Interior Design 101 – Color Schemes

 Analogous…Triadic…Complementary…Monochromatic…Split Analogous…Split Complementary…Tetradic… 

The Color Wheel

Did you know that everyday when you get dressed you choose a color scheme? Even if you have NO idea that these terms indicate specific color schemes, when you look around your home or in your closet, you will find examples of these schemes EVERYWHERE!

You may be thinking this is an odd post subject for me! Well, there is a reason.

My sister-in-law, Angie, is hosting a monthly Interior Design Club at the middle school where she teaches. 
This program is SO cool! The school is offering over 30 clubs for the kids to choose from. Everything from Interior Design, to Science, to Horsemanship, to How to be a Real Man. Isn’t that great?!!
Angie asked if I would do a post to introduce her students to Interior Design.  We decided to start with color schemes.
All color schemes are based on the relationship of colors on the color wheel. Let’s start with an easy one!
MonochromaticA monochromatic color scheme consists of different values (tints and shades) of one single color found on the color wheel. 
NeutralA color scheme that includes only colors NOT found on the color wheel. Neutrals can include brown, beige, and gray.
House and Home
AnalogousAnalogous colors are colors that are adjacent to (next to) each other on the color wheel.
malanenewman.com
ComplementaryComplementary colors are colors that are opposite on the color wheel.
malanenewman.com
Unknown Source
Split-analogousA color scheme that includes one main color and the two colors one space away from it on each side of the color wheel. (Example…green with blue and yellow)
 provenwinner.com

nike.com
Split-complementaryThis color scheme includes one main color and the two colors on each side of it’s complementary color on the color wheel.
malanenewman.com
 design-sherpa.com
TriadicA color scheme with three colors equally spaced apart on the color wheel.
malanenewman.com

belightsoft.com
TetradicAlso called double complementary – A scheme using four colors…two sets of complementary (opposite) colors.
                                     
malanenewman.com
beading-design-jewelry.com
Ok, here’s the fun part! Look around you! Can you pick out a specific color scheme in your home or closet?
Honestly, it’s not always easy!  Some color combinations are tricky and it’s hard to designate which scheme they fall into!
Here’s another question? With which scheme are you most comfortable? Most of us tendency towards certain schemes. Do you tend to choose colors that are close to each other on the color wheel? Or opposite? Or are you more monochromatic or neutral?
Strange as it may seem, (and some of you may be thinking, “yeah, it’s strange”) I find this fascinating! Makes you look at color with a whole new perspective!
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9 Responses to Interior Design 101 – Color Schemes

  1. Patrice says:

    This was very interesting AND very helpful. Thank you for posting it! :)

  2. Okay … once again I’ve learned something new and of interest from you! That’s why I so love visiting your blog. Some of those schemes I knew but others I haven’t a clue! I’m definitely a neutral girl … although I LOVE colour, I can’t seem to live with it for any length of time! Thanks for the lesson and it WAS very informative and interesting and appreciated!

  3. Great post and your examples are wonderful. What a great idea to offer these classes to the children. Hugs, Marty

  4. Kim says:

    I’ll take one of each! This is a cool concept for the kids and us. I didn’t know all of the terms. Blush, blush.

  5. Kathy says:

    I seem to be a split complementary-I like some color in a home :-) I think it is wonderful this is one of the clubs -you never know which one of the students you may ingnite a little spark for decorating and some day we will see them on their on HGTV show !

  6. A great idea for students but it is also a great help to anyone who paints…artists need color knowledge also!!!
    I did enjoy this post!!!

  7. Lindsey says:

    Great post. I love it because I teach Housing and Interior Design to high school students. We just did color schemes last week. They are about to complete their white room challenge…like from HGTV…but I have adapted it for students. Here are last years results: http://louisianalivin.blogspot.com/2010/05/white-room-challenge-results.html

  8. SheilaG says:

    Great to have a name for what I like! :) Seems my color scheme is split analogous- love blue, green and purple together.

  9. Reinspire says:

    I am for sure a “neutral” gal…all the way! It is fun to figure out what our style is and give it a name!
    Lisa