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Color-Wheel-Template- via

I’m back with Astrobrights and today we’re talking about Color Theory. Class in Session! (see my post on Using Color to Create a Functional & Inspiring Workspace here)

I love working on offices. Home or commercial, no matter what you do, the office is the place that most of us will spend the majority of our lifetime and next to your bedroom (the second place you spend the most time) it has one of the biggest effects on your mood, attitude and productivity. Translation? It’s a space that you should really spend a good amount of time planning to get the most of our your day therefore, design matters.  As I mentioned while recapping my home office makeover, my productivity has significantly increased since getting my workspace spit spot but my biggest dilemma in deciding on a color palette was whether to lean into my love of dark, sexy colors or to go against the palette of the rest of my house and insert a bright pop of color. Since I knew I wanted to feel energy–and because the space doesn’t get a ton of direct sunlight–I decided to go with the pop of color and I’m SO happy I did…it’s made all of the difference!

If you’re thinking about tackling your office remodel, you’ve come to the right place because I’m talking color theory today. In any redesign, the most important place to start is with color and the key to knowing how to use color to impart motivation is understanding a little bit of the color basics. So here we go….

Dayka Robinson Designs Color Wheel, Color Theory Office Design 2015

This is a color wheel, which I’m sure you’ve probably seen before. The color wheel is based on your Primary, Secondary and Tertiary colors (btw, I love the word “tertiary”).

Primary colors= Red, Yellow, Blue

Secondary Colors= Green, Orange, Purple

Tertiary colors= Combination of Primary & Secondary colors (blue-green, red-orange,)

First off, Primary colors exist on their own–no combination of colors on the wheel will make those 3. If you remember the old Ziplock commercial (you knew the bag was sealed when yellow and blue made green), then you’ll get the premise of the wheel–you mix your primary colors to make secondary colors, and then your tertiary colors are combinations of your first 2 choices. No matter what furnishings, fabrics or floor coverings you select, knowing how to use color theory in your office is what will dictate the energetic direction of the space. Within the wheel, there are options for you to create a monochromatic color scheme (many shades of one color), complementary color scheme (colors directly across from each other on the wheel), triad colors (colors forming a triangle on the wheel) or analogous colors (colors right next to each other). Then there’s lightness (the amount of light vs. dark), saturation (intense v. dull), and hue (color–red, blue, etc). Sounds like lots of technical jargon to remember but the visuals always make it plain!


monochromatic color palette, dayka robinson designs blog via bhg.comVarying shades of Coral. Light & dark in the same hue.


Complementary colors, purple-yellow-living-room, Dayka Robinson Designs via

Yellow-green + Red-purple (also known as Violet and Chartreuse).


triad color scheme, dayka robinson designs blog, via

Tiffany Blue + Tangerine + Light pink (see top color wheel for demonstration!)


analogous colro scheme, dayka robinson designs blog, via apartmenttherapy.comMagentaFuchsia + Tangerine. Adjacent colors on the color wheel. 

The key to using these palettes is simple: Monochromatic and Analogous color schemes  give color stories that are very “easy on the eyes” because there isn’t a high contrast between the colors. Just because you’re using one color (or adjacent colors) doesn’t mean you can’t use bold hues, but it does mean that your color selections will allow your eyes to move around the room with ease. Think of your Complementary and Triad color schemes as high contrast and/or vibrant color schemes and therefore, your energy palettes. Generally speaking, the higher the contrast the higher the energy so if you’re going for energy, go bold. The color palette is very tight in my office but the contrast is so high that it’s fully of energy without screaming “Hey, I’m a playroom!”. Think about what kind of energy you need to create in your workspace, then use your color wheel to make it happen!

Visit Colorize Your Business for more tips from me, SpitfireGirl and other experts. PLUS, you can enter to win $2500 to colorize your office from Astrobrights Paper, Office Depot and Sherwin Williams! Visit me on Pinterest for more Office Design and Office Productivity Hacks to  infuse your splace with color.  #ColorizeYourBusiness

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