Colour relationships with the colour wheel
The relationship between colours is illustrated in the colour wheel (shown below). There are two key relationships based on the opposite and adjacent colours on the wheel. The relationships are are defined as complementary and harmonious colours.
Complementary colours are those situated directly opposite each other on the colour wheel: red/green, blue/orange and yellow/violet. When combined, these colours become more vibrant and are often used in commercial settings or dramatic residential schemes for bold designs.
Harmonious or analogous colours sit beside each other on the colour wheel. These colours work well together and create an image which is pleasing to the eye. Harmonious colour scheme uses three to five colours that are beside each other on the colour wheel. Examples are yellow, yellow green and green - when used together the colours complement each other visually. These design schemes tend to be serene and relaxing.
Understanding how colour works is crucial to making the right choice from a wide range of options for your interior. Other design elements such as light, surface and scale do affect and determine the colour we perceive. So, prior to planning your space, it is important to look at the room in detail and observe its characteristics. These can include whether the room is small or large, dark or bright. It is also important to observe the amount of daylight the room receives, how the light varies throughout the day and whether it is direct or indirect.
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