A skill you can learn
It's true - how to put colors together is an easy skill to learn.
You can master it and apply your new skills in your own home!
It's a sad fact that 'home decor' and 'interior design' have a certain mystique attached to them. You might think they're only for people with a 'flair' for design, a 'wonderful way' with colors, or a 'gift' for style.
Yes, it's true some people have a natural way with color and furnishings, but that doesn't mean everyone else is doomed to live in complete ignorance!
It doesn't take long to understand color theory and practice for your home, and once you do, a whole new world will open up.
These skills can be learned, very easily. I'll show you how you can understand color schemes and use them in your home.
At first it might seem to be too complicated.
But that's just because most people have never sat down and spent a few minutes finding out exactly what colors are and why different ones work together - or not!
You don' t have to learn everything about color, just the basics. And once you have a few simple concepts in your mind, you'll wonder what all the fuss was about.
Looking at color charts will no longer be the mystery it once was.
Removing the mystery
You may already have looked at a color wheel and read about wavelengths and the refraction index, and quickly gone on to something else. We've kept this simple and to the point - the point being whatever is useful to our understanding of home decor.
To understand how color is used in different situations, we need to make sure we're all talking the same language. What do you mean by tone? Or Shade? Or hue? Or do they all mean the same thing?
Color isn't just a neutral sort of thing. It affects us and how we see our surroundings. This section explains how colors can appear warm or cool.
There's an infinite number of colors to play with. So even if you understand how we get them, how do you even begin to decide how to use them? Whenever you have lots of 'things' it's easier if you're able to put them into manageable groups. That's what we do here. This part deals with colors which play well with one another.
And here are groups of colors which because of their differences and contrasts make for more lively schemes!
But it's no use just knowing the theory! How do colors work in practice?
Practical ideas for your colors
Even if you understand all about colors, where do you really start?
Sometimes your home will suggest how you should furnish or decorate it. It could be modern, or traditional, or a log cabin. A bit of sympathy will go a long way. Balance is a very important part of home decorating, and it applies to color as well.
If you're going to redecorate your whole house, then you'll need to plan ahead. This part gives you a few ideas.
A few more thoughts on combining colors. This can become complicated, but here we explain the basics.
Colors have the power to affect how we perceive things. You can use this to your advantage - if you know what to look for.
Why is color important for your home decorating?
They can have an effect on us, they influence our reactions and moods. A basic understanding of this is a great help when selecting colors for your home decorating.
Your color schemes should take these effects into account so that as well as selecting the colors you like, they also produce a satisfying atmosphere.
Historical styles such as Art Deco or Victorian have certain colors associated with them. By using these colors, together with other style indicators such as furniture shapes and patterns, you can achieve an authentic replication of your chosen style.
(For an example, take a look at the Art Novueau page where you'll find some colors associated with this style.)
We all have our own favorite ones, and probably our least favorite ones as well! We are most comfortable in our homes when they reflect something of our own personality.
Blending our personal choice of color into our homes helps to make it our home, and not just a clever scheme designed to impress. You may admire the decor of a show home, but instinctively you know is isn't exactly how you would do it. It doesn't have your stamp of personality on it.
When you know what colors you like, by using a little bit of knowledge of how they go together, you can bring to life your very own personal scheme.