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Interior Design Ideas – Color Scheme Types – What Are They and How Do I Choose One?

Color schemes are based on the color wheel. There are so many hues available and so many choices that it makes it hard to establish just one. There are millions of colors, but interior designers generally only use three to five hues for a scheme, plus two to three accent hues that are used in dashes here and there only. The main colors can vary by using tints, tones, and shades in different intensities for variety. For the types of color schemes we will discuss we will be using three to five hues. Let us explore the different types of schemes and perhaps that will help you to start by choosing a type of scheme that you like best.

You may want to view a color wheel while you read this article: Also note that white, grey, beige, taupe and black are considered neutrals and will not be included in the scheme. Some people use all neutrals and just splash the project with the hues they choose in their scheme. That is a beautiful look. Some people want more color and use more color on their walls, furniture and accessories. That is wonderful too. Each person has their own needs and wants as far as hues are concerned. It is important to choose hues that make you happy, hues you love. I have found that the hues that look good on you as clothing also look good around you in your space. Perhaps that can help you.

Monochromatic – Monochromatic schemes have one dominate hue. It is very important in this type of scheme to carefully distribute tints – (white with the hue), tones – (black with the hue) and shades – (grey with the hue) in varying degrees to add variety and excitement to the scheme. Neutrals are another thing that can be added which are white, beige, taupe, gray or even black can be very dramatic in this scheme.

Complimentary schemes are two hue schemes that are directly across from each other on your color wheel, like yellow and purple. The hues that are directly across from each other on the wheel are the hues that makes that color stand out the most. This technique can be used to make hues “pop” or stand out as much as they possibly can. It is like you knowing what color makes your eyes stand out the most when you wear it. I can tell you the one that does this the most of all is the complimentary, or hue directly across from your eye color, on the wheel. Have fun with these hues that compliment each other the very best!

Analogous schemes have three to five hues that are next to each other on the wheel. For instance, blue-purple-red or yellow-orange-red. Sometimes we can see these color schemes in nature and with this scheme I think of the fall season of green-yellow-orange-red. Such a beautiful scheme for those who like these hues.

Split Complimentary scheme is a three color scheme that is one hue and the two other hues across from it that are on either side of it’s complimentary color (see complimentary scheme above). An example of this would be green, purple and red. This again can create a very vivid color scheme because the hues are very close to the complimentary hue and enhance each other almost as much as the complimentary hues do.

Triad Schemes uses three hues that are equidistant from each other on the wheel. This is like the three primary colors – red, yellow and blue.

Inspiration for these color schemes can be found everywhere. Take a look at nature, the sky, your clothing, your favorite painting, magazine pictures and fabrics. Be sure your scheme is hues that you absolutely love! Anything less is not acceptable. You must look great in your scheme. Your color scheme should make you look beautiful!

Find your interior design solutions today by going to [] and get started on the road to great interior design choices. Please leave your comments, questions and ideas for other articles. They are more than welcome. Happy designing, Sheree Douglas ASID CID

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