creating great colour combo's
Applying basic colour theory to create great colour combo’s
In the first part of this series we looked at the colour wheel and its construction. In this second part we will look at some of the simple ways that this wheel can inform us in the selection of great colour combinations that naturally go together. In the world of colour theory these combinations are known as ‘harmonies’
the monochromatic single colour harmony
This highly effective harmony is created by combining various Tints, Tones and Shades from the same hue to great effect
the diad two colour harmony
These harmonies are created by combining two colours together that are separated by one colour between them on the wheel
You will often see Diad Harmonies used against neutrals.
the complementary two colour harmony
These familiar combinations pair two colours directly opposite each other on the Colour Wheel
This harmony represents the strongest colour contrast possible and can become very loud, however you will often see interior spaces using it with highly tinted colours versions of the hues
the split complementary three colour harmony
This harmony uses one colour paired with two colours on either side of that colour’s opposite.
It allows us to confidently work with a bold contrast by introducing a third colour that helps to take the edge off
the triad three colour harmony
Three hues that are equally spaced apart from one another on the Colour Wheel can provide some very effective combinations.
To get an even richer visual consider varying tint, tone and shade as you select your hues
the analogous three colour harmony
This final suggestion consists of 3 Hues that are next to each other on the Colour Wheel.
This can produce stunning very complementary results and often mirrors combinations found in nature
time to find your harmony
Now we've taken you through the principle selection tools it's over to you to start to apply them in your own schemes. We know that starting with a blank page however can often be daunting so here's a few tips on how to get started.
We suggest that you first consider what mood of feeling you want to create for the space. This will tend to direct you to certain portions of the colour wheel and give you a good head start. We find then that it's easier to look at building harmony between the key pieces of the room and the mood you want to create before you consider the larger surfaces such as walls and floors.
You'll see that we've used quite saturated hues in our examples for the purposes of explanation, however don't feel that you need to be quite so bold with your own spaces. You will often find in realty that most neutrals posses an undertone that adds, subtly and further interest to them. Think for example of how many whites are offered by paint manufacturers, each of them being very lightly tinted, toned or shaded. Look out for the hues of these undertones and use them to inform your harmony.
And finally if you get stuck then do what we all do and turn to the internet for help!... there are some fantastic free applications out there like Colour Hunter, Paletton and Coolers that can provide some wonderful inspiration.