April 6, 2012

How do I create a color scheme for my space?

Color can be intimidating. It creates mood, and often defines the character of a space. When developing a color scheme and incorporating color from many sources in a space, sometimes it is hard to visualize. For example, you may have a red chair, brown sofa, and gold tones in your drapery. What paint and FLOR tile colors will look best in my room? One great resource is the Color Wheel.  The digital version of this time tested resource is quite sophisticated, and makes the tangible connection to RGB printing colors, which can be taken to your local paint store and mixed to the formula you request. It takes away much of the guesswork of color selection, and provides the opportunity to play around with different color effects, such as a monochromatic or tonal scheme of say, all grey tones, or a study of contrasting or complementary color, to create a dramatic space.  I spent some time on this Color Wheel site, and was able to come up with some beautiful palettes, providing very different solutions for the very same room.

It is helpful when diving into a color study, to understand the principals and vocabulary commonly used. It makes it easier to make color choices, and apply them to your color wheel exercise. Here are a few to get you started.

1. Hue – the color (such as red)
2. Value – the lightness or darkness of the color
3. Chroma – the dullness or purity of a color. From the pure hue, each step adding  a bit of grey. Most artists in the U.S.A. refer to this characteristic as “saturation”. Sometimes, the terms saturation and chroma are used interchangeably. When scientists analyze the color of light, saturation and chroma are not the same.

Have fun exploring color options and effects!

Digital Color Wheel sourced at  http://colorschemedesigner.com.

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