How To Choose Colors When Decorating

Some people are really into color, but decorating with color can seem daunting when you aren't sure which colors would look nice with what. The choices at times can seem endless. But there is an easy trick you can use when deciding with color, any color. Whether it be paint, pillows, drapes or carpet, this method will work on any of them.

The best place to look when trying to pair colors is a color wheel. A color wheel makes it easy to identify complementary and analogous colors.

Complementary colors, also known as contrasting colors, are colors that are opposite one another on the color wheel/spectrum. When combined together these colors produce white light, which is why they are considered complementary.

The complementary colors on the color wheel are blue and orange, red and green,  and yellow and violet. Complementary colors tend to make a space appear more dramatic. It's a great way to add drama to a room.

Below are examples of a rooms decorated using complementary colors. Notice how in the first image blue and gold (a color very close to orange) are used to complement one another.

The next image uses blue and orange as pops of color in their design.

Analogous colors, also known as harmonious colors, are groups of colors that sit adjacent to one another on the color wheel. One is usually dominant, and they are either primary or secondary colors. 

Using colors next to one another on the color wheel keeps the space harmonious because the colors are very similar. So pairing blue and green, or red and orange, violet and blue or green and yellow is a great way to layer color.

In the example below, a color from the blue family and a color from the green family are used to create a harmonious space.

The next example shows bedding of colors from the blue family and colors from the green family. 

When trying to decide what would go with what, ask yourself if you're looking for something dramatic or if you're trying to achieve something more harmonious. Just remember, complementary exudes drama, while analogous tends to be harmonious.

Good luck!

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