Choosing Interior Colours With The Colour Wheel.


Home renovations are not just about finding builders, READ THIS to find out more about project managing and budgeting. Ok we are STILL waiting for planning but there are fun parts too. And for me its all about the colours, I am a visual person and am generally attracted by colour above any other design feature. So I wanted to talk a little about the colour wheel and how it plays such a visual part in choosing a decor. Part of this is to help me get over the monotony of the planning, I mean come on, you can only get so excited about plans and bricks? For me its all in the detail. 

So for part 2 of my series talking about how to project manage a conservatory I want to talk a little about colour and the theory of colour in interior design.

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How Does The Colour Wheel Work? Colour In Interior Design Theory!

Colour has the ability to alter your mood, make you feel chilled or invigorated. Yet if you get it wrong in your home decor it can be a disaster. Being colour trained, it is something that come natural to my eye.

But as I found myself telling hairstylist last week “Because we know something we assume that it’s obvious to others and everyone knows or understands. But that is not the case!” I really do need to start practicing what I preach.

So I wanted to tell you a little about the colour wheel and what a marvellous aid it is when choosing a colour scheme for your home.

The colour wheel is arranged into segments, each representing a different colour, the nearer to the centre you get the lighter the shade. The shades go around the circle in bands.

Using the Dulux Colur Wheel to choose a colour scheme

There are 3 main colours, red, blue and yellow. These are known as primary colours, by mixing the primary colours together you get secondary colours.

  • Blue + Red = Purple
  • Red + Yellow = Orange
  • Yellow + Blue = Green

If you mix a primary and neighbouring secondary colour together you get a tertiary colour.

To mix colours you always go around the wheel. (If you stand and watch custom paint being mixed it is generally made up from different ratios of primary colours.)

Which Colours Go Together?

There are several ways to use colour to create a colour scheme, as long as you get the basic rules right you can create a colour scheme then works well together and ties in all the design elements of a room.

How Do I Choose A Colour Scheme, And What Effect Does Colour Have On Moods?

Start by using instinct what are your favourite colours? However favourite colours don’t always work in the home. So also think about the sort of atmosphere you want to create.

  • Blue has a calming effect
  • Green is said to be a restful colour that helps to reduce anxiety
  • Red although linked to romance is best for social rooms but can promote a feeling of restlessness
  • Yet pink has the opposite effect is great for having a calming relaxing effect on the neves
  • Orange is great for energy and enthusiasm
  • Purple for promoting creativity
  • Yellow brightens the mood and promotes energy
  • White ( Not technically a colour) is not necessarily an energy or calm inducing colour, but can give a balanced clean feeling.

What Colors Work Well Together?

How Do You Choose Complementary Colors?

Complimentary colours are colours that sit opposite each other on a colour wheel.

  • Yellow + Purple
  • Blue + Orange
  • Red + Green

But remember don’t just think in pure strong tone the image below shows variations on red and green in their paler forms.

Creating a home office with Wayfair

In theory when you are working with a colour theme and want to create a pop of colour, going opposite works if you stick to the same depth.

Monochromatic Colours

This is where you choose variations and shades of one colour to create a look. You can either use this method in a dark dramatic look with lighter touches, or a lighter calm look with darker accents.

Creating A Chilled Out Bedroom L

Autumn Styling in Cool Mixed Metalics with Debenhams AW 17

Triadic Colours

This is where you use a triangle theory on the colour wheel and use the 3 colours it hits in equal measure, this is great for strong colourful but stylish look.

Chilling with the girls at Greenbank Barns

Contrasting Colours

Colours do not have to be in the same colour family to work together, if you use two colours that are not part of the same family it works very well if you choose one colour to appear paler and more subtle, but with a contrasting strong tone. In this case I chose, purple, and shades of turquoise.

Elephant Cushion made with Cricut Maker


Hope that helps? In many ways there are no rules with personal style. However getting shades and tones right can create a harmony in the home and interior design. This in turn can make colours look so incredible that it’s almost criminal not to pair them. And that is what you want to achieve. But the main thing is that you love it. 

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1 thought on “Choosing Interior Colours With The Colour Wheel.”

  1. I love this Sarah. I’m just (after 10 years of living in the same house without redecorating!) planning a kitchen makeover and I have no idea where to begin. It’s funny because when I lived alone I had very strong ideas of design styles I liked, but it’s deserted me since having a family. Interestingly, I do tend to favour pink though. I’ll use the colour wheel on my next room.


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