Tag Archive 'paint'

Oct 22 2010

Choosing the Right Wall Decoration Can Transform a Room

Have you ever walked in to a room, be it a friends’ living room or someone’s office, and find yourself greeted by blank walls?  The look can be quite startling.  The right wall decor can add a richness and warmth to any room, making it appear beautiful and welcoming.  In this article, you will find ideas on how to dress up your walls so that your rooms as filled with color and personality.

When it comes to decorating your walls, don’t think that prints or paintings are your only choices.  Today, you can find interesting metal wall sculptures, textiles, mirrors and even wall fountains to add depth and beauty to your rooms.

Set the theme for the entire room with wall decor

A kid’s room is a perfect example of how this can be done.  By starting with the walls, you can set the mood and basic style for the rest of the room.  Choose to paint the walls with bright colors such as red, blue and yellow, adding stenciled pictures to the walls.

For a small girl, consider painting the walls a pastel shade of pink, adding a wide border around the top of the wall with wall paper, and then place a mural on the wall that fits the theme.  A pastel pony or delicate flowers add punch and make the room unique.

Consider your existing decor theme when choosing wall accents

Think about the style of your rooms before deciding what items to use to decorate your walls.  Is your living room decorated in a contemporary or ultra-modern theme, or do you prefer a more traditional look, even leaning toward country?  These things make a difference when choosing the accents or designs you will use to decorate a wall.

With a contemporary or modern space, you want to stick with things that are sleek and free from intricate details.  A single large mirror or abstract pieces that are square, round or triangular in shape work well with this type of decor. For those who love a warm, inviting appeal, artwork can be a bit more detailed.  Tapestries, prints, and framed artwork are more country themed, consisting of rich, warm colors such as rust, cream, blue, pumpkin and gold.  Just be sure to carry through with the overall color of the room, so that your wall decor complements or contrasts with furnishings, floors and other accents.

Consider the size of the room

Are you decorating a small or a spacious room?  Large rooms look much better when you have wall accents that are scaled to the size of the room.  Large mirrors, tapestries and other artwork can make a single wall the focal point of the room.

For a smaller room, it’s best to keep the artwork on your walls smaller so that it appears balanced and doesn’t overwhelm the room.  Think about hanging three related prints above your sofa, arranged in a level line straight across.  Always use odd numbers of items, such as groups of 3 or 5 when decorating a wall.

Use some creative thinking

Don’t think you have to stick to framed pictures and mirrors to decorate a wall!  Many people today even decorate a portion of the wall with tile.  When it comes to your walls, think paint, stencils, wall murals, tapestries, tile, mirrors, wall sconces and more!  Unlike decades ago, decorating your walls is now an exciting and challenging task.

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Sep 27 2010

Paint – The Most Versatile Interior Decorating Tool

Published by under Painting

Painting is one of the most affordable and effective things you can do to give your home a face lift.  You may be thinking of white or cream colored walls, which can be a little bland.  If you aren’t familiar with all of the things you can do with paint today, you need this little refresher course!  You can literally transform the look of your home, and it’s really easy.

Wall stenciling, faux painting and rubber stamping are three examples of what can be accomplished with a little paint.  In this article, we will explain a little about each method and how it works to freshen up the atmosphere in your home.

Wall stenciling

Wall stenciling is super easy and adds incredible texture to the room.  With stenciling, simply paint the entire wall a solid color that blends with the decor of the room.  Choose a stencil that complements the style of the room, and paint through the cut out areas of the stencil.  When you remove it, a sharp, crisp pattern will remain on the wall!  This is great for creating a border along the top of the wall, placing a pattern around a door or fireplace, or creating an entire wall of animals or Disney characters in a small child’s room.

Faux painting

Faux painting is a favored option for many people.  When you want to create walls that have the appearance of granite, marble, wood and other surfaces, faux painting helps you accomplish this.  From super easy to quite complex, there are a huge variety of techniques that can be used in faux painting.

Sponging, ragging and rag rolling are three easy things you can do yourself to give the walls incredible texture.  Dragging, combing, stippling and marbleizing are a bit more difficult, but can be accomplished with clear instruction.

