Color 101:  Another in a series of basic understandings you should have about color, in order to more easily select paint color.

Chroma, simply stated, is a measurement of how much gray is in a color.

High Chroma colors may be found in almost every 9-12 year old’s room, or in the colors they would like in their room.

22079252 Higher Chroma colors can add energy to a space, so they are suitable for party spaces, or spaces where you entertain, from the rooms where you watch sports games and cheer on Olympians, to rooms where you exercise.  And High Chroma colors are favored in many contemporary interiors.

In this sitting room, there are high chroma colors in the artwork.  This is where the energy in the room is coming from.


Low Chroma means the color has more gray in it.  These tend to be more tranquil, and cause less glare.  As our eyes age, they become more sensitive to glare, so seniors tend to prefer lower chroma colors.  We also often prefer a lower chroma in bedrooms, to make it easier to sleep.  If you have a high stress job, a lower chroma in the colors you select would help you unwind.

In that same sitting room, the wall color is lower chroma than the paintings.  It’s a blue-gray, which is found in the artwork, but because gray is lighter version of black, and in paint, black contains all the colors, gray is a great color to partner with art, because it will respond well, without upstaging the art.  Many galleries today are using gray on the walls instead of white for this reason.


In my experience, most persons already know when a color is too bright, or too dull.  They know the general chroma level they want in the room, because it’s already in some of the items chosen for that space.

They just don’t know the name of what they know.

It’s Chroma.


– Linda

Linda H. Bassert,
Masterworks Window Fashions & Design

“Color Harmonies for Your Home, Artistry at Your Windows. ”

Award winning interior design and decorating, paint color consultation, custom window treatments, reupholstery, and other custom items, and art and framing consultation, in Northern Virginia and the greater metropolitan Washington D.C. area.
Contact me at 703-426-8123, or by email at

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