Understanding Colour Can Help You Achieve Your Decorating Goal

An understanding of how colours can be mixed and how they fit together is important if you are going to achieve the decorative effect you want. To help you, you could prepare a number of colour samples and sit them in the room you want to decorate (for a couple of days), before you make a final decision about your colour scheme.

The Effect of Light on Colour
Many people forget how day light or artificial light can change a colour. Artificial light usually gives off a yellow tone which can make blue paint seem green.

To make sure you get the right colour for your room, do a test on a small part of your wall to see if the colour looks right in both day light and artificial light.

Mixing Colours
You should be able to create all different types of colours using the three primaries, blue, yellow, and red, together with black and white.

Using a colour wheel, (pictured below), will help you pick colours that complement each other.

Thankfully manufacturers now produce such vast ranges of coloured paint that mixing paint yourself can be limited to adjusting the ready-mixed colour you have chosen.

Colour Wheel - Spectrum

Using the Colour Wheel
There are three simple rules to follow to ensure successful colour mixing results.

Complementary Colours
Colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel are complementary colours. Each is the other’s strongest possible contrast, helping each to look at its most vivid.

Closely Related Colours
Colours sitting next to each other on the colour wheel are closely related and blend well with each other. Using closely related colours does not give your room the wow factor complementary colours achieve.

Harmonising Colours
Three colours equidistant on the colour wheel will harmonise with each other.

Reducing Colour Strength
Mixing two complementary colours will produce a grey mid tone. If a colour is too vibrant, add its complementary colour to produce a less vibrant mix. Adding white will also reduce colour strength.

Creating a Balanced Scheme
A balanced scheme is one where no one colour over powers the others.

Colour Combinations
Before you commit to painting a room, take note of colour combinations used in shops, hotels and restaurants that appeal to you. You can also find colour combinations all around you in nature.

When colouring your room it should work as a back drop to your possessions rather than over power them.

Which of these methods did you use to decorate your home?