Give Your Home a Sense of Continuity With a Harmonious Color Scheme

To provide a sense of continuity, a home's color scheme should flow from room to room. Does that mean that the color for each room must be the same? Of course not. Yet the colors you choose should blend together to provide a harmonious environment that makes people feel comfortable when they walk from one room into another.

To choose such a scheme, one does not need to be a design expert, nor have extensive knowledge of color theory. Your own preferences can guide you in your choice. Here are some tips to get you started on choosing your home's colors.

Use a Color Wheel To Help You Choose

A color wheel is a circular illustration that allows you to see the entire spectrum of possible colors-both primary and tertiary-at a single glance. Primary colors are yellow, red, and blue. Tertiary colors-orange, green, and purple-are created by mixing two primary colors together. You can usually pick a color wheel up for free at a home improvement store or an art supply center.

Choose Colors That Appeal to Your Tastes

When you look at the color wheel, which of those main colors appeal to you most? If only one color sticks out in your mind, you may want to go with a monochromatic-or single-colored- color scheme for your home. With such a color scheme, you would choose various tones of your favorite color to decorate your home.

If you like two colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, you may prefer an analogous color scheme. An analogous color scheme, such as purple with blue, or green with blue, usually provides a relaxed, soothing feel in your home.

If the colors that you prefer are across from each other on the color wheel, you will achieve a bold look in your home. Blue and orange, for instance, is a complementary color scheme that will create an exciting feeling when you walk into your home. With a complementary color scheme, you may want to dial down some of the excitement by using the two complementary colors as accent, and then using a neutral grey or cream for the base color.

Once you have selected your color scheme, however, you are ready to choose the wall coverings, flooring, furniture, and accent pieces for your home. If you select them to blend with your overall scheme, you will have a harmonious look all through your home.

Many people, however, like to work in the opposite direction to find a color. If they have a favorite possession, such as a painting, a quilt, or another piece of fabric, they may want to choose a color scheme that picks out the main colors in that piece. That one piece can inspire the d├ęcor for an entire home.

Choose Lighting to Accent Your Color Scheme

Lighting can make a huge impact on the color scheme in your home. Natural sunlight from a window or skylight will bring in warm tones of lights-yellows in the morning and oranges late in the afternoon and evening. Regular fluorescent lighting, however, produces cool, blue-toned light. Some fluorescent lights that put out warmer tones, can, however, be purchased. Look for the term "warm" on the box. Incandescent light bulbs usually create warmer tones of light, slightly more red than natural light.

As you look through the choices of light bulbs at the store, be careful to read the information on the package. There are so many choices today in both fluorescent, LED, and incandescent lights. Take care to choose the right bulb to create the right mood in each of your rooms. Work with your colors, and select lighting that best shows off your home's colors.

The surfaces that reflect the lights can also impact the color in your room. Light reflecting off a bluish-white ceiling, for instance, will have cooler tones than that reflecting off a creamy white ceiling, with its warm yellow undertones. If you choose lighting that works with your chosen colors, your color scheme will be well-balanced and harmonious.