The Different Types of Decorating Color Schemes

When decorating your home or an individual room, picking a color scheme can be a daunting experience. You worry that you may pick the wrong color and need to start your decorating project all over again. Following are descriptions and characteristics of the colors, based on a color wheel, to help you choose the right color for your room.

Color Wheel

Choosing colour combinations is easier once you understand the important tool: The Colour Wheel. The colour wheel determines what colours are complimentary to each other.


There are three basic groups that comprise a color wheel. They are as follows:

Primary Colors

The primary colors are red, blue and yellow and when used in decorating color schemes, offer a strong feeling to your room.

Secondary Colors

The secondary colors are green, orange and purple. Secondary colors are made from the combination of two primary colors.

Tertiary Colors

The tertiary colors are the combination of a primary color and the closet secondary color. For example, Red-Orange.

Color Moods

Even though the color wheel is an important tool in choosing complimenting colors, we must also consider the mood that the colors emit and create. Colors behave in three ways:


Active colors are warm colors such as red, orange and yellow. Warm colors tend to stand out and dominate a room’s presence.


Passive colors are cool colors such as blue, green and purple. Using cool colors helps to calm atmosphere.


Neutral colors are beige, brown, grey and white. Neutral colors neither activate or calm a room. They merely act as a combination between active and passive colors.

Colour Characteristics

As colors have general moods, each color has its own influence it creates when used in decorating color schemes. Browse through the influence some colors have to choose the right scheme for you.

Red – Symbolizes passion, empowers, stimulates, dramatizes.

Orange – Stimulates appetites, conversation, and charity.

Yellow – Increases energy, expands.

Green – Encourages emotional growth, balances, refreshes.

Blue – Produces peaceful moods, relaxes.

Purple – Comforts, spiritualizes.

Pink – Soothes, promotes affability and affection.

White – Purifies, energizes.

Black – Strengthens, encourages independence.

With so many options to choose from and depending on your budget you may want to consult with an interior designer or local painter to discuss your options with a professional. They will have a much better idea about the right types of paints to use and ideas about color schemes that work well together.

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