Text by Hannah Nance
When planning out the design and style for a space, it’s best to start at the very beginning: color palette. And there’s no better tool to pick the perfect palette than the color wheel. That’s right; we’re bringing back elementary art class and using the foundation of color theory for interior design. There are a few different ways to utilize the color wheel when it comes to picking a palette. We’ve asked Wovn Home’s founder, Davina Ogilvie, to share with us the basics and how to choose the colorway that’ll fit your space beautifully.
One popular style is choosing a primary color and then mixing shades of the same color throughout your space. When it comes to introducing patterns and prints into a scheme, this is the easiest approach, but not the only one.
Monochromatic looks are chic and elegant—when done well. The key here is using shades that complement one another instead of clash. “If I go in this direction, I find keeping to the same tone (warm vs. cool) is helpful in creating a pulled together look, especially if incorporating pattern into the décor,” Davina explains. Look at the undertones of each shade and try to stay within the same group—warm or cool.
Working with analogous colors means choosing hues that are beside each other on the color wheel, like blue and green or orange and red. Adding one more color can bring more variety and open up options when it comes to styling your space.
A simple look at the color wheel can make your decision on what analogous colors to choose. “When working with multiple color combinations in a single room, it’s best to find inspiration images that will guide you through color selection and help ensure the overall scheme stays cohesive,” Davina says. “For example, nature presents colors to us in unimaginably creative ways with tons of color combinations that work together. Starting by pulling pictures that inspire you (perhaps a beautiful garden) and decorating with them as your color guide is incredibly helpful!”
Often the colorway that scares homeowners the most, complementary colors are those that are opposite each other on the wheel, like red and green or orange and blue. The good news is that mixing complementary colors is really much simpler than people think, especially when we use our new best friend.
Find a more detailed color wheel that breaks down into multiple hues instead of the primary ones. Pick a few colors you like, find their complementary partners, and go from there. Working with shades of primary hues makes mixing palettes more cohesive and tastefully subtle. “Choosing to work with colors that are on opposite ends of the color wheel is a beautiful way to incorporate more color while making sure the combinations are complementary,” Davina says. “I absolutely love using blue with a pop of orangey-red, which can look rich and vibrant on its own, or more muted when used as pops of color against a neutral foundation.”
On the opposite end of the color spectrum are neutrals—a palette in and of itself. This might seem like an easy choice, but working with neutrals can be a little more difficult than most people think. If you use shades that are too similar to each other, you’ll end up with a room that looks bland and lifeless. “Try to avoid going overboard on matching when working with a neutral color story,” Davina says. “Matching your window treatments to your walls can come across as prosaic when working with these colors; generally, look to incorporate shades that are brighter or darker for impact. For instance, in a bright white room, adding varying shades of beige or gray goes a long way in adding texture and depth.”
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