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Visual aesthetics - what colors look good together?

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Crayons, water colors, pastels, oil paints, flower arranging, wedding florals, decorative gift baskets, home decorating, photography, art, digital composition, web design... over 50 years in the study of color design.

If you don't know what you're doing, use a monochromatic color scheme - you almost can't do it wrong.

Decorate - Color Schemes
Graphics Color Design
Website Color Design
Advanced Color Design
Blending and Creating Color
Color Smart Charts
Color Wheels
Color Theory
Color Psychology
HTML Color
RGB Color
Monochromatic Color Schemes
Complements, Triads, Tetrads
Decorating with Color
Home, Office, Gardens
Flowers, Birds, Butterflies

Advanced color design - professional results in color decorating, color for websites, color for graphics, color for logos, stationery, brochures and color in photography.

HTML and RGB are tools for website and precise color design. The numerical code for color insures that you will use the same shade of color every time. In color design, getting the color exactly right is very important. Some reds have a lot of yellow, others have a lot of blue, and the effect is very different. The same is true of green - either blue or yellow will dominate and make green either cool or warm. In red and green, leaning towards the blue side, rather than the yellow side of the color wheel will make the color appear more expensive. Adding black or grey to a color will make the color appear more expensive. Look at the colors used on expensive cars. Taken to the maximum impact, you will see more silver, grey, white, pale beige, champaigne, or black cars, regardless of make and model wherever the wealthy congregate.

It would take an incredible sale with huge savings to make most people buy a color they don't prefer. You almost can't sell a person a color they don't like.

Color changes everything.

Color speaks more than a thousand words.
Color makes an unforgettable impression.

Sometimes the smallest changes make a dramatic difference. Color will make the difference between annoying and boring or dynamic and sophisticated.

Color Speaks
Blue is serene, tranquil, dignified.
Red is exuberant and shouts.
Yellow is cheerful and sunny.
Green is harmonious and unifying.
Orange jumps up and down.
Soft orange - peach - is welcoming.
Brown is warm, dependable, traditional.
Burgundy adds life to dark colors.
Dark blue is serious and conservative.
Grey is serious, conservative, professional, sophisticated.
Black is permanent, alone it is depressing.
White is refined and sophisticated.

Your color scheme will set the tone of your home or office. You will combine the primary colors (red, yellow and blue) with white, grey and black to create the color decorating combinations you like.

The fewer the colors - the greater the visual aesthetics.

The most pleasing color schemes - and the easiest - are all one color (monochromatic), usually in the walls, fabrics and accessories. Solid colors are the safest for fabrics and the easiest to dress up with accessories. You can easily update the "look" or make a major change with just minor color changes to your accessories, such as vases or pillows. The monochromatic color scheme is safe and gives the appearance it was "professionally decorated" or designed. It almost can't be done incorrectly. It does not matter whether you are decorating your home or designing for business. One attractive, basic color in different shades will produce the most pleasing and professional results.

If you take a drive in the country during the summer, you will see thousands of shades of green everywhere you look. The sky consists of thousands of shades of blue. The ocean and the seas consist of thousands of shades of blue and green. Nature adds a little brown and grey for contrast in the trees and rocks. And while they are not flashy, they are extremely pleasing to look at.

Nature offers the best tips on color decorating. The generous use of a variety of greens will create a pleasing easy living pallette. The same is true of blue when used in multiple shades of blue. Not everyone likes brown, but browns work equally well - and browns can be nicely blended with burgundy, purple or shades of gold.

Nature does add contrasting colors for excitement, but she does it sparingly. The rich yellows, oranges, reds and purples of a cloudy sunset will totally capture your attention. She does the same thing with flowers in the spring and summer. And she puts on a fantastic display again in the autumn. But these are only accent colors - they are never the dominant color.

A drive though the country or along the seashore will provide a lot of ideas for decorating color schemes for your home. Blue and sand are soothing colors from the sky, the ocean and the shore - always comfortable and quiet.

The deep greens of the forest, leaves and grasses are not only comforting but have a quality of richness and luxury (the color of money). The opposite is true of yellow green and lime green.

In your home or office, you can add color in the imagery on your walls. Several pieces of decorative glassware and decorative pillows can be used to highlight a monochromatic scheme. Just change the color of the decorative glassware and decorative pillows, and you can create an entirely different color scheme and a new mood.

To add a "artistry" and pizzaz to a monochromatic - all one color scheme - add a single accent with the color opposite on the color wheel.

Red and green are opposites on the color wheel, and used conservatively are very artistic. Examples are burgundy with hunter green or speermint with old rose. Pink and burgundy are very often used with shades of green in a rose petal print because they are always visually pleasing.

Blue and orange are opposites also. Navy blue or sky blue with peach or gold can be luxuriously beautiful. The softer shades of peach are extremely beautiful. The bright oranges can be only be used successfully if they are accent colors - not the dominant color.

Violet and yellow are opposites - mauve, lavender and purple come to life when highlighted with a vase and floral accents of pale yellow or brass lamps.

