Are you looking for the better way to create a beautiful color palette for your home? Are you confused about how you can combine different colors in a cohesive way? Well today in this video I go through everything from some basics of color theory to different types of color palettes that you can create. And then I walk you through step by step, how you're going to create a wonderful cohesive color palette for your home.
The Importance of Light
The first thing I want to get out of the way my first disclaimer before, I don't have to waste time telling you throughout this article, is the importance of light. Light completely changes color, I cannot state that strongly enough. A paint that works in my living room is not necessarily what's going to work in my bathroom. It will appear very different. My advice to you on this is to always get samples of paint or fabric swatches or flooring samples or whatever you need, to make sure that it's all going to work together. In the rest of the color palette and get it in your home. See what it looks like in your lighting because it will look different than it does on the shop. It’ll look different than it does here in my apartment. My disclaimer is just always make sure you get samples because it will change everything that I talk about for the rest of this article.
Let’s do some basics of color theory, promise it'll be interesting and I promise you're going to learn something from it and it will really help you create a beautiful color palette for your home.
First let's talk about color temperature. So there are cool colors and warm colors on the color wheel. The cool ones are blues, purples and greens and then on the warm side, you've got red, oranges and yellows. The cooler color tones typically create a really soothing or sophisticated atmosphere in your space and those can be really great for bedrooms, because you know you're probably going to be sleeping there. You great for bathrooms but those warmer spaces can be really energizing. They can be great for offices or kids playrooms.
Tints, Tones and Shades
Now let's talk about something that I think really trips people up a lot, which is tints, tones and shades. because I feel like a lot of you have probably heard these words but you don't necessarily like super understand what they mean and that's okay because we're going to talk about them right here.
Tint is just looking at all those different colors that exist on the outside of that color wheel, and its adding white to those different colors. If you take something like a color red and you add a lot of white to it it's going to change it and it's going to become pink.
Tones just mean that you take those colors or those hues that are on the outside of the color wheel and you add gray to them. So typically what happens, when you add gray to some of these colors, is they just become more desaturased. They just become less like, they're kind of primary really bold cells and start to become just a little bit more toned down. That’s probably where we got that from, so they look a lot more desaturased and tones are really important because these colors can look really beautiful in your space. They’ll always have different undertones of the primary color, but by adding gray to that primary sort of pigment. You’re able to create something more desaturased and honestly in a living space. It’s going to probably look a lot better on your walls or your furniture than if you may were to use those really bright colors.
Then the third one that I want to talk about is called shades and you've probably figured out what that one is and that is when you add black to these different colors. So if you take a color like green and you start adding black to it. It’ll start to get a lot richer and a lot darker.
That's tints, tones and shades. When we're talking about the different color palettes, we're going to talk about the different color schemes and combinations that you can go through. But I really think it's crucial to understand that we don't just mean adding these primary colors together, and we're talking about all the tints, tones and shades that exist within that color wheel. So when you look at it from that perspective, you look at kind of those little slices of pie that exist all around the color wheel of all the different tints tones and shades. You really sort of start to see that there's actually millions of colors that you have to choose from. I feel like people sort of go like blue and orange. That might work. But there's actually thousands of different colors that exist within those two colors, so that's really important to understand as we move on to creating a palette that's going to work for your place.
Now moving on to different color palettes, so you have a few different options here. There are other options but I’m going to stick to the three primary ones.
The first one to talk about is monochromatic, which just means taking one of those different slices of pie and just basically working with all the tints tones and shades that exist in that color. If you want to create a monochromatic blue space that would mean you're working with every different color that exists within this little slice of blue, to be able to create for your space. Monochromatic schemes can be really beautiful and purposeful.
The second type of color palette I want to talk about is called analogous and that means that you're looking at two or three different slices of the pie, of the color wheel that sit next to each other. You know these ones work together, because they sit next to each other on the color wheel. For example if you're wanting to design a red orange and yellow space, you'd be working with all the tints tones and shades that exist in that little three different sections of the color wheel. This gives you lots of options to create a beautiful space.
Let’s look at some more examples and then the third type of color scheme, which is in many ways. Probably one of my favorites and that is a complementary color scheme. So this is working with all the tint stones and shades that exist on two colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. This is really great for a couple of reasons. I love this first of all because there's a certain contrast that comes with using a complementary color scheme that you just don't necessarily get as much from analogous or from a monochromatic scheme. So you're definitely getting a lot of contrast which is kind of creating sort of visual appeal from these two colors that exist opposite each other. And the second reason is that it's a really great way to combine warm and cool colors on the color wheel. That was a question I got a lot that how to choose a neutral paint when we're trying to combine these other two undertones. Well people get confused is what if I have undertones of blue and orange. For example well here's the good news, blue and orange sit opposite each other on the color wheel. If you're able to reinforce the different colors from these two different sections of the color wheel, you're going to create something really cohesive and beautiful and I’m going to go into more detail on that in a second. We understand that there are different tints tones and shades within each color and also understand that there's different ways that you can build a color palette that's going to work for you.
Now that we've decided that let's talk about the third way which is how do you combine them in a really cohesive way. The good news there is that there is a design principle called rhythm. All that rhythm really means is that when you start to repeat shapes, color, pattern, texture throughout a space, it makes them look cohesive and work together. And color is one of the easiest ways for you to do this.
Now that you've picked your color scheme and you understand how they're going to work together then all you need to do is start to really repeat them, whether that means in really obvious ways like a blue throw, a blue pillow and a blue vase or it could be in undertones that you're using. You might use a white paint on the wall, with a blue undertone that ties in well with maybe a blue rug or a blue pillow or maybe a couch that is gray. but has slight blue undertones and you can start to kind of see how you can pull these things together by repeating colors over and over in the space and it's that consistency.
How Can I Do This?
Now practically let's go through like a real world example of how I can do this for you. You can see how I would do it and maybe you can learn about what would work for you. One of the first things I would do, a great resource that I think, is an awesome color wheel on the website-canvas.com. I just kind of like this tool is that you're able to use the three different types of color schemes, that we talked about and what you can do is, you can pick a color on the color wheel and you can start to see which ones are opposite, which ones are complementary. It'll also give you different examples in a monochromatic or an analogous cutter, color scheme that are going to work really well for your space and this is like an awesome jumping off point. For you to be able to start, to pull in different things when you're shopping or when you're pulling in samples, to see what's going, to work for your space. You can take those different color families, all those different tint tones and shades, combine them together into something really cohesive and beautiful.