Tag Archives: green

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.

3 Comments

Filed under Decorating Basics

Eco-Friendly Decluttering: Cut out the Crotch

We all have more “stuff” than we need and if you are like me, two or three..or four times a year you feel the need to get rid of the excess. When it comes to de-cluttering our lives it is important to consider the impact on the environment. During my purges I have often been guilty of too quickly throwing things into the trash: ripped shirts, old underwear, fabric scraps. Who would want things like that anyway?

Most recently I took a class about storage and organization. A major topic of discussion in the class was getting rid of the excess in our lives. My environmentally conscious teacher passed on many tips for how to do this in an eco-friendly fashion. What I realized was that there is hardly anything that actually needs to be put in the trash, right down to your dirty old underwear.

Stores like Salvation Army and Value Village are actually paid money by rag companies for clothing scraps. So next time you are getting rid of old underwear, cut out the crotch , throw it away, then put the rest of the material in a bag marked rags, and send it on. You get rid of your old stuff, organizations get money to put towards their cause, and the environment isn’t harmed by extra trash. It’s a win win situation. The same goes for ripped and stained clothing. If you don’t plan on using them for rags yourself these second-hand stores are more than happy to take them and sell them to rag companies. In addition, these stores always need more hangers for the clothing they sell so if you are re-vamping your closet with some fancy new hangers, add your old ones to the give away bag rather than throwing them out.

We all know we can take our good used clothing to these thrift stores or put them in the clothing bins they have set up around the city, but some other organizations you may consider donating to include:  Cinderella Project, Dress for Success, and Dixon House.  Cinderella project is a good place to send old bridesmaid dresses to in order to help out teens who don’t have money for graduation dresses and the later two organizations help out women who are going through, or have gone through, some hard times and are trying to re-build their lives.

Hope these tips help you next time you decide to purge! If you have any questions about other things that you want to get rid of but don’t know what to do with, please let me know and I’ll ask my all-knowing instructor.

3 Comments

Filed under It's easy being green