Nature to Science: Color Wheel Challenge

Color Wheel Challenge

As an Interior Design student, a part of my studies was to focus on the color wheel. We see color everywhere; it’s apart of our daily lives. The color wheel takes the harmony of nature and brakes it down to a science. In this post, you’ll get a little color lesson!

Primary, secondary and tertiary colors are all of the components that make up the color wheel. This is so important to keep in mind when choosing finishes, furnishings and accessories for your home. It could alter your decision making on how you choose these pieces for your home. 

Basic Lesson

I’m going to give you a very short and basic lesson on what I learned. Primary colors are red, blue and yellow. Primary colors cannot be made by mixing other colors together, this is why they’re considered to be the primary colors. The secondary colors are orange, green and violet. Each of the secondary colors are made by mixing specific primary colors together. Orange made by mixing red and yellow, violet made by mixing red and blue, and green made by mixing blue and yellow. Tertiary colors are made by mixing one primary color with an adjacent secondary color. For example, blue and green are adjacent on the color wheel which create the tertiary color blue-green. There are six tertiary colors on the color wheel.

The value of the color is subject to change by playing around with the tints, shades or tones. Tints meaning adding a color and white together, shade meaning adding a color and black together, and tones are created by adding a color and gray. Bored? I’ll get to the point in a minute.

Have you heard of warm and cool tones? Warm tones are red, orange and yellow colors. Cool tones are green, blue and violet tones. Warm tones are known for adding a sense of happiness to a persons while cool tones create a sense of calm. There is so much to learn about color that you probably never thought was possible! 


Warm Tones in Nature
Cool Tones in Nature

What’s the point? 

The point of knowing all of this helps tremendously when making big purchasing decisions. It helps to understand color, color value and combining colors that create a harmonious design. All of this can affect how a person reacts to the color they see. It can affect moods, behavior and likability to the space. For example, the number one feel good color is the color blue. And the most disliked color is the color orange. Color can play a big factor in so many different ways. 

During color consultations with my clients, I always ask them what their favorite color is and why. I also ask what their most disliked color is and why. This helps me to know what to look for and what to stay away from. This also aids my decisions for the clients in knowing if we should design with warm tones or cool tones. Sometimes, I find it okay to mix warm and cool tones to get a perfect design, if the client seems up for the fun. However, the one thing that makes me cringe as a Designer is seeing a combination of warm and cool undertones used in an unsavory way. I can spot this the moment I walk into a room. 

In Need of Inspiration? 

I wrote a post previously on the color blue with some of my favorite blue pillows you can add to your home. Check it out!  Also check out Color Voodoo for more details on color selection.