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Using Complementary Colours in Your Home

So remember in grade 8 when you learnt all about the colour wheel in art class, and you were like "Whatever Mrs Smith, I really need to get back to these Mxit messages"? Well pay attention because there is actually a bit of science behind the colour wheel. Using it correctly can really help you update your space like a pro.

Before we begin, let's get a little technical about how the colour wheel works and why that information is a real thing. The concept is that colours opposite each other on the wheel are complementary and will work really well together. And why is that? Time to get scientific, if you stare for a long time at a block of colour and then quickly look at a white wall, you'll see a light afterimage in the opposite, or complementary, color.

There are 3 primary colours that we can make all other colours from, red, blue and yellow. Secondary colours happen when we mix 2 primary colours. Each primary colour is complimented by one secondary colour.

So lets get into some of these combinations.

Yellow and Purple

Image via Pinterest

This is a cheerful yet dynamic combination. If you are a follower of the blog you will know that purple and I aren't the best of friends. But somehow when it is paired with a sunny yellow I am more inclined to jump on board.

Like is perfectly shown in the above image, just a few well balanced accents can really add life to an otherwise boring setup.

Blue and Orange

Image via Cottage Modern

For me personally blue and orange is my favourite combination. I think it is the easiest to get right for those that aren't the biggest risk takers when choosing bold colours. It might seem like a daring option to pair the two together when you hear it. But when you see it the result is just the opposite; something so serene and brilliant.

Orange seems to have the ability to brighten up even the drabbest of blues and punch some soul into it.

Red and Green

Now this combo can be a little tricky. Thanks to a certain time of the year, if you chose the wrong shades your home can end up looking a little too festive all year round. So if you are going to opt for this mix stay away from the traditional Yuletide emerald green and bright crimson red.

My suggest is to be very selective about the placement and quantity of each colour. And most importantly the intensity of the shade your chose. I love how in the picture above the greenery in the plants is what is used to accent the bright red cabinet.

So now go and dust off your old art text books and have a look at the endless possibilities you have when it comes to colour. Look around a room in your home you feel needs a little TLC, ask yourself "What is the predominate colour already in the room?" Once you have that answer go out and look for ways to include its complimentary colour and you will see how easy it is to brighten a "blah" feeling room.

Share your before and afters with us. We would love to see how you put these tips into practice.

Lo-Ki Team


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