Contributor: Caroline – Color and Understanding Color Schemes

Color and Understanding Color Schemes

Color and Understanding Color Schemes

In our last Lessons From the Lake: Decorating Academy lesson we began to explore the color wheel and the definitions of hue, value, tint and tone. Then we played with paint to see how adding black, white or grey changes a hue. (If you missed that lesson you can find it here)

This week we are working more with color in understanding color schemes. Color schemes are how you combine colors so that they work in harmony.

The Color Schemes:

For our purposes we will deal with 3 color schemes; monochromaticanalogous and the triad. There are others but we will only deal with these today.

Monochromatic Color Scheme:

A monochromatic scheme uses different values, tones and tints of the same color (mono= one) While this would seem to be an easy scheme to employ, it is actually pretty tricky.  Again we look to our paint strip as an example. Take a hue and then add black, white or grey to it.

Color and Understanding Color Schemes

Using the paint strip as an example, you could choose the hue of red as your color but use any of the above shades or tints in your room for a monochromatic color scheme.

The picture below uses a tint of purple on the wall and a darker shade as the accent color in the dust ruffle, trim around the curtains and accessories.

Color and Understanding Color SchemesSource

Analogous Color Scheme:

The analogous (sometimes also called the harmonious) color scheme uses 2-6 colors that sit adjacent to each other on the color wheel. The trick to making this scheme work is to use the same tones of the colors. Here are the color wheels again for reference:

Color and Understanding Color Schemes

The room pictured below uses yellow and orange as the main colors of the room. (See the middle color wheel above- yellow and orange are beside each other on the wheel.) In this room orange is the dominant color and yellow takes more of a back seat. The gold-yellow of the sofa and the honey toned flooring balance the orange of the curtains and throw instead of competing with it.

Color and Understanding Color SchemesSource

To choose an analogous color scheme from paint strips like the one below, you would choose colors from the same row of the chips. I have marked 2 different examples below:

Color and Understanding Color Schemes

Obviously you wouldn’t use all 8 colors in the row, but using 2 or 3 would work nicely in a room.  If you start mixing up tones and shades you can end up with one hot mess! Until you get some practice “seeing” color, using paint strips are a great way to make sure your analogous scheme will work.

Paint companies have done all the work for you! If you go to a paint or home improvement store you will see that the paint strips are laid out side by side as they are on the color wheel. Then you would just choose the same “row” on each strip.

Color and Understanding Color SchemesSource

Complementary Color Schemes

The last scheme we will discuss is complementary. This color scheme results in very dramatic rooms but can also be tricky to use. The complementary scheme can either be a 2 (double) color or 3 color (triad). Actually there are several more complementary schemes, but we are not going that deeply into color today!!

The 2 color complementary scheme employs colors directly across from each. Using the secondary colors (the middle wheel) red and green or yellow and purple are examples of this. Here are our color wheels again to help us see this:

Color and Understanding Color Schemes

**** Be careful not to use colors with the same intensity or tone. If you use the same red and green tones, your room would look like a Christmas tree.

But in this example, see how the couch is a lighter value of red and the green on the walls is also a lighter value?

Color and Understanding Color SchemesSource

You will notice in this example how the browns of the floor, tables and rugs help “calm” down the color scheme. Also, the browns used in the room are the same value as the red and green. If black had been used instead of brown the room would not be as restful as it appears here. Black would add more of a “punch” to this room and make it appear more dramatic.

The 3 color or triad scheme, uses 3 colors that are equi-distance (for instance, every 4th color) from each other on the wheel. Using primary colors, a triad scheme would be red, blue and yellow. The room below uses the  secondary colors of green, orange and violet.

Notice that violet is used only as an accent color in a pillow, the orchid bloom and the spine of a coffee table book. Any more of this color would have resulted in a room that looked more like a circus than the restful room it is.


