As a Westchester County based interior decorator, I am frequently called for a color consultation. Clients seem to think that picking a color paint is the magic bullet for a design plan. And oh, how they labor over picking those colors! Which is EXACTLY what Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams intended!
Did you know that color is constantly changing? Well, it is. It’s almost impossible to see a color by itself – color is always being seen in relation to the colors that surround it. Through comparison with and contrast to different ones, we begin to understand how colors interact and how to apply this to room décor.
While we immediately think of color as art, color context is actually a science. And while Albert Einstein is credited with the Theory of Relativity, the original color wheel was developed by Sir Isaaac Newton in 1666, and since then, scientists and artists have studied and designed numerous variations.
Color context includes color harmony. In the visual experience, harmony is something that is pleasing to the eye. It engages the viewer and creates an inner sense of order and balance. When something is not harmonious, it can be boring -not engaging the viewer because the human brain is understimulated. At the other end of the color spectrum is a visual experience that is so overdone and so chaotic that the viewer can’t stand to look. Harmony in color is a dynamic equilibrium.
Formulas For Harmony
Color schemes based on analogous colors which are side by side on the color wheel-such as a yellow green and a yellow orange can work in a home. Complementary colors, or two colors directly opposite each other – purple and green for example – can also work. Opposing colors create maximum contrast and stability.
But no matter what formula you use, you still must observe the effect that colors have on each other as a starting point for understanding what will work in your home. The relationship of values, saturation and warmth or coolness of respective hues can cause a noticeable diference in our perception of color.
And that is precisely why people hire a decorator. We bring a trained eye (the scientist) and a fresh, intuitive vision (the artist) to a project – creating balance with the right colors, the right textures and the right scale. We help you avoid mistakes and save money in the process. Sounds like perfect harmony!