Rubber stamping

Rubber stamping is another easy technique that gives your walls a unique look.  Easier than any other technique, rubber stamping gives you dramatic results in a very short time.  You can display your creative talents and create walls that are truly impressive, both to family and friends.

Stenciling and rubber stamping are two techniques that can also be used on furniture as well!  If you have white or pastel colored accent tables, trunks and other accessories, you can add color and interest by using these techniques.  This is great for those who love a country or cottage chic look.

Various painting techniques can bring your walls to life without going through the headaches of wallpapering or the cost of hiring someone to do it for you.  Depending on your style and color preferences, you can literally create any look you want!

If you like calm neutrals, consider using creams, taupe’s and slate blue to create your walls.  For those who like more color and warmth, golden yellow, rust and orange combine to create striking walls.  If cool, relaxing colors are your style, consider soft shades of blue and green.

Get your creative juices flowing, and create walls in your home that look incredibly beautiful and full of texture!  You may have never realized just how versatile paint can be, but now you know.  Have fun making your home a true original.

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Jan 28 2010

Different Color Schemes for Decorating Your Home

Homeowners often become overwhelmed when it comes time to choose a color scheme for a room. The tricky part about choosing a color scheme is that once you choose one color, you then have to decide what other potential colors to put in the room as well. So what’s the best way to choose a color scheme? One of the best tools to have at your fingertips is a color wheel.

What Is the Color Wheel?
Sir Isaac Newton was the first to use the color wheel. He performed an experiment with a prism. What he discovered was that pure white light had a wide spectrum of reflective colors. People have been using this spectrum of colors ever since. Known as the color wheel, it’s helpful for decorating and classifying colors.

The Classification of Colors Using the Color Wheel
The colors on the color while are basically classified into three different categories. 1. The primary colors consist of red, yellow, and blue. 2. Next are the secondary colors, or orange, green, and violet. These colors are created by mixing the primary colors. 3. Then you have the tertiary colors, including red-orange, yellow-orange, blue-green, and yellow-green. You combine the primary colors with the secondary colors next to them to create these colors.

Monochromatic Color Scheme Explained
A monochromatic color scheme is just like it sounds. This approach to color involves picking one color and then using only that color for the entire room. The key to this color scheme is to use varying shades, from light to dark, of that color. You can also use white in the color scheme, which will help break up the color.

Analogous Color Scheme Explained
A analogous color scheme will include anywhere from two to six different colors in the décor of a room. Here, you use colors that are adjacent to one another on the color wheel. For instance, the color red would use orange or purple as accent colors, since they are the colors next to red on the wheel. Start with your main color first, and then you can choose between you accent colors.

Complementary Color Scheme Explained
The complementary color scheme is one of the more popular approaches to color design. Essentially, you begin with a main color (such as yellow or red) and then go directly across to color wheel to find its complementary color. For yellow, for instance, the complementary color would be in the purple family. For the color green, you would look in the pinks. This can always be played with a little bit. Try mixing the family of colors: it could be green and pink, or it could be green and red.

Triad Color Scheme Explained
Another very popular design for homeowners is the triad color scheme. Here you use three colors that on the color wheel form a triangle together. One triad combination would be orange, green, and purple. Make one of these colors your main color and use the others for accent colors, or choose two colors and then accent with the third.

Remember also that both black and white are neutrals. So you can add them to any color scheme without changing that scheme too much. By playing around with the color wheel and some of these color scheme suggestions, you will be able to come up with some great options for the rooms in your home.

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Jan 15 2010

Interior Decorating with a Monochromatic Color Scheme

When it comes to figuring out the color scheme of a room, a monochromatic color scheme is one option. A monochromatic color scheme involves using one color in the room for almost all the surfaces. Contrast is added to the room by using different shades of the color, from light to dark. If you decide to go with a monochromatic look in your home, follow these tips to create the best look possible.

