Understanding the colour wheel
Stripping it right back, the colour wheel is essentially a wheel made up 12 colours - primary, secondary and tertiary colours. Weather you’re an interior designer by trade, or it’s simply just a hobby, it’s important to understand the way these colours work (or don’t work) together, to help your home look more interesting and appealing.
Basic colours that can be mixed to produce other colours
- Red (Antique Hadschlu 8719 7 8 2 Red Rugs by Louis De Poortere)
- Blue (Lucent Blue by Nourison)
- Yellow (Elsdon Yellow by Brink and Campman)
Produced by mixing 2 primary colours together
- Orange (Trisquare Orange by Linie Design)
- Purple (Graced Purple by by Linie Design)
- Green (Entice Leaf by Nourison)
Combining one primary and one secondary colour creates a new set of colours called intermediate, or more commonly known as tertiary.
The 60-30-10 rule
Decorating a room can be difficult – with so many colours, patterns, shapes, textures etc. to choose from, coming to a final decision may take you a little longer than initially planned. 60-30-10 is a timeless rule used in interior design to help create a harmonious colour scheme.
60% - Base colour
Although not necessary, the main colour is often a solid neutral colour that is easy on the eye (for example, magnolia, light grey or blush pink). The base colour is usually the room’s wall colour and furniture.
30% - Secondary colour
The secondary colour will represent 30% of your room’s colour scheme - so essentially you will be using half much of this colour as your base colour. This could be an area rug, an accent wall or bed linen. It should complement yet contrast the base colour enough to create some depth and interest in your space.
10% - Accent colour
This is your opportunity to have fun with decorating. The accent colour should represent 10% of your interior colour scheme and its purpose is to have an impact and really stand out against the rest of your décor. Typically, accent colours will take form in decorative items such as pillows or artwork. Often, people shy away from using a bold accent colour with the fear of getting it wrong, but rest assured, the accent colour is simply down to personal preference. You will find that if a room is missing one of the 3 colours, for example the accent colour, it will look incomplete and as if it’s missing something.
Rule of three
You may have heard of this statement being thrown around before, but what does it actually mean? The rule of three implies that using odd colours in design results in a natural yet interesting grouping. It does not necessarily have to be the use of three colours, however, in interior design; three seems to be the optimal number.