• Wei Shen

When we talk about interior colors, something more important is actually overlooked

Since this is an interior design blog, we will talk less about aspects that can be accomplished by other professionals like engineers and contractors and give more weight to the essential role of an interior designer, that is, to provide aesthetic values.

Some may have been puzzled each time, after carefully selecting colors for their homes, the result has never been as astonishing as expected. Their favorite colors are not doing a significant job impacting the home's aesthetic level.

While there has been an abundance of tips about how to use interior colors, including my own post (click here), today we are going to discuss a very useful but most of the time, overlooked perspective of color- the value of color. After understanding this magic tool, your level of handling colors would take a leap.

A brief of color value

Generally speaking, one color has three basic attributes: hue, saturation, and value.

Hue is the attribute of color experienced first in the course of human development. Is it red, green, or blue? This is the aspect that is mostly focused on by the public. It is understood easily by anyone who has no color blindness.

Saturation refers to the amount of hue. In other words, how pure or intense the color is. As we usually perceive, a highly saturated color is bold, while a less saturated color is mute or dull.

Value is the term used to describe how light or dark a color is, commonly referred to as brightness. When two colors differ in terms of their relative lightness or darkness, they are of different values. Traditionally speaking, the lighter the color, the higher its value.

Red in different values, Image from the internet

Blue in different values, Image from the internet

The value of a given color is changed by adding either black or white to it. When taking out the hue of a color, what's left is the black and/or white that define the brightness of the color. The value scale below shows the brightness/darkness of colors. From darkest black to brightest white, with different shades of greys in between. Different hues of color can have the same value.

Image from the internet

Above is a quick introduction of value in color. Now, look at the two interior scenes below. A dominant color is applied in each case. One is sage green, the other is dusty pink. Which scene would you prefer?

Images from

I will definitely vote