Decorating Tips: Nature, Psychology and the Color Scheme

Nature has provided us with everything we need to know about color.

Man’s curiosity about the glory of our Earth and the universe in which it exists, gave rise to its exploration. The arts and sciences were born out of the love of nature and a desire to exist more comfortably and harmoniously within it.

When our bellies were full and warm, and our families were safe enough, our interests turned toward wonders such as perception, beauty and artistic expression.

Our world can only be perceived because it is filled with light.

Light moves from the sun through Earth’s atmosphere, which varies in its composition of moisture, gases and particulates. Light is affected by these variations, so it tends to refract into a spectrum of colors, which originally is combined to make up natural light. A spectacular sunset or a rainbow, are examples of this phenomena.

The molecular structure of everything we perceive causes some colors to reflect and others to absorb. We perceive only those colors in the spectrum, which make up natural light, that reflect back to the eye.

We feel a relationship with color.

Colors affect us emotionally because of how are physical bodies and psychological aspects are balanced. People tend to share some of these aspects, yet they can vary greatly from one culture to another.

We can share certain feelings in relationship to various colors in general, but how we feel in relationship to particular versions of each color tend to be individual.

Variety is the spice of life”.

Decorating, for the most part, is an exciting journey into self expression. However, it can be a challenging journey when it comes to choosing colors, fabrics, tiles, furniture, wallpapers and fixtures.

There is so much on the market and we all have a budget we hope to stick to. Sometimes it is difficult to know exactly what we wish to surround ourselves with. Time to shop can be limited. If you are a couple that wishes to share decorating decision making, negotiating skills and relationship skills might need to be sharpened.

The market place is filled with decorating tools to help make planning and decision making easier and more efficient.

Color WheelThe Color Wheel is a color relationship reference tool.

This handy color tool is a rainbow in the form of a pie chart. The color spectrum as light blends between colors, but the color wheel clearly delineates each color for the benefit of analyzing their inter-relationships for color schemes.

There are names for various sets of color relationships-

Analogous colors are those which lie on either side of a particular color which is in the same family. Analogous colors are harmonious. Below is a description of analogous color combinations:

Violet has blue-violet on one side and red violet on the other. Red-orange has red on one side and orange on the other. Yellow-orange has orange on one side and yellow on the other. Green has blue-green and yellow- green on either side. Finally, blue is flanked by blue-green and blue-violet.

Complementary colors are those which are direct opposites on the color wheel.

For instance, red and blue-green are opposites, as are orange and blue, yellow-orange and blue-violet, yellow and violet, yellow-green and red-violet, green and red, blue-green and red-orange, blue and orange, blue-violet and yellow orange, violet and yellow.

Split-analogous colors are those which are one space away from either side of a main color.

Red, violet and blue are an example of a split-analogous color scheme. Yellow, orange and green are also an example.

Split-complementary colors are those on either side of a particular color’s complement-

Red, blue-green and yellow-green are an example of a split-complementary color scheme. Another one would be blue, red-orange and yellow-orange.

Another schematic possibility is a combination of two crossed complimentary relationships on the color wheel.

A Triad refers to a triangular combination of colors on the color wheel.

An example of a triadic color scheme is red, blue and yellow and violet, orange and green.

Another schematic possibility is a combination of two crossed complimentary relationships on the color wheel.

Color schemes can include an inter-relationship of value and intensity.

How colors relate as a set depends upon their position on the color wheel, but also upon their relationship to one another in terms of value and intensity.

Just as a particular color is chosen to be a dominant in a color scheme, there might also be a dominant value.

How dark or light a color is would be a determination of its value. Three walls of a room in a lighter yellow based cream color contrasted by one wall as a darker violet, is an example.

Another would be walls that are dark blue with trim that is in cream. Softer contrasts of value can be successful as long as there is enough of a clear contrast between them.

Another choice to ponder is creating a dominant intensity.

How “saturated”, or intense a color is, would make it stand out in a color scheme. A chosen accent color might be more intense than the other colors in a room. An example would be a warm gray room that is lower-mid range in value with a lighter warm yellow as a high key complement.

There are mixed colors at the paint store which are more complex than the basic colors on the color wheel chart. The colors will generally fall into a category of color anyway and the commercial paint companies have mapped out many of the color relationships with an array of values and intensities for the consumer’s convenience.

Your home is your garden.

When decorating, it is good to remember that all the inter-relationships of color, value and intensity, have already appeared in nature in some form. Nature is the ultimate inspiration for creating fine art or for creating a decorative living environment.

Each of us is an active creator of our own uniqueness, which we can express in a home environment that is meaningful to us. However, as far as the art and science of it- well, let’s just say that “there is nothing new under the sun”.

Website Framed Art Decor is a great resource for viewing inspirational photographic prints of rainbows and other photographic subject. The work of hundreds of fine artists from over the centuries are available to view and purchase as high quality prints. Frames for art prints and photography can be viewed on each piece with just a click.

Leagh Janell is passionate about fine art and decorating. His 30 years as a fine artist and decorative artist for a high profile clientele have afforded him some authority in those fields. At present, Mr. Janell writes for

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment