Choosing a Color Scheme



Do you have a hard time choosing colors?  It seems to be a topic that comes up often in my circle of friends and acquaintances.  I think we have all struggled with color choices at one time or another.  When choosing the colors for our shed, I stepped back and looked at its surroundings.  I wanted the shed to blend in rather than stand out, so I chose shades of green that matched the leaves of the wild cherry trees and the branches of the blue spruce evergreens that neighbor it.

For the door, I used a shade called "Sumac Red."  It perfectly matches the fall leaves of the Sumac trees that are visible above the roof.  In the summer also, the door coordinates with the blooming seed pods on the Sumac trees.  In addition to harmonizing with nature, this color scheme works because green and red are opposite (or complementary) colors on the color wheel.



If you're at all familiar with the color wheel, you will probably remember that there are three primary colors: red, yellow and blue.  The secondary colors are created by combining two primary colors (i.e., red and yellow make orange). Tertiary colors are made by combining a primary and a secondary color (i.e., blue-green).


Once you're familiar with the 12-color wheel made up of primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, you can begin to experiment with optional color schemes. An analogous color scheme is developed by using three colors side by side on the color wheel.  A triadic color scheme is made up of three evenly space colors on the color wheel.  A complementary color scheme uses two colors opposite each other on the color wheel, whereas a split-complementary color scheme uses one color and the two colors on each side of its opposite on the color wheel.  These are just a few of the possible color schemes.  Others might include various shades of one color, a "square" or a "rectangle" on the color wheel.

Personally, I favor the colors of nature, and I turn to them for both indoor and outdoor decorating.  But that's me.  Some people like to add bursts of colors that contrast. You have to know what it is you prefer.  If you flip through some magazines, take note of which pages attract you. I've gone through magazines for years, tearing out pages that I just like to look at.  You begin to see a pattern in your style and in your color choices. I said I like the colors of nature, but then that doesn't really narrow it down much, does it?


Here are some links where you can learn more about harmonizing color schemes:

Color Matters     Sensational Color     Tiger Color

This post is gratefully linked to Farm Girl Blog Fest

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