Understanding Colour Schemes

Colour is a powerful tool that can be used to create beautiful and inviting interior spaces. But, using colour effectively requires an understanding of how different colours interact with each other. This is where the concept of colour schemes comes in. Colour schemes are combinations of colours that work together harmoniously to create aesthetically pleasing environments. By understanding the basics of colour theory and being aware of the various types of colour schemes, you can use them to your advantage when designing interiors for any space. 

In this blog post, we will explore the fundamentals behind choosing and utilising effective colour schemes in interior design.

Colour theory 

Understanding the basics of colour theory is essential for creating a successful colour scheme in interior design. Colour theory is a system used to organise and describe the relationships between different colours and their properties, such as hue, saturation, value, and intensity. Understanding how different colours interact with each other can help you create visually appealing interior spaces that have balance, harmony, and flow.

  • Hue is the name given to a specific family of related colour, such as red or blue. 
  • Saturation is the name given to the brightness or dullness of a colour. 
  • Value is the lightness or darkness of a colour; lighter values are referred to as tints, whereas darker values are called shades. 
  • Intensity refers to the purity of a certain colour; highly intense colours appear more vivid than low-intensity ones. 

These elements are often combined into either ‘analogous’ or ‘contrasting’ colour schemes. An analogous colour scheme uses three similar hues side by side on the colour wheel: reds, oranges and yellows; blues, violets and greens; etc. while contrasting hues are placed opposite each other on the wheel: red and green; blue and orange; etc. This helps create visual interest and depth within an interior space while still maintaining a balance between adjacent colours.

In addition to understanding the basic principles of hue, saturation, value, and intensity when it comes to designing colour schemes in interiors, it’s also important to be aware of psychological aspects associated with particular colours. For example, warm tones like yellows tend to evoke feelings of vitality and cheerfulness in people, while cooler tones like blues bring about feelings of serenity or peacefulness. Playing around with these effects creatively while keeping overall balance in mind when creating a room’s palette can help you achieve beautiful interior spaces that reflect your own personal style!

Different types of colour schemes

When it comes to exploring different colour schemes, there are several options available for interior design. Some of the most popular colour schemes include: 

  • Monochromatic 
  • Analogous
  • Complementary
  • Split complementary
  • Triadic 
  • Tetradic 


The monochromatic colour scheme uses shades from the same hue. For example, if you choose a blue hue as your starting point, you can create a variety of tones by adding white or black to the blue base. Monochromatic colours provide a sense of harmony that is both calming and sophisticated. 


Analogous colour schemes use colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel. This type of scheme is often used in nature-inspired designs because it creates a vibrant and energetic atmosphere. If green is your starting point, you could add yellow-green, blue-green and olive to complete an analogous scheme. 


Complementary colour schemes involve pairing two opposite hues together (red/green, purple/yellow). This type of scheme can be tricky to execute but when done correctly adds a bold and dramatic flair to interiors. 

Split complementary

Split complementary colour schemes involve choosing one primary hue along with two tertiary tones from either side of its complement on the colour wheel (blue/yellow-orange/red-violet). Split complementary schemes create balance in interior spaces by utilising various shades from different sides of the wheel while still maintaining harmony among all colours used.  


Triadic colour schemes use three hues evenly separated around the wheel (red/yellow/blue). This type of scheme creates symmetry in interiors and is often seen in modern designs due to its ability to create dynamic visuals full of contrast yet still appear harmonious overall. 


Finally, tetradic colour schemes are formed using four hues evenly spaced around the wheel which creates a more complex design than other types of schemes (red/yellow/blue/green). However, this type of design also has the potential for vibrant visuals that can make any room come alive with energy and liveliness. 


Exploring different types of colour schemes and understanding how they work together harmoniously within interior design spaces can help homeowners curate beautiful home environments no matter how big or small their space may be.

How to choose a colour scheme for your space

Choosing a colour scheme for any interior space can seem daunting, but with an understanding of colour theory and an awareness of the various types of colour schemes available, the process can actually be quite enjoyable! 

When selecting a colour scheme for your interior space, begin by considering the purpose and style of the room. Different colours have different associations, so choosing a harmonious combination that reflects the intended purpose is key. For example, in a living room, you might want to create a relaxed atmosphere by sticking to muted hues like pastels or neutrals, while in an office, bright colours might be more appropriate as they evoke feelings of energy and productivity. It’s also important to remember that light affects how colours appear in different spaces; for instance, natural light has a great impact on the way colours look. 

Once you have identified which type of colour scheme would fit best with the atmosphere you are looking to create, it’s time to choose specific hues and shades from within that type. Depending on what mood you want to evoke, different combinations will work better than others. For instance, if you’re looking for something calming then try using analogous colours such as blues, greens and purples together. On the other hand, if you’re aiming for something bolder then complementary colours like reds and yellows are likely to produce greater visual impact. Additionally – when selecting individual shades, always consider the existing elements within your interior space, such as furniture or artwork, as these can help ensure your chosen palette looks balanced throughout the entire room upon completion. 

By understanding the basics of colour theory and being aware of different types of colour schemes, you can use them to your advantage when designing interiors for any space. From introducing colour schemes and their benefits in interior design to exploring how to choose a scheme for your own home, this blog post has shown that utilising effective colours is key when it comes to creating inviting spaces in our homes. 

With the right combination of colours chosen with intention, we are able to create beautiful living environments that reflect our personal style while also providing us with comfort and peace. By taking into account all the elements discussed here today, there’s no doubt you will be able to craft stunning interior designs using colour schemes effectively!

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