Archive for January, 2010


AZ Plays with Color Schemes

I found this useful website called  It’s a useful, free website where you can put some colors together to see how it looks.  I tried it out on a few, using some of the tips that I’ve learned over the past few posts.  Give the following color schemes a gander and leave some constructive comments!  There’s one thing that’s set in stone, though, and that is the color red.  It has to be there somewhere.

The colors don’t show up quite as well as I imagine, so please allow for some give.  I see the above color scheme as dark brown, warm red, plum, and an off-white.

So, let’s take red and create some color schemes based on my 2010.01.27 post (the basics of color).  Let’s start with a complementary color scheme:

I don’t particularly care for this color scheme because it flirts too much with Christmas and though I absolutely LOVE Christmastime, I think the colors are best left for the holiday.  Thanks, but no thanks.

Now, this analogous color scheme (red, red-violet, violet) is really quite appealing!  I would put this toward the top of my list.  I tried to put red, red-orange, and orange together, but that didn’t look nearly as good:

Orange seems to be a very difficult color to work with, so I’d personally leave it to the interior design experts!  Pass!

No doubt: punt the triad color scheme.  This reminds me of elementary art school.  A room I previously posted did this well, but it is still not appealing to me for my own home.

Now here’s another stunning color scheme!  The split-complementary color scheme is quite marvelous.  The cool colors, purple and yellow-green, really help to change red’s feeling from high-energy to a warm color. And even changing the shades a little is just as appealing, as noted below:

So, the question is, what do you think?  As I mentioned before, red is absolute necessity; that is not a negotiable color in the least.  Currently, I like the split-complementary and analogous, though this could change tomorrow for all I know!  The next item is how do I take three colors that I love together and use them tastefully in a living room, bedroom, or kitchen?  That’s a question to be addressed on another day.  Let’s continue with color for now.


Choosing Your Color Scheme

The credit for the ideas and suggestions in this post is attributable to the eHow article at

Having a color scheme is very important not only in bringing a room together, but in uniting all the rooms of one’s home.  And though walls can be re-painted and furniture reupholstered, it’s ideal to study, research, and contemplate your preferred color scheme before diving into the wrong one.  Of course, eventually, you will probably redecorate your house to change it up, as is typically customary over one’s lifetime.  However, you want to avoid rashly choosing a color scheme that will cause you to regret your interior design efforts the day after.  Here is a list of steps and ideas to help discover your ideal color scheme:

(1) Write down a list of the things you love.  Then look for some color themes that appear from the items on the list.

(2) Examine the room.  What cannot be changed?  Incorporate the unmovables and unchangeables into your color scheme, even though it may not thrill  you.  This will help to encourage unity in the room.  Don’t sacrifice what you love for what cannot be changed, but seek to incorporate so that it doesn’t appear out of place.  This may be the tiles on the kitchen floor, the stone around a fireplace, the wall paint (if it cannot be changed), your mother’s dining room table that you don’t like but can’t forsake.

(3) Choose three colors: a main color, an accent color, and a neutral color.  Keep in mind, the neutral color does not have to be an earth tones.  Other colors can serve as a neutral tone if used properly.

(4) Look at paint chips from Lowe’s, Home Depot, Sherwin Williams, and other such stores.  Many paint chips will show colors partnered in a way you didn’t think of before.

(5) Consider the layout of your home.  Does the kitchen, dining room, and living room appear to be one singular space?  If so, pay attention to the appliances and kitchen tile when decorating your living room.


Color & Interior Design

Information below was extracted from the quite useful article located at  I’ve taken the information provided therein and modified it a bit to the outline below.

||  three colors ||

Your “color scheme” is composed of 3 colors:

  1. Color of the walls
  2. Color of the fabrics
  3. Color of accents in the room

The author of this article recommends a triad and complementary/split-complementary color combination, however, a different combination of color may be selected at the designer’s discretion.

Now, let’s put what we’ve learned so far into practice.

The room above has a triad color scheme.  Yellow for the walls and blue & red for the fabric and accents.  Also notice the multiple shades of color occurring.  The blue is quite dark while the red and yellow are somewhat of an average color.  Though I do not particularly care for this color scheme, it is pleasing to the eye, in my opinion.

This room seems to have a bit more of a split-complementary color scheme – yellow-green (in the rug), purple, & red.  The purple/red combination is remarkably stunning, but it is a very intimidating combination that really has to be done well to be successful.  The rug is this picture is the key.  Strikingly simple, yet vibrant and welcoming.  The neutral/white furniture is also quite influential in this room so that the red and purple are not over-dominating.

However, this room does not follow the “three color” rule as cleanly as the picture above it.  The color of the walls is split evenly between purple and red, the color of fabric is split between cream and purple, and the color of accents also varies (red, purple, yellow-green).  But, it still works quite marvelously!


Red = Energy?

The information below was extracted for an article located at


Red stimulates conversation and raises the energy level in a room. Painting all the walls in a room red may be too intense. Use red as an accent color rather than the dominate color or as part of a wall with a chair rail.


Yellow is an uplifting, energizing color and is a good choice for kitchens and bathrooms. This color is not a good choice for the dominate color in a room because some people become irritated and angry in a yellow room.


Blue is relaxing and is a good choice for the bedroom. It lowers blood pressure and slows down the heart rate. A soft shade of blue can be painted on all the walls of a room without adverse affects.


Green promotes comfort and gives a sense of relaxation and calm. Green can be used in any room in the home but is an especially good choice for a bedroom.


Dark shades of purple are dramatic and sophisticated. Shades of lilac or lavender give calmness to a room and are a nice choice for a bedroom.


Orange is an exciting and energetic color. Orange can over-power a room quickly but will work very well in an exercise room.


The Basics of Color

To properly research the various philosophies of color, its influence and use, you must first understand the basics.  Below is a standard color wheel that we all remember seeing in art class in elementary school:

And to follow are some various terms, their definitions, and their influence as it relates to the color:

primary colors | red, blue, and yellow

secondary colors | violet, green, and orange

warm colors | red, orange, yellow

cool colors | blue, violet, green

complementary colors | colors across from each other on the color wheel (red & green, blue & orange, or violet & yellow)

analogous | colors that are next to each other on the color wheel (red-orange, red, & red-violet or green, blue-green, & blue)

triad | colors that are evenly spaced on the color wheel (red, blue, & yellow)

split-complementary | base color plus two colors adjacent to the base color’s complementary (red, yell-green, & blue-green or violet-blue, orange, & yellow)

rectangle (tetradic) | four colors arranged into two complementary pairs (red, orange, blue, & green or red, violet, yellow-green, & yellow-orange)

square | similar to rectangle except the colors are evenly spaced around the wheel (red, yellow-orange, green, blue-violet)

Complements to for their explanation of these concepts.


Color Theories?

The more I spend time researching interior design websites, articles, and magazines, the more I become aware of extensive theories and opinions the encompass this field.  For starters, the world of color is extensive.  What do colors communicate?  What colors create the desired atmosphere?  How do you use colors so that the combination are pleasing to the eye?  How do you connect room with color?  It’s incredible.

So, this week will be spent primarily in researching color theories.  If you find any worthwhile articles, please do send them along!


Maximum Utilization of Space

“Real Rooms” again; great magazine!  Anyway, the colors are excellent, even with the red accents.  I love the use of this space.  Very cozy, yet stylish and classic.  Even the curtains are great.  This would be great for a breakfast room since it is equipped for dining as well as a casual hang out spot.  I could see it being very used as a family hang-out spot.

January 2010
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