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Types of colour templates

1. Square

Photo credits to Rachel Reider Interiors

The square colour scheme is very similar to rectangular in both number and name. It uses four shades, but instead of focusing on opposing pairs, the colours are evenly spaced throughout the colour wheel.

No matter which colours you choose, this scheme will consist of one primary, one secondary and two tertiary colours. Vary the intensity of the four colours by making two shades more neutral and two a little bolder.

Again, similarly to the tetradic or rectangle scheme, you’ll want to pay attention to achieving an equal number of warm and cool colours. But, rather than giving equal attention to both colour pairs, you should pick one shade to dominate the space and use the other three as accents.

2. Tetradic

Photo credits to John David Edison Interior Design

We’re moving on to balancing four colours in the space. The tetradic scheme, also sometimes referred to as a rectangle scheme because of the shape it makes on the colour wheel, focuses on using two distinct pairs of complementary colours.

In this scheme, colour temperature plays a very important role. Try to make sure that you choose two warm colours and two cool colours to fill the space rather than an odd number. Using an even amount of both will help bring balance to the space.

It’s also important to vary how we view the colours. Look for patterns that fall within your colour scheme and don’t hesitate to mix them among your solid pieces. If you use all solids, the room will seem overly saturated, but too many patterns will clash, so focus on choosing one or two to help break up the space.

3. Triadic

Triadic colour schemes, sometimes also referred to as a triad, refers to using three colours with equal space between them on the colour wheel. The three primary colours (red, blue, and yellow) are a perfect example, as are the three secondary colours.

This type of colour arrangement is often extremely bold. Since the colours are in such high contrast and pure hues are often used, you’ll most often see this scheme in children’s bedrooms or playroom areas.

When using colours that are this lively, it’s always important to consider the spaces that are nearby. You wouldn’t want to put two different triadic colour schemes next to each other. That would be tend to look clustered. Instead, make sure that the rooms next to your triadic space are calmer and mostly neutral.

The boldness of a triadic scheme makes it the perfect choice for a kid’s room.

4. Analogous

The analogous colour scheme refers to using three colours in a row on the colour wheel. Typically, two colours will be either primary colours with the third shade being a mix of the two and a secondary colour. For example, you could choose red, orange, and yellow or red, purple, and blue.

The key to using this colour scheme successfully is proportion. Again, the 60-30-10 Rule comes into play. You’ll want to choose one colour to be the dominant shade, one to support the dominant, and the third, most vibrant colour as an accent.

Interestingly, you can also create a similar colour scheme using neutrals. It’s typically referred to as a monochromatic colour scheme. Simply choose black, white, and grey in lieu of brighter shades.

5. Split complementary

Photo credits to DigsDigs

If you like the idea of a complementary colour scheme, but are afraid it may be a little too bold for your tastes, split complementary is a safer choice. To make this colour scheme, you would first choose your base shade. Then, instead of choosing the colour directly opposite of your base, you chose the two shades on either side of the opposite colour.

Those two shades will provide a much needed sense of balance to the room. You’ll still get the visual impact of bold colour, but you’ll be able to incorporate more of it instead of relying heavily on neutrals to calm the space.

Split-complementary works best when you use your base colour as the dominant. However, instead of choosing a saturated shade, try to focus on a colour that is more muted. Then, go bold with your other two shades in the room’s accent pieces.

Split-Complementary colour schemes are often calmer versions of their complimentary counterparts.

6. Complementary

When it comes to colour schemes, complementary is the simplest. It uses two colours that sit opposite each other on the colour wheel. Typically one colour acts as the dominant shade and the other as an accent. This means combinations like red and green, blue and orange, or yellow and purple.

This colour combo is extremely high contrast, which means that it’s best used in small doses and when you want to draw attention to a particular design element. You could use it to make your powder room pop or to bring extra vibrancy to your home office.

If you choose a complimentary colour scheme, you really need to embrace neutrals. They will provide a place for your eye to rest and keep you from becoming overwhelmed in the room.

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