Design notes from the Barcelona Chair. How to handle color?
Color has deep implications in all aspects of the human sphere. Color takes us to pick the sweetest apple from the tree while we discard the rotten one. It is natural to think about how deep color may influence our moods and humor through our internal spaces.
Colors call our attention in so many ways. From one intuitive point of view, we tend to feel more inclined to one or another color, and maybe we’d like to see our living room with our favorite color, but it can be that simple. If our favorite color is cherry, to have it all around a living room is going to be boring in the end. It has to be a balanced, beautiful way to give our space the palette of color we deserve. And how’s that?. Let’s see some general approaches to the management of color: Color Wheel and Color Harmony.
The Color Wheel
Developed since historical times, great figures like Sir Isaac Newton, or the German writer Goethe had their own version of it. The circle of colors is based on the primary colors, the ones that can not be obtained by the combination of other ones: Yellow, red, and blue. Mixing the three primary colors you can get three new ones and add it to the color wheel: Green (Yellow + blue); purple (Red + Blue); Orange (Red + Yellow). In the same way, you can add the tertiary colors: Red – Orange; Blue-Orange; Red – Purple; Blue-Purple, and so on.
The Color Harmony
Our mind is prepared to enjoy order and balance. It applies to everything made by the human being: Music, Paints, and all fine arts. Our human brain, instinctively rejects anything that doesn’t understand and can’t be organized, this is why harmony theory applies so well in colors, too. There are several approaches to reach out to that long-awaited harmony.
It is logical thinking in very alike colors to go well together, and that’s true to a certain extent. To do it properly, choose three colors from any Color Wheel with tertiary or more colors. Keep in mind that in a combination like this, there is going to be one that predominates over the other two. Analogous colors create comfort and unity.
If you take any color wheel, you will see that every color in the circle has a direct opposite. If you use both colors, you create contrast, and contrast gives you stability. A very useful approach.
Nevertheless, every rule has its exception, and this is what happens when we watch Nature with attention. Some colors are paired without considering the order from any color wheel, and still, look good for us. Something completely possible in the endless world of marvels of mother nature.