Whether you are decorating your home or planning your wardrobe, working with colors is exciting and creative. Just take a look at the color wheel and all the options available. To learn how to match colors, you need to understand the relationship of colors. Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel, such as red and green. Analogous colors are close together, such as reds and blues. You can match colors with blue by studying the color wheel.

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Learn the relationship of colors on the color wheel. The primary colors on the color wheel are red, blue and yellow. They form a triangle when you look at the wheel. Secondary colors are the mixture of two primary colors. The result is green, purple and orange. Tertiary colors are created by mixing a primary and a secondary color. Complementary colors are opposites on the color wheel and analogous colors are located close together. There is also the active range of colors and the passive range of colors on the color wheel. Active colors will advance when placed against passive, and passive colors will recede when placed against active.

Learn how to decorate with the color blue. There are a number of ways to use the color wheel when decorating. Four common color schemes are monochromatic, analogous, complementary and triad. If you want to use monochromatic blue than use blue in varying intensities from a light blue to a dark blue. Analogous use of blue would be two to six colors surrounding a shade of blue. An example would be deep purple into light green. A high contrast look would be to go from the shades of blue to directly across the color wheel. The shades across the wheel are shades of red, so pair a medium blue with an orange. A triad approach would be choosing three colors that are equal distance from each other. Blue looks great with yellows and reds.

Learn how to use the color wheel for dressing with blue. The color wheel is great to use for deciding how to match your clothes using blue as the base color. The concept is similar to decorating your home, but it’s not quite as dramatic. A stylish and business approach is using the monochromatic scheme. A dark blue suit with a light blue shirt or blouse and a mid-blue tie or scarf makes the statement of dressing for success. An analogous color scheme would be a dark blue suit, light blue shirt or blouse and a red tie or scarf. For complimentary colors, try a navy suit, light blue shirt or blouse and an orange tie or scarf. Other complimentary colors with navy blue are rust and gold.

Use the color wheel for matching other colors besides blue. The color wheel is a creative guide, not only for decorating your home or dressing for success, but for web pages, quilt design, crafts or any avenue where color is used for creativity.

Tips

  • When using three color combinations, such as analogous or triad, make the third color an accent color. Don’t have equal balance. This is true in decorating and in dressing.

References and Resources

Color basics