Choosing an effective accent color for your home can be a fairly simple process. Please notice, I said, “effective accent color;” there is no such thing as a right or wrong color. If you like a color, use it (regardless of what your neighbor says). However, you might want to consider how well it complements your other colors. Here is a simple method that has worked for me. Create a color wheel by dividing a circle into six pie-shaped sections. Write the word “green” in one section and then, going continuously in one direction around the circle, create a “color wheel” by filling in the other pie pieces: blue, purple,
red, orange, and yellow. Now, you can choose an accent color by selecting a color from the opposite side of the color wheel from your main color. For instance, if your room is predominantly blue, (blue walls, blue sofa and carpet) an orange throw-pillow will add “life” (or “accent”) to your décor. Likewise, purple is a good accent for a yellow room and red will accent a green room. This method will also work for selecting a third color for the outside of you house. If your house is green with white trim and you want an accent color for the sash, red will work well.

Here are some other considerations. First, we rarely use colors in their pure form; instead, we use red-ish or orange-ish colors. These are shades, tints or tones of a color and they can have much to do with the success of your design. You might find that a color is too bright and you want to “tone it down” or select a “tint” of it. To tint a color, we add white to it; toning is done by adding a neutral, such as brown.

Furthermore, a color may be combined with another color as in “blue-green.” In  electing your accent color, you should look closely to see what the main underlying color is; then, using your color wheel, select your accent color with its appropriate shade, tint or tone.

Finally, remember that none of this is written in stone. For instance, a soft (tinted) yellow house with fresh white trim will look terrific with tinted green (“celery”) sash. Yellow and green exist next to each other, not opposite on the color wheel.

However, using a “complimentary color” from the opposite side of the color wheel as an accent is said to add tension or excitement to a design. Also, designs that consist of tints or tones of one color can create a “mood.” Whatever you like – bright, soft, toned, tinted, exciting or moody – stick with it. You are the one who has to live with it. Take helpful comments with a grain of salt.



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