When picking paint colors, fabrics, carpeting colors, etc, a person has to first figure out if their wood furniture is either yellow based (warm) or blue based (cool), and adjust their color choices from there. The Color Wheel ..All colors are really made by combining just three primary colors; Red, Yellow and Blue. If you have an Epson color printer-scanner like I do, your Red is Magenta and Light Magenta, you have one Yellow, and your Blue is Cyan and Light Cyan. Black is also part of your ink supply to darken the just mentioned colors.
In the scientific world White is considered all colors. White light passing through a prism refracts and makes all colors creating the rainbow. Black, being opposite to white is considered the absence of all color.
The three Primary colors Red, Yellow and Blue, when combined make the Secondary colors. Red plus blue makes Violet (purple). Red and yellow make Orange, and Yellow plus blue make Green. The Tertiary colors are made by combining one primary and one secondary color that is along side of it on the color wheel. The tertiary colors are Yellow-Green, Blue-Green, Blue-Violet, Red-Violet, Red-Orange and Yellow-Orange.
Now look at the color wheel. The Warm Colors, as I said before are made by combining Yellow and another color. The warm yellow based colors on the color wheel are yellow-green, yellow (the first primary color), yellow-orange, orange (yellow+red), red-orange, and red (the second primary color).
Your Cool Colors are all made by adding Blue to a color. The first cool color is red-violet, then violet (blue+red), followed by blue-violet, blue (the third primary color), blue-green, and green (blue+yellow).
On the color wheel, colors that are directly across from each other are called opposites or complementary colors. The primary opposites are yellow and violet (purple), red and green, and orange and blue. Of the three groupings just listed, the first color is the warm color, the second is the cool. All the other colors between the primary and secondary colors have their opposites, which are shown across from each other on the color wheel.
If a person were to mix any of the colors on the color wheel with a color directly opposite it, depending on how much color was added, they would get different degrees of a brown-muddy color.Tints and Shades ..On a paint color strip you see a variety of different tones of the same color. A Shade is the darkest value of a color on that paint color strip, a Tint is the lightest value of a color on that strip. The different tones of colors between the darkest shade and lightest tint are made by adding different amounts of white to the shade color to lighten it.
On the paint color strip samples for this section of the post, notice that the darkest tone (shade) is at the top of each strip, with two lighter tones below it. Then go to the bottom of the strips and notice how the progression of tones works upward, ending with the lightest tint of that color strip in the center. Yellow Based Woods and Paint Colors that go with them ..Golden oak, birch, honey maple, hickory and pine are some of the names of yellow based woods. If you were trying to compare them to the color wheel they would be yellow to yellow-orange in color. Old maple, natural cherry and red oak are examples of woods that are red-orange in color. They are on the darker side of the yellow based woods.
Now look at color sample 1, which shows a sample of wood that is golden beige; it would be close to yellow on the color wheel.
Samples 2 and 3 show wood tones that are close in tone to yellow-orange.
Sample 4 is similar to red-orange on the color wheel.
Wood color samples 5 and 6 both show medium to dark brown wood with strong golden undertones. Color samples 5 and 6 could be shades (darker values) of sample 1, which could be a lighter tint.
To the right of the wood sample colors on this illustration you will see 4 different samples / shades of Pink which would work best matched with yellow based woods. They are all tints of red-orange, which is a yellow based red. Some common names for tints of red-orange are peach, salmon and coral. The number one and biggest mistake most people make is pairing a yellow-orange or red-orange colored wood with a red-violet tone of pink which comes from the blue side of the color wheel. On this, and the next paint color sample board, you are looking at all yellow based paint colors, and a couple of paints that go with yellow based woods.
