Color Theory

Last week I had a fan ask me what Color Theory is, and I thought it was a great opportunity to review the basics of Color Theory and it’s uses for decor. Everyone knows I love me some COLOR! But choosing the right colors, complimentary colors, can be difficult.

Fun Fact:

Sir Isaac Newton created the first color wheel in 1672. He discovered that when light was reflected through a crystal prism, all the colors of the rainbow came out the other side! He took the spectrum and created the wheel.

*this color wheel is by Boutet, created in 1708

Colors in Nature:

Take your color cues from nature’s natural hues! Nature has some of the most beautiful color combinations. You can’t go wrong if you decorate your home with the palettes from nature.


Black and White:

The rules for black and white are basic. White reflects color while Black absorbs color. The two together make for a dramatic and elegant palette. But to really make Colors pop, stick to white all around!

How to choose your colors:

The basic two rules are as follows.

1. For dramatic and striking color combos, choose colors directly opposite each other on the color wheel. These are called complementary colors. Like Red and Green, Purple and Yellow, or Blue and Orange.

2. If you want a more subtle look, choose colors directly next to each other on the color wheel, which are called analgous colors. Like Red and Orange, Orange and Yellow, Yellow and Green, Green and Blue, Blue and Purple, Purple and Red. See how that works?