast. A variety of textures, finishes and shapes will improve an otherwise dull combination.

Analogous Colors includes colors that are immediately adjacent on the color wheel. These colors literally flow into one another and are among the most foolproof of color combinations.

Complementary Colors are those that lie directly across from each other on the color wheel. Reds are enhanced by greens, purples by yellows and oranges by blues. When complements are placed next to each other, they appear more intense. For interiors, bright complementaries must be used with caution because they can become overwhelming and "noisy". When intense or strongly contrasting colors are offset by neutrals, such as taupe or gray, the combination becomes much richer.

Split Complementary Colors utilize a hue from one side of the color wheel with the two hues that lie on either side of the complement directly opposite, for example, purple combined with both yellow-orange and yellow-green.

Colors for 2005 are getting brighter, more cheerful, more active, and more optimistic than what we've seen in the past. Reds are very hot this year ranging from pale, neutral pinks, to bright and sassy hot pinks, to traditional reds and red browns. A bright, Chinese red implies strength and durability and is showing up as accent items for our living and work spaces. Orange continues to grow in popularity. This warm active color is a must-have. Influenced by brown, the oranges are becoming more complex, more sophisticated and are appealing to the North American consumer. Two new purples including a very rich, opulent purple and a soft, thistle-like grayed lavender are making their way into the color schemes this year. Greens continue to be popular, with yellow greens still dominating. Olive green and lime green will be coming into focus as well.

Trims, pillows and accessories can bring new color into your current schemes. New window treatments may be the key to a brighter, cheerful room. InteriorDecorating.com has the fabric, trim and accessories you need to enliven your home with color.
Colorwheel from RealColorWheel.com

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