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Color Schemes for Interior Decorating

Establishing the color scheme for a room is of utmost importance. Ask any interior designer. To recover a sofa costs hundreds of dollars. Replacing the carpeting also costs thousands of dollars. But replacing paint on a wall - that's quite inexpensive and easy to do.

color forecast, forcasting color The best way to establish a color scheme for your home is to find a pattern or work of art or multicolored fabric that appeals to you. Maybe your inspiration will come from something in your wardrobe. Analyze the colors in the piece and determine in your mind why you are drawn to the piece. Look at the proportions assigned to each color in the piece. Unless the dominant color is very dark or extremely bright, it might make a good choice for the dominant part of a room: walls/floors. I'm qualifying this, because you really need to be careful of putting very dark or very bright, bold colors in large masses in your room. So think it through carefully before you act. Look at the smaller colors in your inspiration piece. These will make excellent choices for your room's accent pieces: pillows, floral arrangements, etc.

Your success will be in the "eye of the beholder". With a myriad of choices before you, this will help narrow the puzzling field down. To understand color better, you should know there are 12 colors on the color wheel. Three are primary colors, three are secondary colors and three are tertiary colors. All colors come from these colors and these are the colors that form what's called "color theory".

Your primary colors are red, blue and yellow. Primary colors are pure colors. They cannot be created from other colors. Instead, all colors are created from them.

Secondary colors then are orange, green and violet. When equal parts of red, blue or yellow are added to equal parts of one other primary color, you get the secondary color. On the color wheel, the secondary colors appear between the primary colors. When you mix an equal amount of yellow with red, you get orange. When you mix an equal part of red with blue, you get violet. And when you mix and equal part of yellow with blue, you get green.

Finally there are the tertiary colors which are formed whenever you mix a primary color with a secondary color next to it. When mixing a primary color with another primary color, then mixing it with a secondary color, the new color formed becomes less vivid - more subdued or grayed. Hence it is a tertiary color.

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Color has a wonderful ability to visually affect the size of things. It can make objects appear larger or smaller. It can even make rooms feel larger or smaller. And you can even divide all color into two color keys: warm and cool. Warm colors tend to advance forward. Dark colors also seem to move forward. And cool colors tend to recede or move back. So you can literally change the perceived shape and size of a room, or even objects in a room, by the choice of color.

Color Forecast
Color Palettes
Decorating with Art
Color News
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Barbara Jennings is author of 10 decorating books: Decor Secrets Revealed, Rearrange It, Home Staging for Profit, Home Staging for Yourself, Arrange Your Stuff, Advanced Redesign, Pro Art Consulting, Where There's a Wall - There's a Way, The Art of Hanging Art, Great Parties! Great Homes!

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