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Color Basics

A new color scheme can dramatically enhance the beauty and livability of a room. Without changing furniture, carpet or lighting, a fresh breath of color can transform an ordinary living space into a most extraordinary home.
Color is a personal choice, so always base the colors in your home on the colors you enjoy and that make you feel good. Don't worry if the colors you choose aren't "in," -- choose the colors that fit your personal style.

If you aren't sure of which colors you like best or are looking for ways to use color expressively, fashion and home magazines, wallpaper retailers, decorating centers or the home of a favorite friend can all spark new ideas.

The most important fact to remember when decorating with color is that color makes a profound impact on the mood of a room and also on the people in it. Choose colors that create the feeling you want to create.

The Color Wheel

The color wheel is a common tool used in home decorating as it shows how colors are related. Using the color wheel, we can define the basic terms of color, which include:

  • Accent Color - A contrasting hue used to add visual interest to a color scheme.
  • Color Scheme - A group of colors used to create a mood or effect.
  • Complementary Colors - Colors located opposite each other on the color wheel.
  • Contrasting Colors - Colors that have at least three colors between them on a color wheel.
  • Cool Colors - Blues, greens, purples and grays.
  • Desaturated Colors - Color made less brilliant by adding white.
  • Hue - A color.
  • Neutral Colors - Subtle variations of black, white and gray.
  • Primary Colors - Red, blue and yellow.
  • Related Colors - Two colors next to one another on the color wheel.
  • Saturated Colors - Bright hues; color that is not mixed with black, white or gray.
  • Secondary Colors - Colors formed by mixing two primary colors together. These colors include orange, green and purple.
  • Shade - A darker hue variation created by adding black or gray.
  • Tint - A lighter hue variation created by adding white.
  • Warm Colors - Reds, oranges, browns and yellows.

Back To Basic Decorating Guide

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