Colour Explained

If you are like most people when it comes to colour, you have your favs and always tend to gravitate towards them. But if you want to make a change and step outside your comfort zone, the colour wall at your local home improvement store makes you freeze like a deer in the headlights! Right? The choices are overwhelming! Most men, my ever lovin’ included, see one shade of any given colour …. but believe me, there are 100’s of shades of the basic colours found on the colour wheel let alone all the other variations in between! In other words blue is not blue is not blue.

When refreshing the décor in our homes, colour is one of the easiest and economical but most complicated ones to make. To pull a look together the right hue, tint and shade can make all the difference. I know you are already overwhelmed but let me explain.

Hue and Value

The value of a colour refers to the amount of light it reflects or absorbs. A lighter hue reflects a lot of light and a darker hue absorbs a lot of light, so when looking at the colour spectrum (I only have a colour wheel, so work with me here!), the lightest hue is yellow and the darkest is violet. All colours in between the yellow and violet fall along the colour spectrum from lightest to darkest.

Tint and Shade

Colours are seldom if ever used at full saturation, that is, their purest, strongest colour. Typically we see a tint, shade or hue of the colour. A tint is a colour that has been made lighter by the addition to varying degrees of white. Whereas a shade is a colour that has been made darker by the addition to varying amounts of black. In the Benjamin Moore swatch below you can see the progression of colour from palest mauve (a tint) on the left to a rich, deep purple (a shade) on the right.

So if you are not ready for a full on, life altering change, perhaps a shade or two darker of the existing colour is all you need for a quick update. And perhaps there’s a deeper shade in your pillows, sofa or décor accessories that would make a good choice for wall colour.

Or if you are ready to shake things up a bit and want to take a giant step (or leap!) outside your comfort zone, selecting another colour all together could be just the change you need!

And now that you have a bit more understanding of hue, value, tint and shade, you will face that towering colour wall at your local home improvement store with less trepidation and more confidence. And be sure to share - I always love to see your results!