Color Wheel Combinations: Complementary Color Schemes (Part 2)

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complementary colors blue oranges

(image: Thom Lunasea)

Energetic and fresh, complementary color pairings create a sunny, vibrant look. Here are a few more rooms for inspiration.


The most simple but dynamic color scheme, complementary color pairings are fresh, lively, and invigorating. By contrast, in understated tones with a less intense saturation, complementary colors can also create a soft, muted look.

Need more inspiration? Expanding on Part 1 of this post, here are a few more complementary color schemes to try:

1. Mystically Moroccan

complementary colors wicker chairs

(image: Wicker Paradise)

Characterized by lively colors and exquisite furnishings, Moroccan interior design is refreshingly daring. In this energetic living room, bright blues and oranges offer a pleasing contrast that’s sunny and spirited. With a variety of materials and textiles throughout—wicker, cotton, and wood—this design offers loads of visual variety.

To add some Moroccan flair to your home, choose your favorite complementary color pairing, and add ornate light fixtures and accents of wicker and wood throughout.

2. Bright and modern

complementary colors red and white modern bathroom

(image: C_osett)

In this open, expansive bathroom, shades of red and green pair together for a pleasantly modern look. With additional accents of yellow and violet, this luxurious lavatory uses two complementary color pairings, for a uniquely vibrant look.

To pull off this look in your home, choose a brightly colored tub. Then add a few practical features, like a shower surround or curtains. Or, if you prefer a more open look, leave the tub as is.

For additional seclusion, consider a decorative privacy screen. Choose floors and sinks with a glossy sheen, and hang a few wall panels or art in your favorite complementary colors.

3. Cozily corresponding

kitchen breakfast nook stairs

In this restful breakfast nook, shades of deep-purple and tints of soft yellow create a subtly sparkling, complementary look. With metallic wall accents and appliances, and several grains and species of rustic wood throughout, this design is varied and modern. Offset by green stems, red pomegranates offer additional contrast.

To pull off this look in your kitchen, first choose a dominant complementary color (in this case, deep-purple), then add yellow accents throughout. If you desire a more daring look, consider painting the walls lilac. Soft-yellow walls with a deep-purple accent wall would look equally stunning.

4. Brick by brick

kitchen complementary colors accessories

(image: Kenny Corbin, Urbane Apartments)

Exposed brick walls, rustic and modern, add charm and warmth to any space. With a rich texture and natural shades of orange throughout, all you need is a few blue and orange vases to make this room really pop. A few strategically placed shelves, fresh florals, and a cozy workspace add an eclectic, utilitarian vibe.

5. Lofty loveliness

complementary colors bedroom alcove

(image: Jeremy Levine, Jeremy Levine Design)

Resonant of an angular Picasso painting, this luxurious loft is bright and bold. The orange and blue bedspread offers a cheerful contrast against blue and moss-green design details. With additional shades of yellow-green, green, and blue-green throughout, this design also has elements of an analogous color scheme (more on that in a future post).

To achieve this modern mosaic of style, add wood to ceilings, floors, and doors. (Notice how each shade of wood is slightly darker than the last.) To pull this look together, add brilliantly colored shelves and a daybed with pillows and blankets in complementary colors.

Which would you choose?

Which of these complementary color schemes is up your alley? I’m in love with #1 and #4. Be sure to cast your vote below!

And of course, tell us about your own ideas and stories of your own adventures with the color wheel and color schemes in the comments section of this post!

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