Color Palette: A Little Color Wheel Lesson

Have you ever used a color wheel to make a choice when picking a color for paint, fabric, furniture or an accessory?  You may not have looked up the color wheel online, or bought one, but you probably used it sub-consciously.  I learned about primary colors in elementary school, and later how to mix them to make secondary colors.  But, I didn’t realize all the elements of the color wheel until I took a beginning design class.  I just want to touch on 3 simple terms that could help you to use the color wheel better when you are making color decisions in your own designs.

1. If you add gray to a color (hue), you are creating a TONE.

2. If you add white to a color, you are creating a TINT.

3.  Adding black to a color creates a SHADE.

The Room of the Week has a really beautiful, warm color palette of purple, orange, blue, gold and natural wood.  And, the reason the colors feel so warm is because they are tones  – gray versions of the original hue.  If you tinted them white, or added black they would create a different mood…take a look:

color-palette-tint-tone-shade copy

Which version do you prefer the best?  The original color?  Or a whiter, blacker, or grayer version?  Do the colors in your house lean a certain way?

500-daisy-upholstery-nails-brass-furniture-studs-tacks-[2]-436-p copy

12 thoughts on “Color Palette: A Little Color Wheel Lesson

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  7. I really like the tones… vibrant but not too loud. I just wanted to stop by and say hello – I was in the Alt class yesterday so that’s how I discovered your site.

  8. I love learning something new every time
    I read your blog. I really like the gray version, but still trying to figure out my own colors. Great job! Beautiful room!

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