10 Color Theory Basics Everyone Should Know : Interior Design

Most of us aren’t interior designers by trade and that’s okay. Whether you think of interior design as an enjoyable hobby or a necessary evil that helps keep your home looking presentable, sometimes it can be tough to understand the industry lingo. After all, how often do you hear about Tertiary Colors, anyway?

At Freshome, we aim for our content to be accessible to everyone – no college degree required. So, today, we’re going back to basics. Gear up for a little Design 101. In this post, we’ll tackle color theory basics that every design enthusiast should know.

After you’ve read, make sure to store this link somewhere readily accessible. It’ll come in handy next time you’re not quite sure whether you’ve chosen the right paint color.

How To Use The Color Wheel

Like trigonometry, the color wheel is probably one of those things that you learned about as a young child and haven’t thought of since. However, to really understand color, you may have to dust off some of that knowledge.

Simply put, the color wheel provides a visual representation of which colors blend nicely together. It removes all the guesswork, essentially. Most models are comprised of 12 colors. However, in theory, the color wheel could be expanded to include an infinite number of shades.

Don’t worry if you haven’t memorized the color wheel just yet. There are tons of ways to access it digitally. Paletton is a website that will let you create your own color scheme from the comfort of your computer screen and ColorSchemer offers the same capabilities in an app that’s available for iphone.

2. What Are The Basic Colors

We bet some of you read the last paragraph and went, “12? How are there 12 colors in the color wheel? There are only 7 colors in the rainbow. “ True. But, trust us, there are, in fact, at least 12 shades on every color wheel. Here’s how things break down:

  • Primary Colors: Red, blue, and yellow. Cannot be made from mixing other colors.
  • Secondary Colors: Orange, Purple, and Green. Can be made by mixing the primary colors together.
  • Tertiary Colors: The six shades that can be made from mixing primary and secondary colors.

If you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to decorating a colorful interior, one of these 12 is often a good jumping off point. Pick one and it will help you narrow down your selections until you settle on the exact shade that you love.

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