Color Wheel Primer

Learn the basics of the color wheel, types of color schemes and color dimensions.

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Color Dimensions

In addition to understanding how colors work together, it's also helpful to know the three dimensions of the colors on the wheel.

Hue is commonly used interchangeably with the word color but technically refers to the pure spectrum colors in the color wheel.

The value of a hue is determined by adding white to create a tint, black to create a shade or gray to create a tone.

Saturation is the purity of the hue. The colors on the wheel are considered to be in their purest form. As the colors move towards the center, as shown in the graphic at right, they are considered desaturated where no hue dominates.

Natural Reactions to Color

Do you shiver when you’re in a light blue space? Fan yourself in a room full of red? Don’t worry — there’s a scientific reason why. Colors are indelibly tied to natural elements like fire, water, sky, evoking certain responses just as if you were seeing and experiencing it firsthand.

Cool Colors

Cool colors like blue and green do just that — cool and soothe your mind, body and spirit. It's no wonder we flock to the ocean and mountains to rejuvenate our senses. These hues are best used in rooms where you want serenity to prevail.

If cool colors make you geel good, check out these refreshing rooms for decorating inspiration:

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