Home Design for Dummies: The Color Theory

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Whether you bought your first apartment, moved into your dorm, or rented a room, you want to make the place as cozy as possible while you live there. Interior design ideas always depend on your artistic outlook and what helps you recharge your batteries. After all, if you have the freedom to do what you want, you can turn your living space into everything that won’t be featured in popular design magazines.  Today we are going to look at Home Design for Dummies. The Color Theory!

Knowing color theory is a must for any design and art student. Yet, you don’t need to feel restricted by rules. On the contrary, the rules help you create exceptions and exceed with design ideas.

Color Theory - Home Design for Dummies

It is essential to make your living space comfortable and inspiring for you. You should figure out your design choices as you move into your space. If you are a student wanting to upgrade their first apartment or dorm, your school life might not give you a chance to dedicate all the time you need to create a balanced design. What I would do is get a couple of days off at work or get someone to do a paper edit at school. This way, you'll have all the concentration and time to pick an ideal color tandem for your living space.

What is Color Theory?

Without a doubt, color theory is the science and art of using and combining coloring. You have to understand how the wheel works and how they work together regardless of where you want to use them. 

It is beneficial for any profession where you deal with design, from landscape designers and web programmers to marketing specialists and art therapists. It may seem сomplex, but it will make sense as soon as you figure out the main concepts.

Color Theory Basics

There are three groups you will be working with:

  • Primary (red, yellow, blue); 
  • Secondary (orange, green, purple); 
  • Tertiary or intermediate (mixes of both primary and secondary ones, blue-green, red-purple);

Your results also depend on such properties as hue (how it appears), chroma (the addition of shades, tints, or tones), and lighting (the saturation of it). That’s why there are so many names and numbers you discover when trying to find the perfect paint color for your room or decoration that wouldn’t look “off.” 

The most logical combinations of them are called schemes, and there are six of them:

  • Monochromatic relies on a variety of tones of the same color; 
  • The analogous scheme uses colors placed next to each other on the wheel; 
  • Triadic uses pigments placed equally on the wheel; 
  • Complementary are colors on opposite sides of the wheel;
  • Tetradic colors are placed evenly across the wheel; 
  • Split complementary are colors on opposite ends of the wheel, with one color split into two advanced ones.

The colors are also divided by warm and cool temperatures. For instance, red and yellow would be warm colors regardless of their hue or tint. You can also try out color combinations by adding shades of the same colors to see the result. 

Color Theory Home Design for Dummies

Why Is Color Theory Important for Interior Design?

It's common knowledge that colors can influence your mood and emotions. For instance, warm colors create a sense of security and comfort, and lighter shades, in general, create a sense of calmness. At the same time, when using correct combinations, you can lighten the room or make it appear more spacious. Many people utilize different schemes to manipulate and enhance natural or artificial lighting. 

Colors can also serve as an effective signal to divide your room with zero effort. One of the functional design rules is to separate your room into zones, which can encourage you to be more productive. And last but not least, it allows you to express your personality and enjoy staying at home and relaxing. 

The Symbolic and Psychological Importance of Color

If you want to deep dive into the symbolism and history of red, white, or blue, Michel Pastoureau is highly recommended to read. You can also check John Ruskin or a more modern work of Kassia St. Clair regarding the subject. It’s always helpful to understand how Western perception changed and how it differs from other cultures. 

The psychology of color may be more obvious as many of them evoke similar emotions in different people. Blue would usually be associated with the ambiguity of ocean tides and calmness, while green has the meaning of luck and nature. Of course, it can mean something unique to you, and you can bring it to your interior design.

Color Theory Home Design Website

Effective Tools to Assist You in Choosing the Right Colors

It's normal to use online tools even when you have mastered the art of color theory. These tools are magical for any student who is learning architecture for web design. There are plenty of resources to help pick your favorite painting or visualize how your room would look with the chosen scheme. 

  • Visualize Color is a user-friendly tool that works with your chosen photos of your house or pre-uploaded stock images. You can select colors you want to try and experiment with color combinations and schemes. You can easily save the results and try them out countless times before finding the right one.
  • Benjamin Moore's Personal Color Viewer is another visualizer that makes your decoration quest an easy process. It's best to choose a palette for repainting walls and other elements of design. You can try it in different settings and choose preselected color schemes.
  • Color Designer helps you to create a scheme and find a tint, shade, and harmonies most suitable for the primary shade. It's excellent for home decorators, web designers, and architects. 
  • Colors Co is a standalone, user-friendly graphic design tool for interior designers. You can upload any image as an inspiration and find four matching shades for a palette. You can choose shades and tints and take into account special needs when using “color blindness” mode.
  • ColorSnap Visualizer and Pantone Studio apps on your phone can help you to choose the best decorations in the same scheme. 

The Bottom Line

Color theory is not as scary as it may appear. You can always ask for professional help or use software that will do the job. Your interior design would rely on what you consider to be comfortable, not someone else. 

You may be okay with your room or entire home, but the slightest change of hue in your living room can change the deal. At the same time, you can always avoid big changes by decorating your room with textiles, furniture, accessories, and other elements that don't require changing the existing scheme. 

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