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The 4 basic colour schemes used in interior design

Updated on June 22, 2014

1. Monochromatic scheme

This is based on two or more variations of same color. It is the use of one color but with various shades and tints of the major color. For example, a carpet of deep blue-green with furniture being a lighter value and a wall of third value i.e. a much lighter color.

Color wheel

The image above shows the color wheel and their combination. The color wheel is made up of three basic set of colors. The primary colors, the secondary colors and tertiary colors. The primary colors are made up of red, blue and yellow. The secondary colors are made up of orange (gotten from yellow + red), green (gotten from yellow + blue) and violet (gotten from blue + red). The tertiary colors are yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, red-violet, and red-orange. The color schemes are

2. Analogous schemes

This is the use of colors that are adjacent in the color wheel and have one hue in common. It might consist of all hues from yellow to green but not including blue. For your better understanding, it’s three consecutive hues which include one primary color, one secondary color and one tertiary color consecutively.

3. Complementary schemes

This scheme is based on contrast. Nature, in reality, uses more of this scheme. There are two types of this color scheme: The simple complementary scheme and the double or split complementary scheme. The simple complementary scheme is based on the opposites on the color chart. A more interesting combination is seen between a primary and secondary color such as yellow and violet, red and green blue and orange than in the opposites of tertiary colors.

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The double complementary scheme

The double or split complementary scheme combines analogous hues with the compliment of one of them. The key color should be the purest.

For example, yellow with red-violet and blue violet, red with yellow-green and blue-green and blue with yellow-orange and red-orange.

4. Triad scheme

This scheme consists of hues four steps apart and of equal distance from each other on the color chart. For example, yellow, blue, red or orange, green, violet or yellow-orange, red-violet, blue-green.

It’s also important to know that yellow-green and red-violet form a distinction between warm and cool colors and are use to blend warm and cool colors during color combination.

Use these schemes in your next interior decoration and tell us the results using the comment section.


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