Tag Archives: colour schemes

Wishing you a colourful Christmas

Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Not “Season’s Greetings” or “Happy Holidays”.  Merry Christmas! Hanukkah gets to be Hanukkah. Diwali gets to be Diwali. Regardless of what you believe, let’s call it what it is without the fear of being “politically incorrect”. Christmas.

Now that I’ve blown off the steam caused by that yearly pet peeve, I wanted to share some pictures of Christmas decorating in different colour schemes. This may be a bit late for those eager beavers who begin their Christmas decorating as soon as Thanksgiving is over, but food for thought when you consider what direction to go in when decorating next year.

While red and green are a favorite Christmas time colour combination, I wanted to go beyond that and see what wild and wonderful decorating ideas people have come up with which fit into specified colour schemes.

A monochromatic Christmas:

This Christmas tree is actually black. A fad that has been catching over the past few years.

This Christmas tree is actually black. A fad that has been catching over the past few years.

A very modern and casual take on black and white Christmas decor.

A very modern and casual take on black and white Christmas decor.

For the sake of contrast, a polychromatic Christmas comes next:

I'm glad that they went for a white tree with these decorations. It keeps it from going over the edge.

I’m glad that they went for a white tree with these decorations. It keeps it from going over the edge.

Apparently this polychromatic tree was in the White House one year. I'm not sure but it looks like the "ornaments" are actually balloons. An interesting idea.

Apparently this polychromatic tree was in the White House one year

Red and green is the traditional contrasting colour scheme used at Christmas time but I decided to look for something different to show you, a blue and orange contrasting scheme:

Go Gators Go! Okay, honestly I don't know who the gators are, a sports team I assume, but pictures of orange and blue Christmas decorations are hard to come by.

Go Gators Go! Okay, honestly I don’t know who the gators are, a sports team I assume, but pictures of orange and blue Christmas decorations are hard to come by.

If I were ever to do blue and orange Christmas decor I would go for more of a bronzed orange like this. I find the full-fledged orange a bit much.

If I were ever to do blue and orange Christmas decor I would go for more of a bronzed orange like this. I find the full-fledged orange a bit much.

This year I am going to be switching up my home’s accent colours from violet and yellow to blues and greens, hence my interest in yellow-green, green, blue-green, blue analogous Christmas colours. These pictures were easy to come by. If you go into the stores this year you will see a wealth of decorations to go with this scheme.

analchrist2analog3analogous christmas

Keeping it neutral:

Very subtle and classy.

Sticking to the home’s every-day neutral beige decor. Very subtle and classy.

I’m not getting to every single colour scheme in this post but will instead finish with a classic, monochromatic red Christmas decorations:

Traditional and elegant. I love the balance of the red and white.

Traditional and elegant. I love the balance of the red and white.

For a less traditional twist on a monochromatic red scheme (hint: pink is a tinted red).

monochropinkchrist

I hope that you have found these pictures entertaining, if not inspiring and I wish you a very Merry Christmas.

For more general information on colour schemes see: Colour Schemes 101: I can sing a rainbow.

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Discovering colour palettes through art: Large Nude

In my colour class, in order to prepare us for future clients who may want their space decorated around a specific piece of art, we were asked to choose an inspirational picture. The goal was to then pull out colours from the artwork to make a colour scheme for the theoretical room.

This is the painting I chose:

"Large Nude" by Renoir

“Large Nude” by Renoir

This work was painted in 1907, and in my eyes represents a time when beauty was not determined by today’s impossible standards. It is inspiring to me to see a curvaceous woman lazing around nude, with a peacefully unabashed countenance. As someone who has struggled with an eating disorder in the past, it is a breath of fresh air to see an “imperfect” body portrayed as being so lovely that it inspired a masterpiece.

The colour palette I came up with below is an analogous colour scheme (See Colour Schemes 101: I can sing a rainbow). These colours represent all the different decorating aspects of the room, not just paint colour. One or two might be a paint colour in the room whereas the other colours could represent furniture, throw cushions, rugs, curtains, wood tones etc. They aren’t particularly colours that I would be inclined to design with in my own home, but the point was to pick colours that represent the artwork.

yellow-green (stretching a bit here, there isn't too much yellow in it)

yellow-green (stretching a bit here, there isn’t too much yellow in it)

yellow (cream is derived from yellow)

yellow (cream is derived from yellow)

yellow-orange

yellow-orange

orange (brown comes from adding black to orange)

orange (brown comes from adding black to orange)

red-orange

red-orange

I am still a novice at this practice but it is fun to play around with colour. The magazine House Beautiful has a section every month where they do something similar to this. If you are interested in the concept but don’t feel like buying a magazine check out the website design seeds: it beautifully demonstrates this practice and is fun to browse around.

