Sep 112014

mixing colorsColor is probably the number one thing that trips up DIY decorators.  This post hopefully takes some of the scary out of selecting colors for your space.  All you need is a little bit of knowledge about the color wheel, some color scheme vocabulary, and you’re off and running!

Layering and combining colors can definitely be intimidating.  I would suggest starting with things that are not permanent, such as pillows or other accessories.  When you feel more comfortable (or brave), then you can move ahead to painting and furniture.

The first step would be to choose a main color.  You can choose and incorporate many variations of this color, for example orange, lighter orange, darker orange, rusts all work together well.  Varying shades leads to an evolved, effortless look.  Now, if you choose to stop there, and just work with one hue, but vary the shade, that is called monochromatic.  These schemes can be very trendy.

If you would like to mix in another color, start with its complement.  Complementary colors naturally look great together and are the easiest to begin with.  Technically speaking, they are straight across from each other on a color wheel.  Red and green, orange and blue, and purple and yellow are the main sets of complementary colors.  Remember that any shade of the colors you see here also have complements, directly across the wheel.

complementary colors        Analogous-Scheme

Another easy color scheme to create is an analogous scheme.  That is, colors that appear next to each other on the wheel.  Like complements, these colors naturally look great together, and they’re super easy to create. Keep in mind that everything in your room does not need to be a color in your color scheme.  Neutrals are good for pieces that you need to blend or be supplements to your space.  Let the colors be accents and you won’t get too overwhelmed.  Analogous schemes can also be achieved using all neutrals with small pops of your analogous color choices.

color in  DIY decorators

You also don’t need to use the full saturations of the colors you choose.  For instance, yellow does not always have to be lemon yellow.  Pastel versions are also within the “rules” as well as muted variations.  Variations have special names depending on how you want to alter the original hue.  Tints add white to your hue, making it lighter.  Shades are adding black to your hue, and those make it darker.  Tones are great variations, and that is when you add gray.

color wheel

There is an infinite number of colors… literally!  Start your color search by looking at inspirational photos online.  Try to figure out where the colors in the photos lie on the color wheel and adjust as you see fit.  Good luck!


Jacque Link is an Interior Designer and contributing author for the furnishing sites at and it’s sister site at, where you can find a unique bath vanity cabinets and funky  vanity mirrors to match!

Originally posted 2014-07-22 15:53:01. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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