Understanding the Language of Color
If you walk into a fabric store, itâ€™s easy to pinpoint the colors you love. However, if you donâ€™t know the ins and outs when it comes to what colors mean, you might have a hard time getting the right fabrics for your home. Here is a little guide so you can feel more confident when working through the color wheel to find the perfect scheme for the rooms you are designing.
Tint is the mixture of a saturated color with white, which increases lightness. All pastels would be considered a tint.
Shade is the mixture of a saturated color with black, which reduces lightness. All muted colors would be considered shades.
Hue is the property of light by which the color of an object is classified as red, blue, green or yellow in reference to the spectrum. Basically, itâ€™s just another name for color.
Value refers to the relative lightness or darkness of a certain area. As a general rule, colors of the same value work better together.
Primary colors are red, yellow and blue.
Secondary colors are orange, green and purple. These colors are created when mixed from the two primary colors that flank them: red and yellow make orange, blue and yellow make green and red and blue make purple.
Tertiary colors are a blend of a secondary color and the primary color closest to it on the color wheel. They are not half and half blends, but rather a blend containing more of one color than another. Mixing the primary color yellow, with the secondary color orange, will give you the tertiary color yellow-orange. Another example would be red (primary) mixed with orange (secondary), which would make red-orange. Other tertiary colors are blue-green, yellow-green, blue-violet and red-violet.
Complementary colors are opposite to each other on the color wheel: green and red, purple and yellow, orange and blue. Other colors would include lime green and magenta and teal and coral. The high contrast of complementary colors creates a vibrant look especially when used at full saturation. You donâ€™t have to stick with the literal colors on the color wheel in order to get complementary colors. Today, there are updated schemes that can be executed brilliantly with wall color, accents and fabric on chair cushions and pillows.
Monochromatic colors are all the colors (tints, tones, and shades) of a single hue. For example a monochromatic room in blue might start with a single shade of blue paired with white. It might also include pale blue walls, medium blue window treatments and dark blue upholstery. To tie the scheme together, the rug or accents might be a combination of blue and white.
Analogous colors are colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. Some examples would be green, yellow-green and yellow or red, red-violet and violet.
If you still have question, we will be happy to help you sort through our fabulous assortment of designer fabrics at Cutting Corners in Dallas, TX. Feel free to stop in Monday through Sunday during our shop hours, and we will assist you with all of your fabrics questions!