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styling with colour

Posted by lorrainelea on Jul 10, '15

Are you SURE 'this' goes with 'that'?

When it comes to home decorating, the golden rule is to understand which colours are complementary, which give you the greatest contrast and which just simply clash!

Colour harmony occurs when an assortment of hues work together to engage the viewer. Steer clear of a bland and under-stimulating colour palette, and at the other end of the spectrum, be sure to avoid a chaotic mess of clashing colours.

When we follow this colour logic, we are able to create a balanced space that presents visual interest and a sense of order. The 12-part colour wheel should be the first port of call when choosing a colour scheme for your space. The wheel is made up of primary colours (red, blue and yellow), secondary colours (green, purple and orange) and tertiary colours (yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-purple, red-purple and red-orange). It's an easy reference point to gauge if the colours you're planning to use will work well together.

Still a little confused? We've broken down the basic equations for seamless colour coordination:Colour Wheel

Warm vs. Cool Colours

The colour wheel circle can be divided into two equal halves: one of warm colours and one of cool colours. Warm colours are vivid and energetic and include reds, oranges and yellows. Cool colours have a soothing effect and include purple, blue and green. When used effectively, the right combination of warm and cool colours can unite and balance a room.

cool and warm

Complementary Colours: If you're looking for a high-impact colour combination, you can't go past the dynamic duo of opposing colours. Complementary colours (also referred to as opposite colours) are any two hues that face each other on the 12-part colour wheel. Take the common combination of yellow and purple for example; when used together, these colours offer a high contrast because they reflect light in a completely different way and increase the others' vibrancy. The combination of warm and cool colourings from opposite sides of the circle also give a feeling of balance; but beware - they can often feel too jarring when used at full saturation.


Analogous Colours: If your looking for something subtle, yet stylish, this will more than likely appeal to you. Analoguous colours are any three hues that sit side-by-side on a 12-part colour wheel. Because they share a common base colour, they match well together and offer a smooth transition of tones. Analogous colour schemes are often found in the greenery or plants or earthy tones of nature. The subtle variation of shades is pleasing to the eye and creates a serene and comfortable mood in the room. Make sure you have enough contrast when choosing an analogous colour scheme for your home - select one colour as a dominant hue, a second to support and the third as an accent.


Triad Colours: These are three colours that are evenly spaced around the colour wheel (count every 4th colour around the wheel or make a triangle of equal sides). Triadic colour harmonies tend to be very vibrant and, while not as contrasting as the complementary scheme, still need to be carefully balanced. Let one colour dominate and use the other two as accents. Depending on which colours you choose, each combination of triad colours will give you a drastically different result. triad

Split-Complementary: This is the safest combination of colours for those just starting out in home decoration. The split-complementary colour scheme uses three colours and is a variation of the complementary colour combination. In addition to the base colour, it uses the two colours to either side of the base colour's complementary colour. The split-complementary scheme has the same strong visual impact, but less tension than the two complementary colours.split complementary

Rectangle of Colours: This colour scheme brings four colours into play. The four hues are made up of two groups of complementary pairs and offer plenty of possibilities for variation. This scheme works best if you select a balanced ration of warm and cool colours and allow one colour to be the most dominant, while the others are used in smaller amounts.rectrangle of colours

Square of Colours: Similar to the rectangle, the square selects four colours evenly spaced around the colour wheel. If used together at full saturation, these colours will pack a punch and may be too bright and busy for many people. Therefore, it's best to choose one to be the dominant colour and use the rest as accents.

square of coloursWe hope this has inspired you to become confident when decorating with colours. Keep checking back on our website for new release quilt cover designs, decorator items and homewares to suit your colour scheme. There are new products being released every month!

Topics: colour, colour wheel, complementary colours, decor, home, home decor, home styling, interior decorating, understanding colour, decorating trends

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