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The Color Wheel

Using color in decorating can be tricky. Make choosing a color scheme easier by using the color wheel, a tool favored by designers and decorators.

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Finding the right colors for rooms in your home can be a decorating challenge but there is a trick to choosing a color scheme that decorators love and you can use too. It's the color wheel. We see color based on how light reflects off of a surface. The segments of the color wheel represent the science behind color, and also show how colors relate to each other. The wheel has three primary colors, red, blue and yellow; Three secondary colors, green, violet and orang; and six tertiary colors; red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-purple, and red-purple. Here's how the color wheel works. Colors are laid out on the wheel according to their color relationships. Learning how colors affect each other will help you create successful color schemes and also set the type of mood you want in your room. For example, the colors in an analogous scheme all sit next to each other on the color wheel. This room uses blues and greens and the result is a harmonious room with plenty of visual variety. On the flip side, complimentary color schemes are made up of colors opposite to each other on the color wheel such as purple and yellow. Because these colors reflect like completely differently, they create a dynamic vibrant look when paired together. Adding white or black to a color also creates variety. Take blue for example. Adding white creates what's called a tint, and adding black creates a shade. While both of these are blue, they can be used to create a totally different decorating vibe. The value or brightness of a color is also an attribute to know. Higher value colors are more intense while lower value colors are more mellow. Knowing how different colors relate to each other and understanding a color's tone and intensity, we'll help you create the ideal color scheme for any space in your home. Start your scheme with a color you love and decide what type of mood you want your room to have. Then, use the color wheel to help choose the accent colors and tints that will make the room look great. Explore more color schemes at bhg.com/colorvideos.