Color Theory and Using the Color Wheel in Your Home

Article Posted By: Home Depot Staff

A clever infographic that make color theory easy to understand and apply in home decorating

What you see has the biggest influence on the way you perceive the world. What you see first is color. But to use color effectively, you have to understand what works, and what doesn’t. Here’s a quick and easy guide to color theory and using the color wheel when you’re painting your home.

Color Tips

  • Pick you paint color last– It is much easier to match a paint color to a rug, artwork or fabric than to try to match those items to walls that are already painted.
  • One hue, lots of uses– A foolproof way to create a sophisticated color palette is to choose one color and use it in many different hues. The variations within the same color create a rich look.
  • Change a lot with a little– The easiest way to add color to you space is with paint and accessories. When you need a fresh color palette, just switch out the accessories or repaint.
  • Small spaces, big impact– Feeling timid about adding color? Try painting a small space, such as a powder room. Lots of color in a small space equals major impact.

Picking Your Color Accents

There’s more to color than meets the eye. A basic understanding of how colors relate to each other is the first you need in order to use color effectively.

In color theory there are three basic types of color relationships.

  • Complementary– These are colors that are opposite one another on the color wheel. This combination can be tricky to pull off in an interior space.
  • Split Complementary– This includes a main color and the two main colors on either side of its complementary (opposite) color.
  • Analagous– These are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.

Putting Your Colors to Use

Color theory isn’t just about decorating your home. Colors can have surprisingly strong psychological and even physiological effects on people.

  • Yellow is perhaps the hardest color to get right. A good rule of thumb is to tone down the yellow tint you like by one or two shades.
  • Red can increase muscle reaction time, raise your blood pressure and stimulate risk taking.
  • Pink has been shown to slow pulses and calm people down.
  • Yellow and orange reportedly stimulate the appetite. Eat in a green or blue room if you’re trying to lose weight.

The associates at your nearest Home Depot store will be happy to help you choose the right paint colors to get the look you’re after in your home decor. You can also find everything you need for your next painting project in our online Home Depot Paint Department.  

For more paint ideas and inspiration, follow our All About Paint pin board on Pinterest.