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Interior Design Color Dictionary

 Interior Design Color Dictionary

Primary colors - red, blue and yellow.  These are pure colors.  All other colors are created by mixing primary colors. 

Secondary colors - orange, violet and green.  These colors are created when two primary colors are mixed together. 

Tetriary colors are created by mixing a primary and a secondary color both of which are close together on the color wheel.  This blend will give you a calmer, less vivid color. 

Neutral colors are combinations of whites, blacks, beiges, taupes, browns and grays.  These colors connect other colors.  If these neutrals are darker shades, they will calm bright colors down.  If they are light in shades, they will make bright colors pop. 

neutral colors 

 

Hue is another word for color.  It is used to refer to a specific color, like lemon yellow or seafoam green. 

Value is the darkness or lightness of a color.  Lime green, for example, has a light value, and forest green has a dark value.  Paint swatches usually range in value from light to dark.  If you have selected shades of one color to decorate with, choose them at least one space apart on a paint card. 

Intensity is level of brightness of a color.  It's how much saturation the color has.  Adding white or black to a color makes it less intense. 

Shade is a color that has black added to it.  For example, forest green is a shade of green. 

Tint is a color with white added to it.  For example, lemon yellow is a tint of yellow. 

Warm colors are such colors as yellow, orange and red.  They are active, make rooms appear cozier, warmer and make objects seem closer together. 

warm colors 

 

Cool colors are blues, greens and purples.  They are passive, soothing, calming, airy, fresh and open up small spaces. 

cool colors

 

 

Blue is an airy, cool, refreshing, calm color. 

Red is an empowering, dramatizing, competing and stimulating color. Pink is an affectionate, soothing color. 

Green is a balanced, refreshing color that says "growth". 

Purple is a mysterious, spiritual color. 

Orange is a cheery, commanding and appetite stimulating color. 

Yellow is an energetic color that expands space and brightens interiors. 

White is a color that makes all other colors seem brighter, more unified and in itself is pure. 

Black tones things down, while stabilizing and strengthening an interior. 

Complementary colors are maximum in contrast, because they are located opposite each other on the color wheel.  These colors naturally complement each other when paired together.  For example, pair light yellow with light lavender.  Some complementary combinations are: turquoise and red, lavender and yellow, pink and green. 

complementary colors

 

 

 

 

 

Analogous colors are the closest shades and tints of color on the color wheel.  They are very soothing and easy to use when put together.  These combinations can combine warm and cool shades to make your decorating easy and lovely to look at.  Some examples are yellow, green and orange; yellow, green and blue; orange, red and purple.

 

analogous colors

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