Color and Understanding Color SchemesSource

Here is a great tip for using complementary colors when choosing paint: If you want to “tone down” a color, try adding a little of the complementary color to it. For example, is your red too “bright”? Add a little green to it and see if it is more to your liking.

If you want to learn more about those other complementary color schemes I mentioned here are a couple of places you can check out:


And if you want to play around with color schemes, here is a digital way to do that (way cheaper than buying paint!!):

The next step:

There is no worksheet for this lesson but you still have work to do! You didn’t think I would let you off that easily did you?

Locate the 10 rooms that used for “Finding My Style” in Lesson 1 and try to identify the color scheme used in each of them. Not the color- the color schemes as we discussed in this lesson. Write each of them down on your worksheet (just in the margin beside each one will be fine).

Are you seeing a pattern? Did you choose mostly monochromatic? Was it an equal mix between all of them? Was there one that dominated kitchens and something different for family rooms or master?

What else have you learned about your decorating style in terms of color?

In the next lesson we will leave color behind for a while and move on to furniture styles and room layout. It is like playing house when you were little!

Hope to see you back at the lake again soon!


Contributor: Brooke – Polymer Clay Necklace

Polymer Clay Necklace

I am so happy to share a sweet polymer clay necklace.

Polymer Clay Necklace

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and this would be a very sweet gift for your favorite sweethearts.

Head to the craft store or your craft stash.

You will need:

  • Sculpey Polymer clay in the colors you desire.  I used red, brown, gold and translucent.
  • Jump rings
  • Craft wire- black 19 gauge
  • Wire cutters
  • Something to roll the clay out: clay conditioner, small dowel or an aerosol can in a pinch
  • Rubber Stamps
  • StazOn Ink Pad- Jet Black
  • Small Scalloped Rectangle Clay Cutter
  • Clay cutting tool
  • Toaster oven
  • Toothpick
  • Coffee stirrer straw
  • Butterfly shape clay cutter

Condition brown clay by warming and working in your hands or putting it through the clay conditioner.

Roll out clay to about 1/8 inch thick.

Cut 2 rectangles from brown clay.

Cut 3 one-inch pieces of black wire.

Bend each piece of wire into a u shape.

Place one piece of wire at the top of the envelope and two at the bottom.

Add the other rectangle on top, lining up edges.

Press gently and smooth edges slightly.

Polymer Clay Necklace

Next use the straight edge to make the envelope lines on the rectangle.

Polymer Clay Necklace

Condition a small ball of red clay and pinch and shape into a tiny heart.

Add it to the center of the envelope.

You can make or use whatever little charms you would like to the bottom.

I made 2 simple ones.

Polymer Clay Necklace

To make the butterfly charm, condition and roll the gold clay out to 1/8 inch thick.

Cut out the butterfly shape and stamp with StazOn ink.

Poke a hole in the top with the toothpick.

Condition and roll the translucent clay.

Stamp with a small sentiment stamp.

Trim rectangular shape around the sentiment with the straight edge.

Poke a hole in the corner with the coffee stirrer straw.

Follow package directions to bake the clay pieces in a toaster oven devoted to craft use.

Once cool, assemble necklace with jump rings.

You can easily personalize this with colors for each person.

You could also use small alphabet stamps to add the person’s name or initials.

Polymer Clay Necklace

If you use split rings instead of jump rings you could use it for a keychain instead of a necklace charm.

Polymer Clay Necklace

With help, this is an easy enough craft for children to do.

Thanks so much for hosting me, Jess!

To see more projects, hop over to our blog:


Heading on your holidays? Protect your passwords!

Heading on your holidays? Protect your passwords!

Heading on your holidays? Protect your passwords!

Call me paranoid, but I absolutely hate using Internet cafes when out and about. I don’t feel safe plugging in my personal passwords when checking Twitter or Facebook, and there’s no way I would ever log into my bank account. So when I travelled to Spain in December, I made sure I was going to be able to get online safely and securely without having to head to one of these cafes.

