colorScheme system - Creating Color Schemes



Color Center

Color Learning Center
Color Palette
Colors for residential and commercial interiors
Choosing Interior and Exterior Colors
colorSelect System
3 Step colorScheme system
Creating color schemes 
About Color
How we see color 
Learning to use color
Advanced color principles 
Historic Color Palette
Color Theory Books
Color Theory Store
Design Archives
artSparx Store
Step-by-Step Tutorials
Bookmark this site




Using Neutrals
Creating harmonious Color schemes

Soft Pastels
Using Complementary colors to create soft
refreshing schemes.

Rich Contrasts
Creating harmony with bold color schemes.

Nature will often be
your greatest
color inspiration.


click image to change


artSparx Books

 Dover Historic Ornament and Design in Full Color  Historic Ornament and Design in Full Color ISBN: 0486452751

  Dover Historic Ornament and Design in Full Color Historic Ornament and Design in Full Color ISBN: 0486452751

Egyptian, Roman, Byzantine, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Persian, Arabic, Gothic, and more — this colorful compendium of 512 religious, architectural, and ornamental images encompasses the abundant variety of the ancient world.

More Books on Color
at the artSparx book store





Color selection and color scheming has become increasingly important in developing residential and commercial interiors, from office spaces, shopping centers and food service industries. Colors enhance and effect mood, work and play habits and contribute a subliminal role in influencing our desires; like hunger, passion, anger, peace and calm and more. A few of the following ideas will help you understand and implement successful color schemes in any environment.
Creating Harmonious Color Schemes
Creating Neutral Color Schemes
Color Effects on mood and desires
Using Earth Tones

A calm, neutral color scheme, allows natural elements like wood, stone and fabric to impart richness and contrast into this cozy interior.

Creating Harmonious Color schemes:

Residential and Commercial spaces alike, including industrial, educational and medical environments often are designed with a color scheme that that is calm, comfortable, and harmonious. They are often inspired by nature, that is to say, posses a gently harmonious, natural and generally neutral color palette. Look to nature for prime examples, walking on the beach one can pick up stones randomly. Carefully matching these colors to a paint color chart, one is often left with sand tones, light grays, beige and umbers. Pale greens, reds and blues may be introduced, adding variety, but the overall tone (chromatic value) of the colors tend to remain consistent.

Picture a 10 step black and white color chart. Black is on one end while white sits at the opposite. 8 colors gradate from black to white, creating a variety of light to dark grey tones.

Each tone represents a chromatic value, or color tone. When comparing colors to the tonal chart, dark red will have a tone corresponding to a dark grey, while pale beige is equivalent to a light grey. Choosing colors that have the same chromatic value (staying within one or two ‘grey’ tones on the tonal chart) will work harmoniously together, creating a consistent color value throughout an environment, even if you choose different colors to work with. Let's return to the sandy beach where you may find a variety of different colors when examining the stones, pebbles and sand independently, but from a distance, all the tones have approximately the same color value (or tone). This harmonious color approach works well in commercial and residential environments, allowing a variety of colors to act independently, but, viewed as a whole, impress a consistent and harmonious approach to our understanding of color, space and personal or corporate identity.

Neutral Colors Schemes – Plain and simple:

Neutral colors primarily consist of a selection grays, beiges, tans, creams and taupe. These colors generally work with most other colors making them excellent choices as background colors for walls and ceilings. In this manner, more vibrant color choices can be executed in  the interior in the form of fabrics, draperies and curtains, rugs and carpets, objects, furniture and accessories like throw-pillows, lamp shades and pictures or paintings.



 Book Special
North Light Mastering Color: The Essentials of Color Illustrated with Oils  Mastering Color: The Essentials of Color Illustrated with Oils ISBN: 1581806353

North Light Mastering Color: The Essentials of Color Illustrated with Oils Mastering Color: The Essentials of Color Illustrated with Oils

In Mastering Color, you'll find an engaging and unique color workshop -- from the basics of selecting a palette to advanced instruction on capturing light and designing powerful compositions.

Color Effects on emotions mood and desires:

Color plays an integral role in defining our perceptions, whether it is of us, our environment or our perceived notions about space and design.


Red is a warm color, exciting our perceptions and warming our desires. Red is often associated with hunger, anger, passion and vitality. This color is particularly well suited for environments that serve food, be it a restaurant, corporate dining facility or domestic dining room. Often red can invoke excitability so it is not typically well suited for medical or educational environments. Red is a bold, dominant color, overshadowing most other color tones by its intensity, therefore, when considering red as a part of your color palette, be creative. A room all painted in red can be dark and very atmospheric, even moody.

