Understanding basic color theory

understanding color

Your home is your most valuable, prominent, and expensive asset. It can be intimidating to combine painting, faux finishing, and wallpapering. Nonetheless, this essay aims to assist you in understanding the role that each decorating style plays in achieving the desired ambiance. Any decorating project starts with the paint. Painting is the most cost-effective and accessible way to add color to your home. 

Faux finishing improves your painting skills by allowing you to add texture, form, and character to your walls in addition to color. You may add details to your walls with wallpaper. When done efficiently and correctly, wallpaper may complement painting and faux finishing techniques to provide your home drama, impact, and character.

Color Fundamentals

The co-relationship of various colors in a room determines the effectiveness of a design. Color gives a room its personality, defines its style, sets its mood, regulates its space, emphasizes its benefits, and conceals its flaws. It can transform a cold, uninviting space into a warm, welcoming one.

However, these advantages cannot be achieved by a single color. It would be beneficial to have a color scheme that complements and reinforces a specific look or mood. This color palette becomes the basis for your décor scheme.

Color Fundamentals

The color wheel

A color wheel is a useful design tool most people haven’t seen since middle school art class or high school home economics. It is a visual representation of colors arranged according to their chromatic relationship. The basic color wheel consists of 12 colors that can be broken down into three groups: primary, secondary, and tertiary.

Understanding color

Primary colors

Red, yellow, and blue are the primary colors. These colors can’t be made by mixing other colors, but they can theoretically be mixed with any other color.


The second level of colors is orange, green, and purple. Each is created from equal amounts of two primary colors. On the color wheel, each secondary color falls halfway between the two primary colors it contains and directly opposite the third primary color.


Tertiary, or third-level, colors are created by combining equal parts of a primary and its adjacent secondary color. Yellow and orange, for example, form yellow-orange. Color levels build on each other. You need primary colors to form secondary colors and develop tertiary colors. The bottom color wheel presents the differences among pure colors, or hues, shown in the middle ring; shades, created by adding black, shown in the outer ring; and tints, created by adding white, shown in the inner ring.

Color Variations

Mixing basic colors with white or black in varying proportions produces thousands of options. All colors have three

characteristics: hue, intensity, and value.

These variations result in an endless range of colors.

Hue: Hue is the purest form of color.

Intensity: Intensity talks of a color’s degree of purity or saturation. Saturated colors appear more vivid to the eye. You can diminish the intensity of a color by adding either white or black; the color becomes paler or grayer depending on how much you add.

Value: Value entails the relative darkness or lightness of a color. As color is mixed with white or black, it moves away from its pure color, becoming a tint or a shade.

• A tint by definition is a hue that has been made lighter by the addition of white. The hue will become paler as you add more white. Pinks, for example, are pure red hues. Tints are located within pure colors on the color wheel and travel toward the center as they become lighter.

• A shade is a hue that the addition of black has darkened. The color will become darker as you add more black. For example, forest green is a tint of pure green. Shades start outside the pure colors on the color wheel and work their way outward as they become darker.

• A tone, by definition, is a color that has been diluted with gray to produce a more subdued version of the original color. Mustard is a yellow color.

• White, black, and grey are neutral colors that combine white and black. This is because white reflects all the colors in the visible spectrum while black absorbs them; white and black are technically noncolors.

Wrapping up

Working with different values of different colors in your decorating plan is more pleasing than choosing colors of the same value. This keeps colors from competing against one another. Green and blue, for example, don’t always work well together, but a high-value pastel blue and a low-value dark green can be an effective combination.

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