Color Palette Maker
Choose a primary color, which could be an architectural feature, a rug, a painted wall, a piece of furniture or some other anchor. Then use the palette of complementing colors to create a well coordinated look for your home.
Initial & Complementary Palette Colors
Initial Color Shades
Complementary Color Shades
Initial Palette Color
Setting Initial Color: Adjust hue & shade, or enter a hex value.
Background on Color Theory
The StylishHome color tool creates useful palettes by leveraging centuries of work creating a body of knowledge known as color theory. Color theory provides practical guidance to matching colors, enabling the creation of harmony and visual impact.
Historical references to color theory begin with writings from Leon Battista Alberti circa 1435, Leonardo da Vinci circa 1490 and later in Isaac Newton’s book Opticks published in 1704.
Initially, this was defined by painters and printers who mixed pigment combinations of red, yellow or blue to create greens, oranges and purples. The colors created by mixing equal parts of primary colors are called secondary colors.
In the 1800s theories on human visual perception added to color theory. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe first studied the physiological effect of opposed colors and published his findings in the book, Theory of Colours, in 1810. Goethe arranged his color wheel symmetrically, “for the colours diametrically opposed to each other in this diagram are those that reciprocally evoke each other in the eye. Thus, yellow demands violet; orange, blue; red, green; and vice versa: thus … all intermediate graduations reciprocally evoke each other.” Once published, Goethe’s work was widely adopted by the art world.
Similar to Goethe, Ewald Hering proposed opponent color theory in 1892. He thought that the colors red, yellow, green, and blue are special in that any other color can be described as a mix of them, and that they exist in opposite pairs. Opponent theory is a powerful neurological process and has been used to help explain other senses such as smell, taste, and hearing.
These theories on human perception were later supported by several scientific measurements in the 1900s. It turns out that complementary colors are “hard wired” in humans.
The Recommended Colors
The StylishHome color tool uses a hybrid of complementary, analogous, and tetradic color schemes to produce a range of recommended colors you can use to coordinate colors in a room.
Pick an Initial Color
Initial color can be a prominent “anchor” color in a room or a small accent color. Initial color is a color you wish to highlight, accent, or complement. Choosing an initial color is as simple as finding a color in your room you like; it might be a color in a piece of art, floor covering, wall paint, or upholstery. Initial color helps you coordinate colors throughout a room.
Color Tool Initial Colors
Once you have an initial color, you can quickly replicate it in the StylishHome Color Tool by choosing a hue and then set shading. Alternatively, if you happen to know the hexadecimal value of your initial color you can input that directly into the tool. If you have another color value, say in RGB or CMYK, it can be quickly converted to hexadecimal using conversion tools found on the Web. Generally speaking, the paint manufacturers keep their color names and values proprietary and you won’t find equivalent hexadecimal values. For paint, you’ll need to match using your eye.
You Can’t Match Exactly
Colors are impacted by a myriad of factors you can’t control including room lighting, surface textures, and your computer monitor. Relax. Trying to match a color exactly is a fleeting exercise. You just need to be close. Besides, the human eye constantly adjusts for these factors, giving you a helping hand. Instead, focus on the overall impact of the colors in your room and you’ll find the matching colors that work very well most of the time.
The recommended color palette is just that: a recommendation. The colors are derived based on scientific analysis of human perception but that doesn’t mean you need to use every color recommended. Instead, use the recommendations as a tool to help create a color scheme and coordinate a room. Have confidence knowing the colors work together and let your personal preferences make the final decision.
Sources: Leon Battista Alberti, Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Thomas Young, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Michel Eugene Chevreul, Hermann von Helmholtz, Albert Munsell, Wilhelm Ostwald, Ewald Hering, Wassily Kandinsky, Johannes Itten, Faber Birren, Josef Albers, Herbert E. Ives, and Johannes von Kries.