Add White or a Neutral Color to the Room
When you pair the color with white or another neutral, you will avoid ending up with a room that looks like it’s too matched or boring. Rather than having the neutral color be the main focus in the room, you want to use it as an accent. If you have a blue monochromatic scheme, you might include a blue and white rug where the rest of the items (the walls and furniture) are all blue. Another way to add a neutral is to paint the trim in the room white.

Choose the Color of the Room Wisely
When you decorate a room with a monochromatic color scheme, it’s important that you really put some thought into the color choice. After all, if you go with a color you’re not crazy about, you will most likely not end up very happy with the finished look of the room. Thus, it’s important to pick out a color that you really like to look at. If you are new to the monochromatic look, you may also want to avoid bold colors, such as red and orange. You need to remember that once you choose a monochromatic look, it’s going to be much harder to change the décor of the room, since everything in the room is going to be in some shade of that same color. Therefore, it’s really important that you think carefully about your color choice. Don’t just go rushing into a hasty decision that you may end up regretting.

Mix Up the Shades of the Color
The best way to determine different shades of the color you’ve chosen is to visit a paint store and collect some color swatches. With these swatches, you can see the different shades of the color that you should work with. You want to be sure that the walls are not painted the exact same shade as the furniture or that your floor isn’t the same exact shade as the walls. Mixing up the shades of color always adds character and interest to a room, giving it a better overall look. You can also use accessories like pillows, curtains, baskets, and candles that are completely different shades from the rest of the room.

It isn’t always easy to pull off a monochromatic color scheme in a room. You definitely need to spend some time planning out the décor so that everything flows well and you end up with the perfect balance of color.

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Jan 12 2010

5 Great DIY Decorating Projects for the Home

Many homeowners like to do their own decorating projects themselves. By doing your own decorating projects, you can ensure that your own style and personality come through your decorating. Here are 5 great DIY decorating projects that you can do for your home.

1. Paint the Walls
The easiest yet most effective way to give room a whole new look is by painting. Remember, the color of the walls is going to influence the entire room’s décor. If you begin a painting project, you want to be sure you do it properly and prepare the walls as needed. You may need to fill in any cracks and then sand them down, as you want the wall to be crack-free and smooth. You will need to first put on a coat of primer, and depending on the color and the saturation of the wall, you may have to put on a few coats of paint.

2. Install Molding on the Walls
With molding, you can instantly add a new touch to the walls. Molding will lend some interest and appeal to an otherwise boring wall. You have many choices of what type of molding you want. You might go with crown molding, which is installed at the top of the wall, or go a different route with a chair rail, which is installed in the middle. Before nailing it to the wall, paint or stain the molding first. The nail holes can then be touched up with paint afterward.

3. Personalize the Lampshades
If you can’t find the exact lampshade you’ve envisioned or just want to create something that shows your style, then consider designing your own lampshade. This is easier than it sounds. Simply take a white or cream-colored lampshade and cut figures or designs out of a dark paper such as black or red. Then tape the paper to the inside of the lampshade and you will have created a designer lampshade that reflects your own personal style. Add items to your lampshade such as embellishments and ribbon to personalize it as well.

4. Make Your Own Artwork for the Walls
Even if you can’t paint or draw very well, that doesn’t mean you can’t come up with your very own artwork to hang on the walls or to place on a shelf in one of your bookcases. You just need to get creative. You can look around and use items you already have. Look around for photographs, postcards, and book images that you can hang on the wall. Another easy idea is to put together a collage of items found in nature. Another simple project is to take a frame or blank canvas and wrap it in a patterned fabric that fits in with the room’s décor. If you choose two or three different patterns and different sized frames, you can hang them together in a cluster on the wall.

5. Make Your Own Window Treatments
If you aren’t handy with a sewing machine or a needle and thread, there are many different non-sewing techniques you can use to make your own curtains. To create instant interest around a window, simply take a long silk scarf and drape it over a window curtain. You might also consider using such things as placemats and tablecloths to create instant window treatments. If you do sew, then find a pattern you like, pick out the fabric, and create the window treatments you’ve always envisioned for your home.

A DIY decorating project doesn’t have to necessarily be difficult. If you’re looking to decorate your house in your own personal style, these are just 5 of the many different projects you can do for your home.

