“Complementary colors, when used in a color scheme, will emanate energy and optimism.”

Colors are very powerful tools to influence the way we feel: relaxed or unpleasant, or to set up the mood we are in: full of energy, or dreamy!


Using complementary colors for color schemes can be challenging, but nevertheless rewarding in the end!

They are perfect way to create a fresh, contemporary decor!


Decor with Complementary Color Schemes

Complimentary colors are the ones that lay opposite the color chart wheel. The name “complementary” comes from the fact the go together well, they “complement” each other.


Some examples of complimentary colors are: yellow and violet, red and green, orange and blue.
You can notice that one color is warm – yellow, orange, red, while the other is a cold color – violet, green, blue.

We find beautiful examples of complimentary colors in nature, or in our life. The two famous colors at Christmas time are green and red, a classic example of colors that complement each other!

Complementaries, as colors use for home decor, are strong together; they draw maximum attention so they might be harsh to the eyes; It would be better to choose one of them as a dominant, and the complement to be more subtle, and be used as an accent.
As an example, if you decide to use the complementary color scheme for your decor, and have red as the dominant color, use the green for accents; either a sofa, an armchair or a rug. Avoid using the hue, rather choose a light green.

Using these two colors: red and green at their maximum saturation, will make a strong statement.
Choose instead their tints and shades. You can see in the picture above, we didn’t use the exact hues. Balance the whole with golds or off white pieces.


Balancing the colors in complementary scheme decor is important: use one dominant color; for example, you can use on the walls a warm terracotta; complement it with a sofa or a lamp in a sage green. That will create a dramatic affect. Use light color accents of a warm cream, or butter for an artwork or a vase.


The same with related color scheme, the complementary one has to be carefully chosen and include some neutrals in it to soften the contrast between the complementary tones. Decide if you want to have an overall light or dark tone, then choose accent colors opposite in tone. For example, a light complementary scheme is created by using a warm peach and enhance it with dark cool blues.


TIP:If you think of this combination as a too strong of a statement, paint one wall in red, and the others using its complementary: green.
This kind of bold scheme works well especially in a foyer, or an entry.

Split Complementary Colors

Split complementary color schemes involve colors to the right and to the left of the complementary color.
We will use as an example blue. Its complementary is orange. To the right and left of the orange, there are yellow-orange and red-orange. So, the split complementary scheme involve three colors.


Even though there is a dramatic statement being made with this color scheme, split complimentary colors won’t have the “harsh” and the tension of the complementary ” sister” color scheme.

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