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Pastels are all the colors on the color wheel mixed with white, and and are clear colors. When white is the only neutral color in the room, the room will appear innocent. This color scheme works best for bathrooms, and babies rooms, but can also be found in hallways, and kitchens. Typically the furniture or fixtures are white, and the floor and walls are the colors. 
RGV color wheel 1908 by J. Arthur H. Hatt - The Colorist. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - httpscommons.wikimedia.orgwikiFileRGV_color_wheel_1908.png#mediaFileRGV_color_wheelColors next to each other on the color wheel are known as analogous and create harmony when blended. Colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel are known as complimentary and create interesting contrast against each other.


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Analogous – This is a pastel bathroom in an analogous color scheme, peach and light yellow against white. However, the picture creates interest because the opposite of yellow is purple and the opposite of orange is blue, so the complimentary colors very often create the most interest in the smaller details. The chair rail aligns with the counter top, and divides the stripe pattern on the lower wall, with the damask pattern on the upper wall which is the most often used decorator trick for pattern mix. 
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Split Compliment – This color scheme is called a split compliment because the orange and green are not next to each other on the color wheel. This room is a great example of classical pattern mix and how you can place numerous patterns in one room as long as they all contain the same colors. The classic decorator trick of mixing stripes with patterns clearly helps this room achieve it’s goal, and this time the stripe is on the upper wall with the pattern below it. 
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Complimentary – This color scheme is complimentary, because red, or in the pastel version pink, is opposite green. The basis of the room is green and white, but touches of pink show up in small details creating interest. 
Mixing pastels and gray tones is becoming more popular these days. It looks best actually in offices, but fine in certain residential rooms. The basic idea is that white gray and black are the same color from light to dark, so when gray is added into the pastel color scheme the colors darken up as well, meaning the darkness of the colors follows the darkness of the neutral color. In this room, the floor is gray, and the walls are white, then the colors of the objects that rest upon it are pastels leading into touches of brights. Mixing gray into pastels rooms creates a more mature look, and also a sleepy or diffused look, but is still a clear color and is cold. 
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Black and Pastels – Black and pastels has been around a long time, and can be found in French decorating. Black is the only color that can be added to any color scheme in small or large doses, and dresses up the room. The deal once again, is that white gray and black are the same color from light to dark, so when the neutral is going from light to dark, the colors can also, since they are all clear tones. This takes some finesse and is not for novices to try as a first time decorating scheme. 

Checkerboard floors can be any 2 colors and can be very close to each other in tone, but this one is very contrasting from light to dark, so the colors in the room can be also. The walls are pastel pink and yellow, the pink chairs and window valance are in brights, and since green is the opposite of pink, the room has interest.



Color theory for gray tones