Posts Tagged ‘color theory’

Decorating with Complementary Colors

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

I enrolled in a Color Theory class years ago and it taught me so much, and one of the classroom assignments was to paint a canvas using only complementary colors. It was challenging but I was surprised how well that mini still life of yellow pears and lavender stems turned out! I find color theory fascinating, and love to study what works and what doesn’t, especially from the best designers and experts. With spring on its way, many crave more colorful accents indoors, here’s a color rule to help pull it off.

color wheelDecorating with complementary colors is based on the simple principle that opposites attract and in turn enhance. Complementary colors are those that are directly across from each other on the color wheel, red and green, blue and orange, etc.

A few weeks ago I wrote about decorating with monochromatic color which is always a sure bet, however one way to energize a monochromatic space is to introduce a complementary color.

Blue and orange sit across from each other, and since aqua and coral continue to be popular hues in home decor, it works well to blend the two. A series of blue patterns are at play in this casual yet elegant living room; the touch of coral in the artwork and accent pillows spices it up.


how to decorate

A bold floral fabric, contrasting pillows, and abstract art in shades of vivid orange and aqua brighten this cozy living room.

blue and orange pillows tracery interiors

tracery interiors

Orange feels contemporary paired with classic navy blue, a healthy dose of white and natural light balance the bold combination.

coral navy living room

style at home

orange and navy bedroom

pottery barn

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The Psychology of Color

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

Today is a holiday defined by tradition and also by the color green. We take liberties with color when decorating at Christmas and Easter, often incorporating unexpected hues to avoid the predictable, but when St. Patrick’s Day arrives, there is no other color than green that defines this holiday.

I spent last night at home doing some writing (tis the suburban life I lead) and my friend Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick pinned this succinct chart on the psychology of color. It came from graphic designer Carey Jolliffe and I was delighted to see someone had taken the time to condense colors and their associated moods into one referential chart.

So here’s a Sunday morning exercise for you. Before you read, close your eyes and think of your favorite color. The first one that comes to mind. What is it? I know mine, what’s yours?  Have you named it? 

Okay then… click here, zoom in, and read the emotions that surround your favorite color. What are they? Are those the reasons why you love it? Does your favorite color describe you? Mine does. 

psychology of color

My favorite color is Peacock Blue, but since there was no Peacock Blue on the chart I chose its closest neighbor Teal which conveys these traits and emotions:  “Serene, cool, tasteful, sophisticated, confident.” All the reasons I love that hue!

What’s your favorite color on the chart?  Do you love it for all the emotions or moods mentioned?