Starting at the top, you have a few different tones of color that would come from yellow on the color wheel. Next you have a number of paint samples that are part of the yellow-green color family. Some blue samples come next. Blue is the opposite / compliment of orange. Orange is a predominant color in many red-orange, orange and yellow-orange based woods. Blue works well with many of the yellow based colors. Also think about the neutral color of the blue sky, which complements all the different color changes as the 4 season go along. The top two rows of paint color chips on this sample board show colors that would come from yellow-orange, orange or red orange on the color wheel. They all have a lot of yellow in them.
The third and forth row show tans, taupe, browns and even black. If you look at the samples closely you will see they all have a strong golden-yellow undertone, which pulls them to the yellow (warm) side of the color wheel. Blue Based Woods and Colors that go with them .. Blue based woods are classified by either their color or grain. Red mahogany, Brazilian rosewood and cherry-mahogany are some examples of blue based woods. They are all reddish-brown and would be red-violet to violet (purple) on the color wheel. Dark walnut and ebony are both dark brown woods. They are blue based colored woods that have blue-black colored grain.
Now look at color sample 7. It shows different woods with either blue grain or a strong medium blue-brown background color.
Sample 8 shows wood that has a violet (purple) undertone and blue-black graining.
Color sample 9 shows wood with a medium to dark brown background with blue-black grain.
Wood color sample 10 shows wood with a medium dark blue-brown background and dark blue-black grain.
Samples 11 show wood that is approaching an ebony color for darkness.
Color samples 12 and 13 show woods that are dark red-violet to violet on the color wheel. Wood color sample 14 shows darker tones of wood sample 9 and 10.
In the upper right corner of this sample board, you have a variety of different tones of pink and dusty mauve which are blue based colors. Pink and mauve are tints (lighter versions) of red-violet on the color wheel. Pinks and mauves derived from red-violet should never be paired with yellow based woods that are orange-red, orange, yellow or yellow-orange colored. The paint samples on this color board show blue based (cool colors). Black being the absence of color is shown at the bottom center, and its lightest tint, silver-gray is top row left. All the red tones on this board are blue based and are either tints or shades of true red, red-violet or violet (purple) on the color wheel. This board shows tints and shades of blue based colors that would be blue-violet, blue, blue-green and true green on the color wheel.
True Red and True Green have a way of sometimes ending up on both the blue (cool) and yellow (warm) sides of the color world. The intensity of the color tones (tints and shades) can suggest both cool or warm color camps. It’s easy to say green is cool and red is hot, but sometimes true Kelly green has a lot of warmth to it. So, the choice is yours where you put green or red.
Finally, the purpose of this post is to get you looking at wood and paint as either yellow or blue based. My assignment for you now is to look through interior decorating magazines, go to paint and wallpaper stores, furniture stores and places that sell carpeting. Look across what they have to offer. Ask yourself Am I looking at things that come from yellow based (warm) side of the color wheel, or the blue based (cool side). Next look at things in nature. Notice how Spring greens are more yellow based than Summer greens. Look at golden-yellow corn and wheat fields in Autumn and notice how red-orange, yellow-orange, and orange tones of leaves complement them.
With the information presented in this post, and a little bit of practice (thought) you will easily be able to know what you are looking at, and it will open your eyes to a whole new world of color exploration.
Pick (Use) four colors when Decorating a Room 3-7-2011,
Paint a room a Dark Color, then add Light Accents 3-27-2011,
How to Pick the Perfect GRAY PAINT…A popular Color Choice of the Moment 2-15-2014,
Mixing and Matching Fabric and Wallpaper Patterns 4-13-2012,
Looking at Patterns used in Interior Decorating of Fabric, Drapes, Wallpaper and Carpeting 3-10-2012,
(some other decorating posts)
Arranging furniture TWELVE different ways in the Same Room 9-15-2012,
Arranging Furniture around a Fireplace in the Corner of a Room 9-29-2012,
Arranging Furniture in a 15 foot wide by 25 foot long Bedroom 1-24-2016,
The Right Way to hang Curtains and Drapes 5-3-2011,
The Right height of a Table Lamp for your End Table 5-19-2011