I enrolled in a Color Theory class years ago and it taught me so much, and one of the classroom assignments was to paint a canvas using only complementary colors. It was challenging but I was surprised how well that mini still life of yellow pears and lavender stems turned out! I find color theory fascinating, and love to study what works and what doesn’t, especially from the best designers and experts. With spring on its way, many crave more colorful accents indoors, here’s a color rule to help pull it off.
Decorating with complementary colors is based on the simple principle that opposites attract and in turn enhance. Complementary colors are those that are directly across from each other on the color wheel, red and green, blue and orange, etc.
A few weeks ago I wrote about decorating with monochromatic color which is always a sure bet, however one way to energize a monochromatic space is to introduce a complementary color.
Blue and orange sit across from each other, and since aqua and coral continue to be popular hues in home decor, it works well to blend the two. A series of blue patterns are at play in this casual yet elegant living room; the touch of coral in the artwork and accent pillows spices it up.
A bold floral fabric, contrasting pillows, and abstract art in shades of vivid orange and aqua brighten this cozy living room.
Orange feels contemporary paired with classic navy blue, a healthy dose of white and natural light balance the bold combination.
Red is the complement of green, but pink counts as it’s a paler version of red. I love a great deep pink and vivid green medley, raspberry is very fresh when paired with lime or apple green, deeper emerald and Kelly greens.
Purple and yellow are opposites on the color wheel, pastel hues like lavender and pale yellow feel perfectly at home in a girl’s room; aubergine and saffron are more mature and lend a global or Old World feel, especially with metallic sheens mixed in.
If you have a space dominated by one color, consider introducing its complement to invigorate, spaces are energized when complements collide! What about you? Have you had success mixing complementary colors in your home?