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Dec 08 2009

How to Use Whiteboard Paint in Different Rooms of Your Home

Whiteboard WallYou can use whiteboard paint in many different rooms in your home, whether it’s to accessorize or add some personality to the décor. Although people typically think of whiteboard paint for a child’s room, it actually can be utilized in other rooms of your home as well. Here are just some of the many unique ways you can use whiteboard paint in different rooms in your home.

Whiteboard Paint in a Child’s Bedroom
The most popular place to use whiteboard paint is in a child’s bedroom. By painting one area of the wall, you can create for your children their very own whiteboard to draw on and play with.

Whiteboard paint can also be use on things in the room like tables and closet doors. In fact, with a little Whiteboard paint you can create personalized closet doors for your children, where they can design and draw any type of scene they wish. This can then be changed as often as they like, perhaps even with the seasons or holidays throughout the year.

Whiteboard Paint in the Kitchen
Section off a wall in the kitchen to be painted with whiteboard paint. Then you’ll have a place to write down menus, grocery lists, or whatever you prefer. If you don’t want to use the wall, you might take a piece of wood and paint it with Whiteboard paint. Then you can hang it up and write your weekly menus on the board for all to see.

You might also use the paint on the refrigerator, if you don’t mind your kids drawing there. What will result is your very own personalized fridge, freshened each day with new drawings from your kids. Another great place for whiteboard paint is your backsplash. This gives you a great place where you can write down messages and recipes, or just doodle while you’re cooking dinner.

Whiteboard Paint in the Home Office
In a home office setting, whiteboard paint can be used in several different ways. Paint a section of the wall, creating your very own message board or monthly/weekly calendar. You could also paint a small piece of wood with Whiteboard paint and frame it. Hang it outside your office door and write messages on it when you don’t want to be bothered. You can also have your family members write messages back to you, keeping them from bothering you when you are working.

Whiteboard Paint in a Game Room
If you have a game room, perhaps with a pool table, then Whiteboard paint makes the perfect place to create your own scoreboard. You can also use this area for other games, such as darts and even some card games. This is a neat permanent feature to add to your game room that can be played up with a nice wooden frame. When not in use, you can put a quote or an inspirational message on it as well.

What better way to add a touch of personality to your walls in your home than with some whiteboard paint? There are so many different creative ways to use whiteboard paint, beyond what you might think of.

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Oct 29 2009

A Guide on Choosing Interior Paint Colors

Interior PaintMany different factors go into choosing interior paint colors. Things such as a certain design style you’re trying to achieve or a piece of furniture you’re trying to match can all affect the choice you make for the paint color of the room. Even with all these different factors influencing your decision, there are still certain guideline you should follow when picking interior paint colors.

Don’t Rush Into a Paint Color Choice
Thousands of different interior paint colors are available, so it’s never a good idea to rush into a color decision without proper planning. The first step involves visiting your local hardware or paint store. There you can gather paint chips in whatever colors catch your eye and fit the style you envision for the room. Be sure to get a variety of chips. Things can look very different once you get home and see the color in the room.

Once you get home with your paint chips, it’s not enough to simply hold them up to the wall. It’s also important to walk around with them to compare them with the furniture, the flooring, and the windows. This will help you make sure that the color is well suited to everything in the room that you plan on keeping after the remodel. If you are having trouble picking a color, you may also want to ask for opinions from others once you have narrowed it down. Sometimes other people are able to see something that you don’t.

Make Your Own Interior Paint Color
If you’re having a difficult time finding a paint color that you absolutely love, consider making your own. In most paint stores, you can now find a custom service where they will actually match a color for you. You can bring in a painting or a fabric swatch from your room, and they will match the color for you. This can cost you more in the long run, but it is well worth it if you’re able to achieve the style you envision for your room.

Choose an Interior Paint Finish
Once you’ve determined your color of paint, you next need to pick out what type of finish you want in your room. It’s important to remember that the finish of the paint will affect the way that the paint looks. For instance, if can make some paint colors look darker or lighter, depending on the type of finish you choose.

