10 Color Theory Basics Everyone Should Know : Interior Design

5. Complementary Color Scheme

When it comes to color schemes, complimentary is the simplest. It uses two colors that sit opposite each other on the color wheel. Typically one color acts as the dominant shade and the other as an accent. This means combinations like red and green, blue and orange, or yellow and purple.

This color combo is extremely high contrast, which means that it’s best used in small doses and when you want to draw attention to a particular design element. You could use it to make your powder room pop or to bring extra vibrancy to your home office.

If you choose a complimentary color scheme, you really need to embrace neutrals. They will provide a place for your eye to rest and keep you from becoming overwhelmed in the room.

6. Split-Complementary Color Scheme

If you like the idea of a complimentary color scheme, but are afraid it may be a little too bold for your tastes, split complimentary is a safer choice. To make this color scheme, you would first choose your base shade. Then, instead of choosing the color directly opposite of your base, you chose the two shades on either side of the opposite color.

Those two shades will provide a much needed sense of balance to the room. You’ll still get the visual impact of bold color, but you’ll be able to incorporate more of it instead of relying heavily on neutrals to calm the space.

Split-complimentary works best when you use your base color as the dominant. However, instead of choosing a saturated shade, try to focus on a color that is more muted. Then, go bold with your other two shades in the room’s accent pieces.

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