Neutrals are muted and subdued colors. The saturated primary colors (red, yellow and blue) are diluted with beige, grey, silver and black. Your first reaction will be to the presence of the color grey, even if you are not aware of its presence.

Neutrals are generally appreciated by the mature, sophisticated audience, rather than a younger age group. The blues are more like silver than blue. The whites are more beige/sand than white, which is a diluted yellow. This use of silver-blue and beige-sand-yellow, which are both primary colors is extremely sophisticated.

"Country" colors are softened, denim blue, deep blues, dusty rose, hunter green and brown. Modern, contemporary, eclectic colors are neutral grey, beige, sand, white and silver, and go well with very simple sparse furniture. However, they can be blended into a country cottage style decor with a little creativity.

Grey muted colors are not pastel (feminine) colors - primary colors (red, blue and yellow) mixed with white.

Pastel colors are not masculine enough to decorate the male home. Pink, pale yellow and pale blue are traditionally feminine colors and should be used sparingly and with darker colors when decorating for a male household member or in an office.

Beige and grey, on the other hand, are neutral and can usually be used freely.

In the decorating magazines, you will often see white or offwhite furniture, and/or they will add white slipcovers on top of fabric that is too busy and disrupts the color harmony.

Good taste is what you like adapted to the rules of decorating. For the nonprofessional decorator, it is safer if there aren't too many colors clashing with each other. The fewer colors the better. A professional decorator can pull off a great look with yellow and red for a magazine photograph, but the warning label should say, "Don't try this at home."

A large amount of yellow, red and orange may appear cheap and gaudy.They can increase stress levels and make children more hyper.

Color creates moods.
White painted furniture is extremely beautiful and elegant, but can be high maintance. White or pale neutral colored fabrics are impractical for the home or office. Anyone with a family of children or adults who like to spend time outdoors will soon regret using light colors for fabric.

Yellow is bright and cheerful - you will find some yellow everywhere.
Yellow is not a professional color.
Canary, beige, gold, champagne, wheat, brown, natural wood floors and furniture - are in the yellow family - with either white, gray, black or red added.

Living with children makes the darker colors such as beige, wheat and brown good basic fabric choices.

Brown is a good foundation, yellow can be added in pillows, quilts and photographs.

Red shouts very loudly and usually has to be toned down with white, gray or black to be "livable". It is best used sparingly as an accent.
Add white to red = pink.
Add gray to red = maroon.
Add black to red = brown.
Small children will do less damage to the darker red colors such as maroon and brown. They wear well and are good fabric base colors as solids and patterns.
Red can be added with pillows, hooked rugs, flags, wall hangings and photographs.

Blue is calming and serene.
Soft muted blues are cool and relaxing.
Deep blues and blue-grays are dignified.
Deep blue or blue gray is good fabric base color as a solid or print for family life.
Lighter blues can be added with quilts, pillows and photographs.

Green is a mix of blue and yellow.
Green brings a harmonious balance to the other colors, as it does in nature.
Green grass and leaves are a dominant color used by nature to tie together and harmonize the exuberance of her color scheme.
Green adds the finishing touch to any color scheme. Live plants can best add this balance, but silk ferns, etc. are almost as nice.
Green glassware adds an elegant finishing touch, but should be protected from children.

Children roughhouse and throw things around - and it is a law of nature, something valuable will get broken. Move things to the spare room when they come to visit.

Orange is a combination of yellow and red - it almost jumps up and down because it is so "active" as a color. It is best used very sparingly. It can have an "agitating" effect.

Purple and violet are a blue and red mix. They are romantic, especially when combined with shades of pink.
Purple is not often used as a dominant color, it can be depressing.
Pale violet can be used as wall color and create a cool, soothing mood.
Consider color first for whatever you buy, you will end up with a coordinated look.

The primary colors can also be artistically used as long as you use only a few colors. The fewer colors, the more effective and polished will be the look. One dominant color will "settle" the room. A second color will be the main accent color and a third color used very sparingly can be the icing on the cake.

As an example, you might like your furniture in a dark denim blue, with a deep burgundy hooked rug and throw pillows, in red and white. In the spring you can change your pillows to yellow and add a golden brown hooked rug. Bring in some daffodils from the yard and you have a brand new decor. Your accent colors can be changed frequently just by changing your accessories, such as throw pillows. A similar effect can be captured with rich burgundy or hunter green furniture and a navy blue hooked rug. Sheer light drapes that blend with the wall color are a safe choice and allow more freedom to decorate with accent colors.

Surprise colors occur if your furniture has a colorful and multicolored pattern, you should be more conservative with your choice of color accents. Your accessories should blend with the colors in the furniture pattern. The human eye blends patterns into an average color which may not even be in the pattern. Watch for the surprise new color. For example a red and white stripe will often result in the visual appearance to the eye of the "old rose" or "pink". A green and blue check will often produce a visual average of "teal", "turquoise" or "pine green". A burgundy, beige and gold pattern can appear to be "brown" to the eye. A burgundy, brown and slate blue will often appear "purple". The "new color" should be considered when adding accents.

