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If you’re looking to overhaul your interior design, a great way to do so is through color. Understanding the basics of color and how they work together will allow you to develop a space that is not only pleasing to the eye but evokes specific emotions. Keep reading to learn about the effects of color in interior design:

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The Color Wheel 

Before you understand how to use color in interior design, and the effects that result from doing so, you must first learn the color wheel. Simply put, the color wheel provides a visual representation of which colors look pleasing together. In the most basic sense, the color wheel is based around twelve colors. 

The primary colors are comprised of red, blue, and yellow, and cannot be made from mixing colors. The secondary colors consist of orange, purple, and green, and can be made by mixing the primary colors. Tertiary colors are made by mixing primary and secondary colors making, red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet.

Color Schemes

Once you have a basic understanding of colors and how to create them, you must then dive into color schemes. While there are a handful of different color schemes, three that are common throughout interior design: complementary, analogous, and square. 

The complementary color scheme is the most simple because it uses only two colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. The colors should be high in contrast with one acting as the dominant shade and the other as the accent. Keep in mind that if you choose a complementary color scheme, you should embrace neutrals to give the space a balance. This will provide the colors to act as pop, without leaving you feeling overwhelmed. 

The analogous color scheme uses three colors in a row on the wheel; for example, you could choose red, orange, and yellow. The rule when incorporating this scheme into your home is to utilize the 60-30-10 ratio. Your base should be the most dominant and your accent the most vibrant. Monochromatic colors are commonly used with the color scheme. Instead of using brighter shades, you can opt for black, white, and gray. 

The square color scheme uses four shades that are evenly spaced on the color wheel. One is a primary color, another a secondary color, and the last two are tertiary colors. You can vary the color usage by making two on the bolder side of the spectrum, and the other two more neutral. It’s important that when choosing your colors, you maintain a balance between warm and cool tones, and that one shade of the four needs to be the most dominant.

Color Theory in Your Home

Once you understand the basics of color and how various schemes work, you should then look into the effects that color can have on the rooms in your home. If you find that a space feels cold, incomplete, small, dark or has no focal point, color can help solve the issue!


The kitchen is one of the most popular rooms in the home, making it the perfect candidate to refresh it with color. Through home improvements and minor renovations, you can incorporate pops of color throughout your kitchen space. Try replacing your sink with a colored porcelain option, toss a patterned rug beneath your feet, or purchase colorful dishware to be on display. 

You don’t have to remodel your entire kitchen to see the impact color has on a room. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly project, consider repainting. Within your renovation budget, the cost to paint a kitchen runs between $100-$600, and it doesn’t have to be limited to just the walls. Repainting cabinets, furniture, or fixtures are all viable options to bring color into the room. 

If you’re in need of some color inspiration, try uses reds or yellows in your kitchen. Red is a perfect tone for the kitchen as it can bring out feelings of warmth, and friendship. It’s also considered a stimulating color perfect for keeping a conversation going. Red is a bold way to break up the routine of stainless steel but can be risky if not executed properly. 

Yellow can evoke feelings of positivity, as well as spark up an appetite making it an excellent choice. Yellow is perfect to complement wood tones throughout and, similar to whites, shades of yellow can reflect ambient light, brightening the space. 

Unique Space

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Unique spaces in your home, such as an office, library, or creative/hobby room are essential to having a comforting place to work and relax. To ensure that each room is the perfect space for you, use colors such as purple, black and brown throughout your design.

Purple can radiate luxury and represent creativity, which is perfect for those who enjoy crafting and DIY projects. Lighter shades of purple can give off a restful vibe, making a perfect color for a relaxing space. Shades of black can add a sense of elegance making it ideal for an accent wall. Brown gives off feelings of trust and can bring balance to bright colors, which is perfect for an office space. 

To incorporate these colors into your unique space, try creating a gallery wall with mix-and-match picture frames. This is a perfect opportunity to implement a monochromatic color scheme or play with pops of color in a square scheme.

Guest Room 

To ensure a spare room is prepped and ready for guests, consider utilizing colors such as blue and green. Both are relaxing and calming colors that invite your guests to relax throughout their stay. 

Blue is often associated with feelings of tranquility, and balance, while green brings a sense of family, health, and harmony. If you’re having a hard time committing to one color over the other, consider an analogous scheme that allows you to implement them both. 

To ensure your room is in fact relaxing and not chaotic, stick with pastel shades, and utilize your pops of color through accent pieces. Throw pillows, blankets, candles, and unique decor are just a few options that you can bring color into a space without overdoing it.

Of course, you’re not limited to only using any of these specific colors throughout your home. Each color evokes different feelings and creates a different mood based on the room you use it in. By understanding the ways colors can work together, you can successfully transform any space in your home.

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