Color Wheel Combinations: Triadic Color Schemes (Part 1)

triadic color schemes

Not for the shrinking wallflower, triadic color schemes are bold and spirited. Need ideas? Here are a few to try.


For some folks, life’s one big adventure. But if tandem skydiving and matching tattoos isn’t quite what you had in mind? (One day…) Appease your inner rebel with daring décor choices instead.

Comprised of three colors that are equidistant from each other on the color wheel, triadic color schemes are the holy trifecta of décor: bold, bright, and beautiful.

Need inspiration? Consider me your muse. Add a touch of rebellion to your space with these triadic color schemes:

1. Beautiful brick

triadic color schemes

(image: Christopher Michel)

With feature walls in deep-blue and brick, an ornate chandelier, and subtle pops of soft-yellow and red, this eclectically styled loft brings a whole new meaning to city living. In this diverse space, bold colors and patterns take center stage amongst classic and contemporary accents. Hardwood floors and brick add a layer of warmth that relaxes this look.

To achieve this visual in your home, first, toss your Good Housekeeping rulebook right out the window. Choose the colors and accents that speak to you, and arrange them however you please.

In this room, notice how contemporary accents—the mod lamp and chair, and a unique coffee table—are placed on the left side of the room, while more classic accouterments—a decorative chandelier, imperial-inspired chairs, and brick accents—are positioned on the right side of the room. It’s a picture-perfect blend of old and new; classic and contemporary.

2. Red, white, and blue

triadic color schemes

(image: Wicker Paradise)

With rich hues of red, blue, tan, and subtle pops of soft-yellow and white, being patriotic has never been more stylish. On this breezy patio, dark-brown planks provide a pleasing contrast amidst furniture in a lighter shade of wood. With a strategically placed umbrella overhead, this is the perfect place to while away your afternoon, Corona in hand.

To achieve this triadic look on your patio, choose a dominant color to work with (in this case, navy-blue). Now bust out your color wheel and choose your accompanying triadic shades. For a sunny, fresh look, you could pair blue, green, and yellow. For a warm, sultry look, consider blue, violet, and red.

3. Colorful charm

colorful sitting room color scheme

(image: ღ ℂℏ℟ḯʂ ღ)

In this vivacious living room, brave hues of yellow-green, yellow-orange, and red-orange combine to create an unconventional, varied look. Unique art, interesting keepsakes, plush fabrics, and soft lighting create an air of comfort and intrigue.

To achieve this look in your home, display zany art in frames of offbeat shapes and sizes. Complete this look with restful seating, candles, and accompanying triadic inflections.

4. Mystical mirage

triadic color schemes

(image: Susan Serra, CKD)

Echoing traditional Moroccan styling, this airy living room is open, expansive, and refreshingly bright. The first set of triadic shades in blue-green, yellow-green, and yellow-orange add a cool base for an additional triadic palette of red-orange, red-violet, and blue-violet.

Vast, sweeping curtains; rich hardwood floors; and magnificent pottery create an imperial air in this space. Calming artwork, a cozy couch, and bright throw pillows add an approachable vibe.

Express yourself

I’m torn between Colorful Charm and Beautiful Brick. Which of these triadic color schemes would you try on for size? Be sure to tell us below!

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