Different types of color schemes for interior designers


Several times you hear or you read articles about color schemes and their use in interior design. But before you start searching for the ideal color scheme for your space, you first need to decide the color scheme type. 

Let's take the example of an open plan space and lets suppose that we want to select wall paintings. What color scheme type would you select?

Photorealistic room, living room rendering, empty room rendering

  • Monochromatic schemes: Monochromatic schemes use only one color (or hue) with variations on its value. Value is the lightness or darkness of the specific hue. 

 Monochromatic color scheme, yellow color scheme, cream interior space,  

monochromatic color scheme, color wheel  A monochromatic color scheme based on yellow. The pallete of yellow shades, including gold, mustard, caramel, cream, etc,  is warm in character and creates a look of comforting and calming radiance. 

  • Complementary schemes: Complementary schemes are created by taking two colors, situated opposite each other on the color wheel. 

Complementary color scheme 01 

Complementary color wheel A complementary color scheme that uses a pale green and a warm, neutral rusberry shade. 

  • Analogous schemes: Analogous schemes use two or more hues, situated within a 90o arc of each other on the color wheel. By using these scheme you can use warm colors, cool or you can mix warm and cool colors. 

Analogous color scheme  

analogous color wheel An analogous color scheme that mixes yellow and greem. The result is really powerful. 

  • Contrasting schemes (or triadic color scheme): Contrasting schemes use colors whose location on the color wheel create an equilateral trianlge. 

Contrasting color scheme  

Contrasting color wheel Contrasting color schemes are suitable for large spaces with distinct area, since we the scheme uses three different colors. 

  • Split complementary schemes: Split complementary schemes use one color on one side of the color wheel and two colors on the opossite side. Of course, directly across the first color is the complimentary color. So, the two colors that complete the scheme are those colors that are situated next the complimentary color, on either side. 

Split complementary color scheme

Split complementary color wheel The split coplementary color scheme creates similar effect with the complementary color scheme, although it is more rich and playfull. Actually, it combines the harmonious effect of the adjacent colors with the contrasting effect of the opposite situated colors. 

Online tools that will help you create endless color schemes

  • Color Scheme designer: You can select between mono, complement, triad, tetrad, analogic, accented analogic. 
  • Adobe Kuler: A dynamic color whelel, that allows you to select between analogous, monochromatic, triad, complementary, compound and shades color scheme. 

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