Color Coordination for a Beautiful Home

To combine one of the most powerful decorative elements, you need to know how to use the wheel.

Sir Isaac Newton, one of the founding fathers of science, shone pure white light through a glass prism and discovered a continuous band of merging colours, from red through orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. What he captured was a miniature rainbow, nature’s very own colour slide.

Our world is a palette of colours with an array of hues and shades. So why is it so difficult to use colour in one’s home beautifully when fashion consultants can give you an almost instant breakdown of which colours suit your hair, skin type and even personality? After all, our homes are our sanctuaries and that is where colours directly affect our moods.

It’s said that:

Blue has a calming effect, thus making it perfect for the bedroom. 
Yellow revitalises, much like the sun, and is ideal for the bathroom. 
Red is a passionate, stimulating colour that’s best used as an accent colour.

This is a start to choosing your colour schemes but how do you combine colours? Sometimes you’re keen to use a colour you love, but don’t know what to mix it with or whether to try it in a lighter or darker shade. This is when the colour wheel comes in handy as a décor tool.

The colour wheel

Usually showing 12 colours arranged in a circle, the colour wheel explains colour mixing through a spectrum.

Three sets of colours are interlinked:

Primary colours: red, yellow and blue are the colours on which the wheel is based. These are pure colours, so not obtained from a mixture.

Secondary colours are formed by mixing equal parts of primary colours:
orange = red and yellow 
green = blue and yellow 
violet = blue and red

Tertiary colours are a mix of primary and secondary colours.


A successful colour scheme is one that makes people feel comfortable too.

Colour wheel combinations.

Q What is a monochromatic colour harmony?
A It is a colour combination that has different intensities of the same colour.

Violet as the truest form of purple can be lightened by adding white (referred to as a tint) or darkened by adding black (called a shade) to give various hues of purple. Combining different shades of the same colour, gives you a monochromatic colour scheme.

Q What is an adjacent colour harmony?
A This is formed when colours appear next to each other on the colour wheel; they form an adjacent harmony.

Q What is a complementary colour scheme?
A When colours are opposite each other on the colour wheel they are called complementary.

On the colour wheel, orange is complementary to blue. Used together, these two colours balance each other with one being cool and the other warm, yet they’re of the same intensity. Purple is complementary to yellow, as green is to red.

Q What is a triadic colour scheme?
A These colours form a triangle on the colour wheel.

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