Friday, May 11, 2012

color forecast; what's next? (for you!)

I spend a lot of time thinking about color, mostly because I love it, and because it's FUN.

Most can visualize the color wheel. Traditionally it looks something like this.

Image via Google

When I begin talking like this, generally my clients either get panicked, or they go a bit glassy eyed.  Listen, here is a reason that you should pay attention. Are you listening? It will save you money. 

The more you understand about yourself in relation to color theory, you will save hundreds of dollars avoiding trends, and cherry-picking only what truly appeals to you.  Actually, this applies to fashion as well as interiors...and that's another, different post. 

The basic theory is simple, really simple----if you contrast the colors that you really love (say, RED) with a neutral that nods to its complimentary cousin (GREEN), you have a scheme that adds a sophisticated twist to it, and something that I call 'color tension'. 

Now, don't get all upset, I can hear the comments now. You've just described a Christmas color scheme. How original. 
Precisely. You won't forget this analogy while standing in Pier 1 because of that brilliant stroke. This lesson can be easily translated across the color wheel into any family of shades.  Take a look.

Tangerine with blue-green-aqua

This next photo is more of an "analogous" scheme (fancy way of saying 'related colors'). The use of gold and a slightly greener shade is very calming. 

Image credit; Google
Do you see the complimentary relationship in that tile scheme? Smoky blue pebble tile pops with the  rust colored grout. Javier Senosian does some incredibly cool spaces. You can see more of his work here.

Now, to leave you with one more piece of eye candy.

Isn't THIS color wheel fabulous?

Reinventing the (Color) Wheel
Image via Pantone

Doesn't that just make you smile? I'll never look at a little drink umbrella the same again. 

Here's a bit of mental homework: What colors do you gravitate toward? Why? Look around your home. Do you tend to purchase the same colors again and again? (Most of us do!)

If you enjoy this, you may like this as well. Oooo! And check this out. Where does one get that much yarn????

If you've enjoyed this post, please comment below. I'd love to hear how you use the color wheel (or don't!) in your purchasing. Do you like what you are finding in retail stores now? Do you buy the 'seasonal' things in Target? I'm dying to know.




  1. Where have you been?! I've missed your witty posts and great explanations! I love this- and I love the umbrella wheel! In fact, I saved it and its now my desktop background! Great way of breaking down something that can (and is for most) totally intimidating.

  2. Thanks Erin! I love that you love it! :)