  • Flat Finish: This type of finish results in a matte or duller finish. If you want to camouflage imperfections, this is not a good type of finish, since the light will not reflect off the paint. This type of finish is also not advisable for areas that have a lot of traffic, as it is harder to clean than other finishes.
  • Eggshell Finish: Just like an eggshell, this paint finish has a small shine to it. This is a very popular finish, since they are easier to clean and their subtle shine reflects light in the room.
  • Satin Finish: Although this finish also has a small shine to it, it has a smoother appearance. Satin paints work great in high-traffic rooms, since they are much easier to keep clean.
  • Glossy: This finish is as exactly as it sounds. What you end up with is a finish that has a very high gloss or shine to it. Semi-gloss finishes are also available that result in a little less shine. Glossy finishes are rarely used on a whole interior wall. Rather they are popular choices for accessories like trim and doors.

Paint colors can be quite easily changed, but you still want to make sure you do your best to pick the interior paint color that best fits your style and is easy on the eyes. Changing the paint color of a room, after all, can truly change the room’s entire look.

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Oct 23 2009

3 Stylish Painting Techniques for Walls

Sponge PaintingYou can quickly and easily add style to any room in your home by using any of several painting techniques on your walls. These techniques make any DIY paint job look like a professional one.

There are certain things you need to do before you can start any type of painting on your walls. All your supplies need to be ready. In addition, the walls need to be prepped by filling in any cracks or holes and taping off the trim and windows with blue painter’s tape. Depending on what technique you decide to use, you will also need to be sure you have some special tools as well.

Rag Painting Technique
When you paint with the rag painting technique, no paint brushes or rollers are used. Instead, you use a simple rag (such as an old t-shirt or any type of cotton rag) to apply the paint. The result is a marbled effect on your walls.

To paint with rags:

  • First dip your rag into the paint, shaking off the excess.
  • Dab the rag onto the wall, taking care to apply the paint in whatever pattern you’ve chosen. But be sure not to spread out the pattern too much.
  • For a creative twist to this technique, try applying a darker base color first and then rag on the lighter paint color.

Sponge Painting Technique

This particular technique is used to give a wall depth and interest. Before you can begin sponging, you will first need to apply a base color to the wall.

To apply this sponge painting technique:

  • Taking a regular or sea sponge, dip it carefully into the paint or glaze of your choice.
  • Starting from the edge of the wall and working your way in, dab the sponge in a random pattern.
  • You can either choose to only do one wall in the room or complete all the walls in the room using this sponging technique.

Color Washing Technique

This painting technique adds a subtle finish to your walls that gives the appearance of floating color. This is a good technique for those walls with flaws that you want to cover up. This technique is a little more time consuming, however. Layers must be built up in order to get the full effect of the color wash.

To color wash:

  • First, paint the wall the color you’ve selected as your base color. You’ll then need to wait for it to completely dry.
  • Then, with a slightly different color or a complementary color, come back and paint another layer.
  • When painting this next layer, only use a paint brush. Apply the paint in all different directions, going over your strokes. In this way, the base color will show through in random areas.
  • If you want an additional color to show on the wall, you can do another layer of painting this way.

Whether you’re looking to redecorate your kitchen or bedroom, these painting techniques can be used in any room in your home. By instantly adding style to your walls, they will perk up the décor of any room.


3 Amazing Painting Techniques for Walls

Besides buying anwood dresserfor your bedroom or an elegantwooden file cabinetfor your home office, you can also quickly and easily add style to any room in your home by using any of several painting techniques on your walls. These techniques make any DIY paint job look like a professional one.

There are certain things you need to do before you can start any type of painting on your walls. All your supplies need to be ready. In addition, the walls need to be prepped by filling in any cracks or holes and taping off the trim and windows with blue painter’s tape. Depending on what technique you decide to use, you will also need to be sure you have some special tools as well.

Rag Painting Technique
When you paint with the rag painting technique, no paint brushes or rollers are used. Instead, you use a simple rag (such as an old t-shirt or any type of cotton rag) to apply the paint. The result is a marbled effect on your walls.

To paint with rags:

· First dip your rag into the paint, shaking off the excess.