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Colour Schemes 101: I can sing a rainbow

I have been teaching my daughter colour theory since she was under a year old, using colourful toys as props. Example, “Sofia, these blocks are red, yellow, and blue. Those are primary colors. When you add them together you get secondary colours like orange”. When I confused her enough with that I moved on to “Sofia, look at these balls, they are orange and blue. That’s a complementary colour combination”. When I recently started struggling with saying, “well..that’s not really red Sofia, its more of a red-orange…” my husband thought it was time to simplify things. Right. Keep it to “I can sing a rainbow”. For now.

However, if you are old enough to be reading this then you are old enough to let me indulge in talking about color schemes without causing too much confusion or stunting your learning curve.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are some beautifully decorated spaces exemplifying some common colour schemes.

Monochromatic Color Schemes: using any tint (white added to colour), tone (grey added to colour), or shade (black added to colour) of one colour.

Ah, Sarah Richardson, I love her bold style of decorating

Ah, Sarah Richardson, I love her bold style of decorating

Talk about sunny side up

Talk about sunny side up

Analogous Colour Schemes: using two to five colours consecutive on the colour wheel

analagous yellow-green, green, blue-green

analagous yellow-green, green, blue-green

Another beauty by Sarah Richardson. Analogous orange, yellow-orange, yellow, yellow green color scheme

Another beauty by Sarah Richardson. Analogous red-orange, orange, yellow-orange, yellow, yellow-green color scheme

Complementary: using two colours opposite one another on the colour wheel

I love orange and blue contrasting colour schemes. Or in this case, red-orange and blue-green

I love orange and blue contrasting colour schemes. Or in this case, red-orange and blue-green

Gorgeous lofty red-green contrasting scheme

Gorgeous red and green contrasting scheme. It doesn’t have to look like Christmas.

Split Complementary: Using two colors on either side of the colour’s complementary colour

Loosley a split-complementary red orange, red-violet, and green (though the couch is really more of a yellow-green)

Loosely a split-complementary red-orange, red-violet, and green (though the couch is really more of a yellow-green to be honest. Designers take liberties with these things)

Yellow, red violet, and blue violet (they snuck in a bit of blue-green two but ignore that :-)

Split complementary yellow, red violet, and blue violet (they snuck in a bit of blue-green on the ottoman but ignore that 🙂

Triad: Using three colours equally spaced from each other on the colour wheel

Triadic colour scheme done in red, yellow, and blue

Triadic colour scheme done in red, yellow, and blue

violet, orange, green triadic colour scheme

Violet, green, and orange triadic scheme. Orange is “the mother of all beige” and therefore the beige counts as the third colour in this triad.

Tetrad: Using a combination of four colours that are two sets of complementary colours.

Green, red, blue, and orange tetrad colour scheme. These schemes are mostly seen in children's rooms as they are quite loud.

Green, red, blue, and orange tetrad colour scheme. These schemes are mostly seen in children’s rooms as they are quite loud.

Two common color combinations that do not fit into traditional color schemes include blue and yellow (often seen in French country decorating) and red, blue, and white (often seen in…America)

A little bit of french country yellow and blue

A little bit of french country yellow and blue

Red White and Blue Colour Scheme

Tried and True, American red, white and blue. Its a fairly common coastal cottage type scheme.

Some non-colour “colour” schemes are achromatic, the use of black and white in decorating, and neutral, decorating with beige, grey, and/or cream.

Achromatic Living Room

Achromatic Living Room

Dining room decorated with neutral beige

Dining room decorated with neutral beige

One last colour scheme to consider is polychromatic…that is, the use of all the colours on the colour wheel.

I appreciate the artistry but I would go insane staying in this hotel room

I appreciate the artistry but I would go insane staying in this hotel room

Kids rooms or playrooms are about the only place you should see a polychromatic scheme in my opinion

Kids rooms or playrooms are about the only place you should see a polychromatic scheme in my opinion

Hopefully some of these examples will help you in your next decorating venture.  For more colour combinations pick up a colour wheel from your local craft store and have a gander. If you stick to the tried and true schemes it should help to make your decor a success!

If you don’t feel like buying a colour wheel this link is helpful for looking at different colour combinations on the colour wheel.

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