Color Harmony Applied in the Home

from the 1923 Supplement to Womans Weekly

Every tint or shade one sees has its own individuality and its group of related colors and shades. To know the relationship any color has to its neighbors in the color wheel is to know when what tones to put together to make a room, a picture, a piece of embroidery, a dress or one's own person appear to best advantage.

In the chromatic wheel there are three colors, red, yellow, and blue, which are regarded as the primary colors because from them all colors are made. As a color becomes lighter the result is designated as a tint of that color. Pink is a tint of red; lavender of violet, etc. As a color is made darker it is called a shade of that color.

Combining these primary colors one produces the binary or secondary colors:

These further combinations can be carried out:

These twelve colors then complete our circle. Every color we know is some form of the colors shown around the edge of this circle. Perhaps the color is a simple tint or shade of one of these colors. Very often the color in question lies somewhere, between two complementary colors, upon the line which connects them. These in-between tones represent one of the principal colors to which some of its complement has been added. For example: Add a small amount of orange to its complement blue—the blue becomes slightly grayed. As more orange is added, the blue will finally become a neutral gray. If orange is still added the resulting color will come over to the orange side and become a gray-orange, and so the process may be carried out with any two related colors until we have all the colors at our disposal required in decorative art.


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