Creating a Cool Color Palette

Use the color wheel for your beginning stages of creating a color palette.  A hue is defined as a pure color and constitutes the colors of the color wheel. The color wheel is composed of twelve hues categorized as primary, secondary, or tertiary.  The primary colors are red, blue, and yellow, which cannot be made from mixing other colors. The mixture of primary colors creates the secondary colors: green, orange, and purple. Tertiary colors are then generated through mixture primary and secondary colors, comprised of yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, red-violet, red-orange, and yellow-orange.

Once you have chosen a core hue, the basic color wheel can be broken down into tints, shades, and tones to establish a monochromatic scheme. Add white to a hue to create tints, black to create a shade, and gray to create a tone. These color variations are often used to create variety within the core color. This technique can be used to bring interest to a monochromatic scheme.

Color schemes can also be devised from complimentary, analogous, triadic, or tetradic colors based on the color wheel. Any of these classifications can be expanded using tints, shades, and tones. Complimentary color combinations are classified as colors that are direct opposites on the color wheel; an example is violet and yellow. Analogous schemes are created by combining three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel; in this scheme, choose one color to dominate and use the remaining colors as accents. A triadic color scheme is generated from colors that are equidistant on the color wheel. These schemes are composed of three bold dominate colors. Four colors arranged into complimentary pairs make up a tetradic color scheme; this works best with one dominant color and the others supporting it.

It is always beneficial to include neutrals in all schemes. Neutrals allow for a transition between dominant hues and work well in all spaces. They are often used as main colors, and dominant color scheme elements are used as accents within the space.

We recommend applying these principles through wall d├ęcor and accessories to implement the accent colors of your palette.