· Dab the rag onto the wall, taking care to apply the paint in whatever pattern you’ve chosen. But be sure not to spread out the pattern too much.

· For a creative twist to this technique, try applying a darker base color first and then rag on the lighter paint color.

Sponge Painting Technique

This particular technique is used to give a wall depth and interest. Before you can begin sponging, you will first need to apply a base color to the wall.

To apply this sponge painting technique:

· Taking a regular or sea sponge, dip it carefully into the paint or glaze of your choice.

· Starting from the edge of the wall and working your way in, dab the sponge in a random pattern.

· You can either choose to only do one wall in the room or complete all the walls in the room using this sponging technique.

Color Washing Technique

This painting technique adds a subtle finish to your walls that gives the appearance of floating color. This is a good technique for those walls with flaws that you want to cover up. This technique is a little more time consuming, however. Layers must be built up in order to get the full effect of the color wash.

To color wash:

· First, paint the wall the color you’ve selected as your base color. You’ll then need to wait for it to completely dry.

· Then, with a slightly different color or a complementary color, come back and paint another layer.

· When painting this next layer, only use a paint brush. Apply the paint in all different directions, going over your strokes. In this way, the base color will show through in random areas.

· If you want an additional color to show on the wall, you can do another layer of painting this way.

Whether you’re looking to redecorate your kitchen or bedroom, these painting techniques can be used in any room in your home. By instantly adding style to your walls, they will perk up the décor of any room.

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Oct 21 2009

8 Interior Painting Tips and Advice

interior-paintingSimply painting a room can easily freshen it up, giving it an instant new look. Yet many homeowners dread interior painting. However, if you know what to do and how to paint in an efficient manner, you’ll find that interior painting is not that bad. Follow these basic interior painting tips, and you’ll find that your next painting project will be much easier and much more fun.

1. Don’t try to prep the area and paint it all in one day
This will only leave you feeling rushed, which more times than not will lead to a bad paint job. Rather, set aside one day where you concentrate on prepping the space. If you don’t use the room much, this can even be done a few days ahead. To prepare a room for painting, you need to focus on taping the walls, laying any drop cloths, moving the furniture out of the way, and gathering all the painting supplies in the room.

2. Don’t try to paint over damaged walls
Before you even try to paint a room, it is essential that you carefully look over the walls and fix any cracks or holes you find. Any cracks and holes you find can be easily fixed with a drywall kit and some sandpaper. The drywall plaster needs some time to dry, so be sure to do this at least a day before you paint. Leave some time to sand down the area as well.

3. Select the best brushes for the paint job
For oil-based paint, go with a brush that has natural bristles. However, for water-based or latex paint, synthetic bristled brushes will give you the most even coat. Foam rollers are the most efficient way to paint a larger space. For trim and windows, though, you’ll need smaller brushes.

4. Use a primer for a more professional look
Not only does a primer make the paint go on so much more even, but it helps you avoid possible tainting from a previous wall color. Even better, you can have your primer tinted to match the color you’ve selected, which may help you avoid having to put a second coat of paint on the walls.

5. Don’t forget to use painter’s blue tape
Use masking tape for any areas you don’t want to get paint on, such as doorway frames, trim, and windows. The great thing about this tape is that when it’s applied to a smooth surface, it won’t allow the paint to seep into those areas you’re covering. When the paint has dried, you can simply remove the tape. You don’t have to worry about any of the paint coming off with it.

6. Keep plenty of old rags around for any mistakes you might make
When painting, it’s inevitable that you will drop some paint on the trim or hit something you shouldn’t with a brush.

7. Keep your strokes even when painting to ensure an even coat

It’s essential to have plenty of natural light in the room so you can see where you are painting and also find any areas you might have missed.

8. Keep any leftover paint for future touch-ups or fixes
If you don’t have the space to store a large paint can that only has a small amount of paint, then pour the leftover paint into a glass jar with a tight lid and store it that way. Label the jar with the exact color of the paint, the room it was used in, and the date, and you’ll be all set.

Painting the interior of your home isn’t as scary as it seems. With these easy tips, you are well on your way to changing the décor of your home in no time at all.

