Wednesday, February 29, 2012

dear, sweet color wheel (nerdy post)

You should know I've been studying, again. And I get nerdy with my posts when I've been studying. This is about to put over half of you (silent goobers) to sleep before the second paragraph. So, maybe you should just skip it if the words "color" and "theory" spoken together make you want to head for the hills. I'll have pictures of the baby tomorrow for you instead.

Consider yourself advised.

I've been thinking about color... again. Specifically, the glorious color wheel. More specifically, about whether or not I'm still an analogous color girl. Analogous colors are the colors right beside one another on the color wheel. Depending on how detailed the color wheel is, they're color combinations like blue paired with green or like red paired with orange.

Analogous colors are besties named Ana and Gus. They're always side by side. There, now you'll always remember what analogous colors are if you didn't already know! Well, I've always liked analogous color schemes... especially in muted tones of the colors. A tone is any color/hue of the spectrum with gray added. I (nearly) always choose paint colors from the grays or neutrals. That's where you go to get subtle blues, greens, purples, anything.

Isn't that beautiful?

That smallest inner ring would be my go-to for wall color - except for white, of course. So, see? Not pure colors. Slate instead of blue. My favorite colors are kind of nondescript. Is that gray or green or blue? The best answer is, yes!

apartment therapy

But, as I've been thinking more lately, this whole subtle-analogous-tones-of-color thing really only pertains to the color foundations of a room for me. The walls... the floors... the window treatments... the major furnishings. I like those things to be fairly neutral and fairly analogous... usually. (Wood floors would be an exception, but then rugs bring the floor color back into play). I like them to be shades or tones instead of purer hues...usually. And in this house I like them to be light in value. Very light in value. Value is how dark or light a color appears due to how much light it reflects. That inner ring is high in value. Pale pink is high in value... deep red is low in value. Like the colors on a paint strip... the ones at the top are higher value and the ones at the bottom are lower. There isn't a lot of natural light going on in most of our rooms (roof overhang... didn't count on that one), so we have to make up for it with higher value walls. Low value/dark colors would... and did... make it feel like a CAVE.

Lonny mag

I'm all settled on everything color-wise up to this point. But, then we get to accent colors and I'm still learning about myself. I used to think I liked the accent colors to be fairly analogous, too, like the foundations. If the walls were blue gray, for instance, I liked the accent colors to be within some part of the blue range. Or maybe one hue over on the wheel... green. But, definitely not waaaaaaaay over on the opposite side of the wheel. Like - orange! Eeek.

I don't have those same opinions anymore. It may be a phase, but right now the very FIRST accent color I'd want to put in a blue gray room would be orange. Just a little bit. Colors across from one another on the color wheel are complimentary. Beside one another = analogous and across from one another = complimentary. In general, analogous colors are soothing and low energy while complimentary colors are stimulating and high energy. I get a lot of visual stimuli in the course of an average day (5 children and all their happy stuff), so I still lean toward less is more in our most frequently used rooms. However, when winter days go on and on, I'm all about the color... all about a little complimentary action on that wheel.

(quick side note for the really nerdy: the complimentary pops of color in most of these photos follow the pattern of across and then over one. Nicole Balch, for instance, likes to put pops of yellow with pink. Pink, which is a tint of red (white added), has green as it's complimentary color directly across from it. One hue over from that is yellow. Across and over one is a pretty common trend right now for color accents. It's the "slightly off" look that Domino inspired. It's "off" because it just slighty left or right of the true complimentary color. I just figured this out! Nifty, eh?)

This is why I'm hoping to rely mainly on easily changed items to provide the accent colors. I want to play round with the color. Make changes without breaking the bank and without taking lots of time. I want to fiddle with color and keep learning about it... how it works and what I like. But, what I like changes so often - see the cyclical nature of all this?

apartment therapy

All the photos in this post are rooms that, for one reason or another, I'm really drawn to right now. All of them use color well and in a way I feel like I could live with and easily change up. I'm learning from these rooms and thinking through our own. One of the things I'm trying to focus on right now is learning how much color I'm after. For me, color is not a case of 'more is better'. I like it to have simple impact. No Miles Redd. How much is too much for me? How much is not enough and just too bo-ring?

Just some rambly color theory thoughts for your Wednesday.

Have a great day and happy Leap Year! (Wouldn't it be CRAZY if my sister's baby came today?!)

p.s. great summary of all the junk i said about hue, tint, shade, and tone :)


Rebecca said...

I love when you do posts like this! I learn so much. :)

~Jess said...

I'm all about color, love, LOVE colors!

jaylen watkins said...

Very interesting post. Thanks for this.