Want to become an interior design expert in less than 800 words? Than keep reading!
First thing to know are the 6 different types of color schemes; monochromatic, complementary, split-complementary, double-complementary, triad and analogous.
Second thing to know is the color wheel. They’re all the same when you search them on Google Images.
Third thing to know is that red, blue and yellow are your primary colors while green, orange and purple are secondary. Everything else falls into place.
If you can just remember that mono- is a prefix meaning “single” or “one” you’ll be able to remember this one super easily. A monochromatic scheme is pretty much when you’ve taken your space and applied various hues or tints of the same shade. I think this idea works super well in a laundry room or bathroom; something you don’t plan on changing for a while but want to have a nice feel and flavor in. I also say that the best way to pull off this scheme is to keep the walls either a cream, white or grey base color. Painting the ceiling a shade from this scale can really bring a nice pop without having an overdose of color.
Everyone remembers complementary colors from their elementary art class. To make this scheme you pick one color from the color wheel and match it to the color directly across from it. Examples would be Christmas (red and green) or the University of Illinois (blue and orange.) My advice on this is to remember that your primary and secondary colors all come in so many different shades, and you really need to remember that. I struggled with only imagining bright orange and royal blue, which can look okay but is also a very bold jump if you’ve kept to basic colors the whole time. An idea to start this off in a very calm way is to pastel one of your colors and make the other be bold. Baby powder blue with bold orange? Pastel yellow with a rich plum? Yes and yes please.
This is where we’re treading waters; in a split-complementary scheme you pick your base color you want to deal with, find it’s complement and then use the two colors next to it on either side of the wheel. For example, if I chose a blue-green as my base color, my split-complement scheme would include blue-green, orange and red. Typically the farther down I’ll go on this list the bolder your scheme will become, and split-complementary is no exception. My suggestion would be to take your base color as a wall coating, utilize one split color in the furniture and then the second as just a splash in either the curtains, rug or throws.
By definition a double-complementary scheme is “four colors arranged into two complementary color pairs.” Chances are you’ll never perfect this in a way you’ll love (unless you’re a BIG risk taker.) The best way I can help you visualize this is with a teenage girls room; teal and red-orange (burnt orange) paired with yellow-green and a red-violet (deep pink.) This scheme is super hard to harmonize correctly but can be done well in an apartment, as it actually allows for you to pick a bunch of colors to have in maybe a bed spread or in a kitchen, especially if you have neutral walls.
This one’s simple to remember, the prefix tri- means “three.” Three colors on the wheel that are equally spaced from each other will create this funky theme. Easily enough this combo could just as easily be your primary or secondary colors just grouped together as normal. This example is the featured image of this post, which I stumbled upon during my class and fell in love with.
Last but not least we have analogous, which is simply just colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. One of the most popular choices of this scheme tends to be usage of your blues, greens and yellow-greens. However, with the way the wheel works this is your best choice if you want a little variety, but something not quite as bold of funky as the above mentioned.