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Oct 14 2009

Learn Color Theory for Your Home

Want to create a mood in your home that complements your personality? By analyzing your home’s colors, you can find a decorating solution to create the perfect atmosphere.


Color Wheel


Designer Color Lesson

The color wheel provides an easy way to visualize how all the different hues relate to each other. Traditionally, red, yellow, and blue are considered the three primary colors from which all the others on the wheel can be mixed. Although this is true in theory, in the studio an artist can’t actually get a pure green or purple from the primaries, as the mixed color won’t retain the intensity of the parents.

When designing a room, however, you need only be aware that purple relates to both red and blue, whereas green derives from yellow and blue. These relationships insure that the colors will harmonize with each other.

Reading the Wheel
The color wheel generally displays the pure hues of colors, such as red, blue, and green. However, in your home more likely you’re going to be using tints (lighter values) and tones, also known as shades (darker values). When painting the bedroom, for instance, you probably won’t use an intense pure green. Rather, you’ll probably go with either a soft sage or a deep hunter green.

On the wheel, colors that lie opposite each other are complementary. When paired together, complementary colors make each other appear more vivid. Hues next to each other are analogous, which means they always look good together because they share a common hue. Any three equally spaced colors on the wheel are known as triads and yield a lively yet balanced color combination. One color must dominate, however, or the scheme may feel a little jarring. Use the other two in lesser amounts or as accents.

Stir Emotions Using Warm and Cool
The color wheel can also help you identify warm and cool hues. Warm colors are stimulating and advancing, and take up half of the color wheel, from red to yellow-green. Giving these hues the description of “warm” reflects emotional associations such as the sun looks yellow, or fire is orange and red. But the “warm” designation actually has a basis in physiology. The eye cannot simultaneously focus on both the red and purple ends of the spectrum, so to solve this it perceives red to be nearer or advancing and purple to be farther or receding. The other half of the wheel is comprised of those colors that are considered cool, which generally appear to recede. Receding cool colors such as blue, green, and purple, can visually open up the walls in a small, cramped room.

Here are a couple of suggestions to follow when working with warm and cool hues. Add a dollop of a cool hue to a warm color scheme make things feel well-rounded and complete–think of the effect a green plant has in a yellow room. Equally, a jolt of warmth will really liven up a cool scheme. Thus, a shot of red will really perk up a room done in blue and white. Some interior designers consider green and purple neutrals, since they either advance or recede depending on the context and thus can go with any color scheme.

Discerning Value
We are attracted, not only to the specific hue of a color (such as red, blue-green, or orange), but also to particular values of those hues (pink, teal, or terra-cotta). When you’re talking about values, you’re referring to the lightness or darkness of a color. To lighten a pure hue, add white; to darken, add black or umber (a blackish brown). For example, sky blue and robin’s-egg blue are both light values of blue, whereas navy and cobalt are dark values.

Balancing with Accents
Light and medium values live most comfortably with each other. However, light-value schemes can be boring. You can avoid this by including an accent of a darker value. For instance, to both ground and give depth to a color scheme combining light blue and light yellow, try a touch of navy or cobalt blue.

Understanding Intensity
Intensity and saturation are two important elements of color. The most intense or saturated expression of a color is known as its pure hue. When you add the hue’s complement, you muddy the color so that’s it’s softer, more muted, and less intense.

In general, lower-intensity colors create a calm, restrained mood that’s subtle and serene. Conversely, a higher-intensity or more saturated color will generate more energy. The color will feel dynamic or richly elegant, depending on the specific colors and style of your furnishings.

Equal Partners: Achieving Color Balance
Balance is a key component of any successful color scheme. If you’re going to choose a strong color, it’ll need a strong partner, and this applies to both value and intensity. For instance, if you’re going to go with a navy blue wall, you’ll need an equally intense yellow or red to create a balanced scheme.

Intensities should be kept equal or nearly equal. A saturated red calls for an equally intense green or yellow-green. But for a muted red-orange or lower intensity, you’ll need a muted yellow-green. By pairing colors of different intensities, you create a feeling of imbalance.

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