In my next few posts I’ll be helping you to figure out how to choose a colour scheme for your home using the Prang System of colours. Having a colour wheel to refer to for these next few posts will be really handy. If you did the colour wheel project a few weeks ago go ahead and pull it out, otherwise you can find one here. Before we get started on colour schemes, here’s a brief introduction to the Prang System of colours.

The Prang System of Colours

In 1660, Sir Isaac Newton directed a beam of light through a prism which created a rainbow effect – the light was split into a spectrum of colors which was linear with red tones at one end and violets at the other. By joining the two ends of the spectrum Newton formed the idea of the color wheel. 

In 1876, Louis Prang (1824 -1909) advanced color wheel theory and developed a color wheel which is commonly known as the Artist’s or Prang color wheel. The colour wheel is a circular rainbow. This is the one that I gave instructions on creating a few weeks ago.

Colours on the colour wheel can be divided into two halves, warm colours and cool colours. Warm colours are: yellow, yellow/orange, orange, red/orange, red and red/purple. These colours invoke a feeling of warmth as they remind us of things like the sun and fire. They create a feeling of intimacy and make a space seem smaller. Cool colours are: yellow/green, green, blue/green, blue, blue purple and purple. These colours remind us of things like water, ice or grass. Cool colours are said to be passive and tend to recede or rest. They create a feeling of distance or space. When used in interiors, rooms that are painted in cool colours can make the occupants feel colder, while rooms painted in warm colours can feel warmer. This illustrates the importance of understanding the cool-warm properties of colour when planning interiors. Knowing how you want the room to feel is an important step when figuring out how to choose a colour scheme for your home, as you can see from reading the above it will directly effect the colours that you start looking at.

When you are looking at how to choose a colour scheme for your home there are many schemes that can be created using Prangs system of colour. Below are the first of these – related/analogous colour schemes.

Related or Analogous Colour Scheme      

These are colours that sit next to each other on the Colour Wheel, and which share a common primary colour. The primary colours are red, blue and yellow. Composed of one dominant color (usually a primary or secondary color), then a supporting color (a secondary or tertiary color), and a third color that is either a mix of the two first colors, or an accent color that pops. These color schemes are most often seen in nature. For example, during the fall, one might see the changing leaves form an analogous sort of color scheme, progressively moving through the color wheel to create a gradient in its natural pattern. Related colours are always harmonious and can create very pleasing colour schemes.

Examples of analogous colour combinations

how to choose a colour scheme for your home

Tips for creating an analogous colour scheme 

  • Create balance between colours by choosing one to focus on. This will be the most used colour of the room, allowing you to bring in other shades as accents and pops. 
  • A good place to start when choosing colours is to select any primary colour present in your scheme as your most used colour, using the secondary and tertiary colours as accents.
  • With the colors in your palette so closely related, it’s easy for them to blend into each other, resulting in a muddled look that can be visually overwhelming. It is therefore important to create contrast. 
  • Contrast can be created through use of pattern, creating a distinction between your colorful pieces. Another good way to create contrast is to balance the level of your colors, making small, medium, and large color choices so as to create an even blend of tones throughout the space. 
  • Using a combination of the tips above is the best way to ensure that your analogous colour scheme is clear and pleasing to the eye.

For further reading and images this is a great article.









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