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Intro to Color

Ever tried to pick out decor for your home but felt like you just didn’t know how to coordinate things?

So many friends have come asking for help, saying that they “just don’t know which things look good together.”

I LOVE helping with interior design projects, but the truth is coordinating styles, elements, and colors isn’t as hard as you think! In fact, a lot of it comes down to a formulaic method that anyone can follow! If you just know the basics and understand how to use a color wheel, for example, I think you’ll find that your style sense and “coordinating abilities” drastically improve.

That’s why I want to talk about a super important element of design - color! - and how to tackle it. Picking a color palette (for any project, not just room decor) will be easier once you understand the basics, and more successful (ie. Instagram worthy pics of that favorite corner in your home *wink* ) when it’s done intentionally.

Be Intentional

That’s right - color selection should be done with intention, and for pleasing designs and palettes it matters how you go about that selection. Color can alter your message or change the mood of the entire project. Hopefully, after reading this and downloading my guide below, making those selections should be easier!

So whether you’re painting a wall, framing a poster, or styling a post, you can use this quick color guide for a more cohesive & polished result!

Color Theory Basics

The Color Wheel

The Color Wheel is an illustrative organization of colors around a circle which shows the relationship between primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.

Primary Colors

Red, Blue, and Yellow are known as the "primary colors." They can be combined to form all other colors.

Secondary Colors

A color that results from mixing two primary colors. For example: Blue (primary) + Yellow (primary) = Green (secondary).

Tertiary Colors

A color that results from mixing a primary color and secondary color. For example: Blue (primary) + Green (secondary) = Blue-Green (think Turquiose aka tertiary).

Color Relationships

Adhering to these color relationships when choosing a palette will help guarantee visual balance and harmony across the project. Generally this is done by creating contrast, which color relationships help with.

See photo examples below for a visual of how these color relationships can be applied as a general principle in design.

Primary (Red, Blue, Yellow)

Square (Orange, Green, Blue, Pink)

Complementary (Blue, Orange)

Triad (Green, Orange, Purple)

Analogous (Orange, Yellow)

Tetradic (Pink, Purple, Green, Orange)

Now you know some basics! Hopefully seeing the visual examples helped show how the colors work together in application. Have fun playing with color in your projects! Perhaps thoughtfully consider how your favorite color or theme can pair smartly with other colors.

Eager to learn a little more & want to go beyond the basics?

I've created a resource that will guide you through a few other elements of color theory such as color psychology, different types of color mixing, what exactly the difference is between hue, tint, shade, tone, and more!

I can't wait to see the projects you create!

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