Understanding Color Schemes

Last week I posted about creating fabric schemes and talked about two primary approaches that can be taken. My last post talked about the easier of the two options where you start with one piece of fabric and pull colors from that. Today I want to talk about how understanding color and how they relate to one another can help inform your choices for fabrics. In order to do this, we need to take a look at the color wheel and discuss color schemes. 


Complementary color schemes use colors that are across from each other on the color wheel. Common uses of this are blue and orange, yellow and purple, and red and green to name a few. 


Analogous color schemes use colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Usually you will see this with warm tones (yellows, oranges, and reds) or cool tones (blues, blue greens, and greens). 


Triadic color schemes use colors that are evenly spaced from one another on the color wheel, creating a triangle. Common triadic schemes include green, violet, and red, as well as yellows, blues and pinks. 


This color scheme is similar to complementary, but includes the two colors on either side of the color across the wheel. This is one of my favorite color schemes to use and sometimes includes pinks, blues and greens, as well as blues, pinks, and oranges. 


For this color scheme, you want to start with two colors that are across from each other on the color wheel (complementary) and then select the two colors on either side. This creates a rectangle shape on the wheel. This is a great scheme to use because it utilizes four different colors, giving you a little more flexibility. 


Last but not least is a square color scheme. This simply uses four colors that are all evenly spaced on the color wheel. Similar to the tretradic color scheme, it includes four colors. 

Understanding color schemes really goes beyond just fabrics. It can influence every aspect of the interior design process including paint colors, artwork, rugs, etc. It can even help you design your landscaping and flower gardens. Just remember that these are not hard rules that can't be broken, so don't over think it. But they definitely give you a place to start. I hope this helps you better understand color and can use these tips for creating your own home!