I am thrilled that so many of you are using my neutral colour wheel now that it is an accurate visual guide for the most common neutral undertones. But, I want to make sure that you understand the two best ways this neutral colour wheel can help you.
Did you know that some of the best marketing tag lines and explanations I have found to explain my products have come directly from my readers? In my early blogging days, another blogger wrote a post about me and was the first to refer to me as a True Expert.
And, that’s how True Colour Expert® was born. Since those days, I have trained almost 2,000 Certified True Colour Experts both in-person and virtually.
In my last blog post, I answered a reader question that I’m betting many other readers also had based on the fact that my colour wheel is neutral, after all. This reader wondered if a neutral wall colour was the ONLY option.
As a result of this post, one of my readers posted two comments that were so smart and succinct, I’m sharing them with you today.
The new neutral colour wheel 3.0
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll already know that this (shown above) is the third version of my colour wheel. It’s been under development for many years. You can catch a glimpse of earlier versions on my About Me page (scroll toward the bottom).
Because I don’t actually need the wheel myself, the hardest part for me has been learning the best way to articulate exactly how it works and how it doesn’t work. My team is always telling me that I spend too much time focused on exactly “what it doesn’t do” in my attempt to explain it more clearly.
For example, I receive a lot of feedback from people who want this wheel to give them every possible colour option there is. No colour wheel is ever going to do that. This isn’t magic 😉
Additionally, anyone who understands how colour works would never consult a primary colour wheel to make colour choices.
The neutral colour wheel is a TOOL to find a … NEUTRAL
Ok ready? Thanks, Michelle for spelling it out better than anyone else so far:
THE COLOR WHEEL IS NOT THE ANSWER BUT A TOOL USED TO FIND THE ANSWER.
- The primary purpose of the colour wheel, is to identify the undertones in your existing neutrals, not to show you which paint colour to choose unless you are matching [the neutrals].
- Or if you are choosing new finishes – bring the colour wheel with you to determine the undertone of anything new you’re adding to your palette to make sure you’re not inadvertently choosing a conflicting undertone.
Let’s talk about the first point today in the most simplistic way possible.
80% of the time you are looking for a neutral in beige, grey or white. This wheel is a tool to help you with those choices.
If you are trying to find a saturated colour, you don’t need this neutral colour wheel.
Let’s take a closer look through the lens of my primary bedroom. You can see that my headboard is upholstered in natural linen, which is pink beige.
And, although my carpet looks like a cream in this image, it’s also pink beige. And that’s the way it should look, in this case. If I had chosen a carpet that was green or yellow beige, for example, you would then notice the difference in the undertones immediately.
Let’s say this room wasn’t already painted. Looking at my existing colours in the room, some possible options are: yellow, gold beige, turquoise and pink beige.
So, if you want to paint this bedroom a colour (like I did) the neutral wheel isn’t going to help you make a colour choice.
You simply bring a fan deck home from the paint store. Use the fan deck to find and match colours to your room, then follow up with larger test samples.
Or you could take a pillow or your bedding to the paint store and have a clerk match the colour that you want (and then test those samples).
The #1 way to use the neutral colour wheel
But, if you want this room to be neutral, THIS is the best way to use the neutral colour wheel. Start by placing in on the existing neutrals in the room that you are trying to work with.
Here, I’m placing the colour wheel on my headboard. Because we are comparing the painted colour wheel to a textured fabric, you might still wonder, “hmmm. . . is it really pink beige?”
It certainly looks like it could be. And that’s because you’ve just eliminated all the other undertones that don’t look like a match at all. Use the neutral colour wheel to help you eliminate most of the undertones.
If you want to be really sure (and confident) there’s only one way to find out if it is pink beige. And, that is to compare large paint samples in known undertones (find a list of paint colours categorized by undertones in my eBooks).
Don’t forget to include white behind the colours you are considering or testing.
The #2 best way to use the neutral colour wheel
And then the second-best way to use the neutral wheel is as a handy guide while shopping. If you are renovating or building a new home, you can use this wheel to help you shop for the right neutral finishes.
For example, if you have a taupe tile floor and you need a countertop, obviously you’ll want the undertone of the countertop to look like it’s happily married to the floor. That means you’ll need to bring home countertops that have taupe in them.
Don’t have a neutral colour wheel yet? Get yours here.
How would you describe the neutral colour wheel?
Okay my lovelies, if you see anything else that makes this even more clear, I would love your feedback! I so appreciate my community and all the ways you contribute to me! Thank you so much!
The prices my large colour samples are going up April 1, as all our expenses have gone up, so if you’ve been thinking about them, get them here now.