Back to Basics: The Color Wheel

by Landis Carey on February 28, 2011

I’m having such a difficult time selecting gray paint that I’ve decided gray may not be the solution. I thought it would calm the intensity of our peacock blue dining room (Benjamin Moore’s Surf Blue), but every one I’ve tested is either too cool and looks lavender or too warm, appearing like putty…neither of which are acceptable. Scattered about are images of the three grays I’ve tested but hate with all kinds of passion.

Why so much drama? If I don’t think critically about this, I’ll either repaint or want to repaint, both costing money, resources and energy.

So, to deal with the trauma that is selecting gray paint and understanding why the peacock blue works, I’m going back to basics: the color wheel.

From the color wheel, I see why I love our blue-green dining room: it’s the natural compliment to our wood furniture and floors. It makes these beautiful elements pop. Since I initially chose gray intending to have that same effect, has my agenda been achieved?

Further research had to be done to answer my question: why I tended towards the light lavender blue-toned gray instead of the others? We already know peacock blue’s compliments are burnt orange and tobacco brown, but we didn’t know that when paired with slate and light blue, peacock blue becomes tranquil, like calm ocean waters.

But I still don’t want a lavender living room…so the color drama continues.

(Image: Grand Home Decoration, Landis Carey)

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