Painting the walls can be a work of art or a long-term disappointment. Walls are best enjoyed in a pale neutral color such as light beige or light gray. A daring adventure in color walls would be best done by painting just one wall. You can get an interesting effect, and one wall is usually enough, usually the wall behind the sofa. If you don't like it, you only have to repaint one wall. Color can be added effectively with throw rugs and throw pillows. The main benefit is that they can easily be changed, giving the room a make-over in seconds.

If you harmonize the colors, and add some inspirational subject matter to your walls, you have a room that you will always enjoy entering. Flowers and trees on the walls are one of the most uplifting art subjects, and just as uplifting as flowers and trees in your garden. Your color scheme creates the mood of your home and office. Color is the first message you send in your logo and business brand.


Photographs speak more than a thousand words.

Imagery is one of the most effective way to add colors to color scheme.

Family Photos - Tradition, Roots, Affection, Eternal, Togetherness, Values, Honesty, Integrity, Nurturing, Peace, Purity, Safety, Sharing, Teamwork, Teaching, Togetherness, Tenderness, Trust, Wisdom

Country Scenics, Farms, Fields, Crops, Flowers, Barns, Roads - Abundance, Environment, Good Life, Hard Work, Independence, Safety, Sharing, Simplicity, Success, Wealth, Wisdom

Wild Birds - Confidence, Cooperation, Ecology, Eternal, Faith, Freedom, God, Independence, Leadership, Optimism, Peace, Safety, Success, Victory, Winning, Wisdom

Geese - Teamwork, Success, Victory

Eagles - Achievement, Action, American Dream, Confidence, Eternal, Faith, Freedom, God, Independence, Leadership, Liberty, Power, Pride, Safety, Strength, Success, Winning, Wisdom

Wildlife - Adaptability, Cleverness, Cooperation, Ecology, Eternal, Faith, Freedom, Good Life, Independence, Nurturing, Peace, Power, Safety, Teaching, Simplicity

Flowers, wildflowers growing in the backyard or along a natural wood fence - Abundance, God's Promises, Good Life, Seedtime and Harvest, Simplicity

You can use frames from the dollar store, painted and repainted to match your decor, and pictures from magazines or calendars and achieve artistic style.

Decorating the House

Adjoining rooms should have similiar color schemes since they will be visible and have an impact on the visual harmony of the decorating scheme.

Walls should be light to keep the room cheerful.

The floors are a mid-tone.

The furniture and/or accessories are darker.

Curtains should balance the rest of the room, they should be light or medium unless there is a lot of dark color in the furniture fabric.

Good basics give the foundation for using accent colors in area rugs, scarves and accessories to add bold color and to easily change the mood of the room.

If the primary colors are not properly balanced they will make the room look disorganized and cluttered.

Accents should be used sparingly as either one significant piece or a grouping.

Decorating the Office

Gray Blues, Dark Blue, Gray, Brown, and Deep Green have a dignified professional tone.

Lighter colors of blue, greens or burgundy should be used to create a feminine atmosphere, in a business where all the customers are female.

Country Colors
Acorn brown, Terra Cotta, Butterscotch
Barn Wood, Driftwood, Chocolate
Cinnamon, Camel, Nutmeg
Dusty Peach, Pumpkin
Maroon, Burgundy
Cherry Red, Cardinal Red
Brick Red, Berry Red
Raspberry Sherbert
Antique Mauve, Orchid
Amethyst, Lavender, Plum
Heather, Rose Blush
Linen, Vanilla Cream
Champagne, Desert Sand
Winter White, Buttermilk
Antique Gold, Golden Straw, Lemon Yellow
Peach, Salmon
Amish Blue, Williamsburg Blue
Bluebell, Azure Blue
Light Periwinkle, Coastal Blue
Country Blue, Denim Blue
Prussian Blue, Blueberry
Blue Topaz, Robin's Egg Blue
Slate Blue, Navy Blue
Deep Teal, Sea Aqua
Forest Green, Hunter Green
Holly Green, Southern Pine, Evergreen
Olive Green, Jade
Lamp Black
Dove Grey, Flannel Grey

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What colors appear more expensive? elegant? junky? It's the way you combine colors that makes the difference.

Decorate - Color Schemes
Graphics Color Design
Website Color Design
Advanced Color Design
Blending and Creating Color
Color Smart Charts
Color Wheels
Color Theory
Color Psychology
HTML Color
RGB Color
Monochromatic Color Schemes
Complements, Triads, Tetrads
Decorating with Color
Home, Office, Gardens
Flowers, Birds, Butterflies

Color consulting available.
Professional color design
Interior Decorating Color Design
Website Color Design
Graphics Color Design



Color changes everything.
Color speaks more than a thousand words.
Color makes an unforgettable impression.

Designer color scheme selection for the home, office and garden with just a little planning.

Advanced color design - professional results in color decorating, color for websites, color for graphics, color for logos, stationery, brochures and color in photography.

Learn more at Perfect Colors!

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