Now, even though I had my own laptop and phone, I was still a bit concerned about the security of the network provided for free at my hotel. So before I left, I made sure I had the best antivirus protection installed and I recommend you all do the same thing. Internet networks, especially shared ones, are never going to offer the security you’re used to in your own home (presuming you take the necessary precautions to lock down your own network that is). That means anyone with a bit of internet savvy (it seems even small children can learn to be hackers these days) could check out what you’re looking at and steal your precious passwords too.

Before I packed up my bags, I installed the best free antivirus protection on my laptop that I could find and made sure it was updated. I then took the time to change the passwords I had been using for the accounts I knew I couldn’t stay away from – Twitter and Facebook mainly, I have to show off my tan somewhere! While I was away, I used those passwords only, making sure to check for antivirus updates each day too, just to stay ahead of those clever criminals.

On my return, I simply changed the passwords back; it’s a bit annoying but it’s worth doing. I would hate anyone to gain access to my accounts. It’s happened to me a few times in the past and there’s nothing worse than having to email all of your contacts (ex-boyfriends, old bosses and general people that have been left in the past for good reason), apologising for the spam and letting them know it wasn’t you. Don’t risk it, folks – if you’re heading on your holidays, always remember to protect your data!


Contributor: Christine – Valentines Day Garland

Valentines Day Garland

Hi, I am Christine from MustLoveHome. I am so excited to be here at Plucky’s Second Thought. I love to do DIY, so I came up with a Valentines Day Garland to decorate my kitchen.  It is so cute and I was able to use materials from the dollar store and a few things I already had. It was super easy and took about 30 minutes to do. This includes the time it took me to figure out how to hang it on my kitchen hutch without putting any holes in the wood! Let me show you what I did…

The materials I needed:

  • Glue Gun and glue
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Thin ribbon for the heart loops(I used red left over from Christmas)
  • Thick ribbon that will be the base for the garland (I used Burlap ribbon I had from Christmas)
  • 6 small burlap bags
  • 1 bag of foam heart table scatter

Valentines Day Garland

Valentines Day Garland

I used the small burlap bags I had left over from a gift I received a few years ago. I bought the foam table scatter at the dollar store and hot glued them to the burlap bags.  There were both red and pink hearts in the bag. I used the pink on the burlap but you could switch it up!!

Valentines Day Garland

The red hearts were taped to thin red ribbon, making a loop to slide onto the base ribbon.

Valentines Day Garland

The burlap bags and the ribbon hearts were alternated on a 6 foot long piece of burlap ribbon.

Valentines Day Garland

Valentines Day Garland

I tied a loose knot at each end of the burlap ribbon to finish it. I just draped it over the tops of the hutch doors to keep it in place. It has a rustic look that I love for Valentines Day.  Most of the decorations I have been seeing for Valentines have been fussy and fancy so I am loving this one. There is nothing wrong with fancy…it just isn’t my style for my casual kitchen.

Please let me know if you have any questions and feel free to comment. Thank you Jess for letting me share today and thanks to all of you for joining me here at Plucky’s Second Thought. I hope you have a wonderful day – xx Christine


Easy Microwaveable Lunch with Pierogies

Easy Lunch with Pierogies

Easy Lunch with Pierogies

I LOVE pierogies…like seriously, I’m obsessed with them!  :)  I do agree that the best pierogies are sauteed in onions and lots of oil to get yummy and crispy.  However, I’ve found this easy and simple dish to be just as tasty and probably healthier.  :)  It’s also great to make during the workday and when you’re super busy!  No, it doesn’t have that crispy pierogi quality, but it’s packed with yummy flavors!  ENJOY!


  • frozen pierogies
  • pesto
  • sour cream
  • salt
  • pepper
  • water


  • Place 3 frozen pierogies in a microwave-safe bowl; add water to cover pierogie along with a pinch of salt.
  • Cover dish and vent corner; cook for 3 minutes.
  • When complete drain water and top with pepper, pesto, and sour cream.