Does selecting colors make you nervous? Afraid of making a mistake?
Other pages on this site explain the theory of color (just click on 'Color Basics' in the menu on the left).
One of the best ways of seeing how colors fit together to make a scheme is to see how they are used in a real room setting.
That's what this page shows you. You'll find a practical example of how you can put colors together for your home decorating.
Then when you understand what the chart is showing you, you can go ahead and look at the other charts. These illustrate how other colors can be used for your home decorating.
Because they make it easy to see how the main colors and accents go together.
We'll examine one of the charts, and show you how you can use and adapt it for your own home.
Remember, the 'Main colors' in the chart are so called because they are used for the main areas of your room. The 'Accent colors' are usually stronger, and are used with more restraint and in smaller quantities. Because of this, accents are often used for small items such as pictures, pillows and ornaments.
OK, let's have a look at a color chart.
In these charts, the top left color is the color which sets the scene. So here we are looking at a room with a soft green look. The simplest solution is to have the walls green, because they provide a background for the room.
The other main colors may be used on other areas such as the carpet, drapes, couch, chairs and paintwork.
The accent colors would be used on smaller areas such as lamps, pictures, ornaments, pillows, or occasional chairs.
Now take a look at the following photo to see one solution using these colors.
Notice how the curtain fabric uses both main and accent colors. You'll often be able to find fabrics, pictures and rugs which 'mix' your main and accent colors for you.
Occasional furniture such as coffee tables and desks are useful for giving contrast and stability to a room.
There are an infinite variety of ways you can use your interior house colors and still arrive at a balanced and attractive solution.
More schemes from the same color chart
There's a great deal more you can do with color charts. Using the example above, why not switch the main colors? Use the soft brown/beige for the walls, and the green for the couch.
Or completely change the setup by reversing the mains and accents. Use the dark green for the walls, and the terracotta for the couch. Then the accents would be the lighter tones, which would contrast with the main colors.
Color charts for more inspiration!
Now you know how these charts work, take a look at some other combinations.
Over the years professional decorators have worked out which colors work well for different schemes. You can now learn what these are, and how to use them.
The Shortcut to Perfect Paint Colors - Paint Color Cheat Sheets
(Only for residents of the USA and Canada.)