While this might be perfect for your intimate dining room at home, of perfect for the hip new club you are opening, a corporate dining place, with its larger dining area, will most likely be oppressive in all red. Consider painting one wall only in a red, with the remaining walls white or off white. This will add a lively, colorful and festive feel; generate interest as a visual space, while staying approachable and palatable. Consider further that this one wall is where you, as the color consultant or designer, will want the primary focus to be in the space. The food service area, the corporate communications or messaging area, etc.


Blue is generally a calming color. Though an intense, rich cobalt blue may be stimulating and vibrant, the energy created is still one of calm, happiness and comfort. Pale blues remind us of the ocean and sky, expansive colors and relaxing. When you think of your beach holiday, umbrella drinks aside, blue sky, warm sun and clear waters often jump to mind. The image alone is calming. Blue is also a fresh, crisp color and is considered a ‘cool’ tone (just as red is a ‘warm’ tone). Variations of blue values work well in institutions like educational and medical environments, as well as corporate spaces. Citibank uses a middle value blue tone in its logo and hence, associates that blue with its corporate identity. Viewing the logo and its associated blue color implies strength, security and calmness and is a very effect marketing tool of that corporate entity. When using neutral blues (blues that are almost grey in tone) one can utilize the advantages of integrating color under the Neutral Color Schemes approach mentioned previously.

The Color Wheel Company Big Color Wheel  large color wheel The Color Wheel Company Big Color Wheel large color wheel

The Big Wheel is a classroom size color wheel. The wheel is 26 1/4 in. in diameter. Illustrates basic color mixing. Perfect for classrooms, demonstrations, or any other presentation. Easel not included.


Yellow is a warm, vibrant and clear color. In its pure form it is intense, hot and generally unpractical in use as an interior color tone. Though this is not always the case, as can be seen in many interior environments from Mexico to Provence to Africa. Yellow can work extremely well when muted with white to a paler tone like butter or cream. In these instances yellow becomes a very useful interior design element in both commercial and residential environments.

A warmer yellow will be lively and can add interest and vitality to a space, white a softer yellow can inspire feelings of sun drenched walls, antique linen and cool spring mornings.


Green, a combination of blue and yellow in its purest form, offers many characteristics of both blue and yellow. Green can be vibrant, crisp and lively as well as muted, soft and calming. Examples of this are; Hunter Green, Grass Green for strong colors (often found in northern crafts of Scandinavia, and North America); Lime Green and Kelly Green are vibrant and lively (found among warm and island cultures like the Caribbean, Mexico and regions in Asia); and Celadon Green and Sage Green, calming and neutral colors evoking images of Italy’s Venice, and the earthy palette of the Arts & Crafts movement.

Earth Tones – Browns, Umbers, Sienna’s and terracotta’s

Earth tones are just that, colors we see in nature like browns, umbers, terracotta and brick tones. These colors tend to be harmonious, rich in color and depth and impart a feeling of solidity and permanence. Used well, earth tones complement most other color tonalities (except perhaps the vibrant, pure primary colors of Red, Blue and Yellow – suited more for open, uncluttered contemporary spaces). We see earth tones all around us, wood flooring, natural stone and tile surfaces, fabrics and wovens such a sisal and Hessian grass cloths. Integrating earth tones into your environment allow the viewer a sense of approachability and connection. These tones are part of our everyday existence, they are familiar and comforting. In addition, incorporating earth tones into your environment by using materials other than paint (like stone, plasters, natural fabrics, etc) not only introduces new color schemes, but integrates alternate elements into your living or working space. Diversity, however harmonious, adds interest and uniqueness to any environment. From the most minimalist contemporary interior to a sumptuous, over stuffed and darken Victorian setting, blending of materials from wood, fabric, stone, metal and glass, results in a myriad of solutions that create unique, impressionable interior spaces.

Using Colors for residential and commercial interiors

Understanding the 12 step color wheel
Creating a 12 step color wheel.
Basic principles of color
Primary, secondary and tertiary colors   
Tints and shades, value and hue, neutral grays
Creating harmonious color schemes
Using complementary and contrasting colors
Using triadic colors to create balanced color schemes
Using tetrads to create balanced color schemes




Join the artSparx community! Become a registered member now.

Capture your target market!
Advertise at artSparx and reach over 100,000 unique visitors per month!
artSparx Advertising Information

Become a link partner
Add features to your site! Free

Media Support Center
 Copyright 2011 Media Center Except as otherwise expressly permitted under law, no copying, redistribution,
retransmission, publication or commercial exploitation of material or concept are permitted without the express written permission
of and Copyright owner. Legal       San Francisco, Ca.   415.217.9087

DIY, home improvement, kitchen cabinets, tools, lighting, ceramic tile, home decor, kitchen design, gardening, home decorating,
patio furniture, paint, insulation, home improvement, fencing, appliances, art supplies, furniture, fabrics, decorative arts, rugs, fine art, historic restoration,
plumbing, power tools, hardware, home improvement, bathroom remodeling, kitchen remodeling, plumbing supply