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Color Wheel Basics

Click on a color wheel below to view a room painted in representative color scheme

Color Terminology

MONOCHROMATIC schemes utilize colors from the same family on the wheel. This will include all the light tints, dark shades as well as the clean and muted versions of that color family.

COMPLEMENTARY color schemes use colors opposite each other on the color wheel. Used together, this combination of warm and cool colors creates excitement and energizes and décor. Opposite colors are perfect as accent colors in a neutral décor.

TRIADIC schemes use three colors that are equally spaced from each other on the color wheel. Similar color values can be used, such as primary colors for children's rooms. Colors can also be arranged in varying degrees with one color dominant, another color as secondary and the third color as an accent.

ANALOGOUS schemes use colors of the same temperature near each other on the wheel. These schemes evoke a specific mood, such as calm and tranquil or warm and inviting.

SPLIT COMPLEMENTARY color schemes combine the two colors on either side of a color's complement. This combination of colors adds variety to a room in a pleasant but active way.

DOUBLE COMPLEMENTARY color schemes are created by using colors that are next to each other and then finding their opposites on the color wheel.


Click on a color wheel above to view a room painted in representative color scheme



VIDEO: Learn about tints, tones and shades from color specialist Pat Verlodt, CMG