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Color Wheel

A painter’s helper

“When you can’t do, plan.” This is typically my motto, because wasting time KILLS me on the inside. I am unable to move into my new house for another month (per our stupid buying agreement), so I am planning exactly what to do once those keys are in my tight-fisted hand. Granted, light and shadow in a room can change the way colors appear, but a wheel is a neat tool to get a handle on what colors to use. Hue and shade can all be adjusted once your in the room and can take variables into consideration.

Now, how does this thing work?

  • Warm Colors: Red, Pinks, Oranges, Yellows and any variation of these colors.
  • Cool Colors: Greens, Blues, Purples and any variation of these colors too.
  • Neutral Colors: Browns, Beiges, Grays, Blacks and Whites. These work with any color and provide structure to an area.

Here’s where it gets a little more interesting…

  • Triadic Colors: Are located equal distance from each other on the wheel.
  • Analogous Colors: Are located next to each other on the wheel (red and violet). When paired up they don’t clash because they have a color in common.
  • Complimentary Colors: Are located opposite each other on the wheel (yellow and violet). These colors tend to accent each other because they bring out the richness of each other.
  • Split Complimentary Colors (are you kidding me?): Are made up of three colors. 1) your main color choice (blue). Then you look at it’s complimentary color (orange) and choose the colors on each side of it (red-orange and orange yellow).
  • Monochromatic Colors: Are colors of the same family in varying tints and shades like blues, greens or browns. The only issue with decorating a room with only monochromatic colors is that it’s hard to find a focal point and the room can seem dull.

Now that I know how to see if they look good together, I am going to get a little more hippie-dippy and see what they mean. I really think colors can affect your mood. Seriously who could sleep in a “screaming orange” bedroom? I’d toss and turn for the first two hours of the night, never be able to fall back to sleep after a bathroom trip and then be pissed off the whole next day. I would snap at everyone and bite my co-workers heads off. The next thing you know I’m not invited to any more office outings and everyone stops copying me on e-mails- all because I painted my bedroom orange.

  • Red- associated with love and passion as well as war and danger.
  • Orange- associated with joy, healing and energy
  • Yellow- associated with authority, energy and intellect. I’ve also read that fights tend to occur more often in yellow rooms.
  • Green- associated with calm and nature. It’s the most versatile on the wheel.
  • Blue- associated tranquility and cleanliness. This color is shown to decrease muscle activity and reduce blood pressure.
  • Purple- associated with wealth and royalty. It symbolizes luxury and nobility because only the rich could get their hands on centuries ago.

This is by no means all inclusive, but at least I didn’t have to stand in the middle of Menards for an hour hassling the poor workers. They are only college kids, they hate this stuff, I don’t have the heart to make them research color theory.


About Kristen Van Loon

My name is Kristen Van Loon and this is the chronicle of my search for *Oomf!* Not only have I deemed myself qualified to revamp, repair, refurnish and refine my house, but I also jump into any DIY project that my friends, co-workers, family and practical strangers stumble upon. I would love to tell you that this is my full-time job and my complete life mission, but I make my bread and butter elsewhere and raise a daughter (Olivia). I have some experience but no time, no formal training and no money. My only saving grace is that I love figuring things out, I’m great at improvising and I’m always inspired. For the record, some things that I do (play with electricity, for one) may seem risky, and some of them are. I will always tell you what I’ve done, but I won’t ever suggest things for you that aren’t safe. Even though I push the envelope, I am only marginally incompetent. If sources (father, my brain, Google) tell me not to do something then I usually won’t. But if I do try and it blows up in my face (figuratively or literally) you will hear all about it, and you hopefully won’t attempt it. At the end of the day, I hope to inspire you. Space-Lift isn’t just a blog, it’s a verb. It’s an action that brightens your surroundings by assaulting everything that needs improvement. Nothing is off limits, and all possibilities will be considered.

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