Tired of playing it safe with color ? Take a look at these 7 room decor showcasing color combinations that shouldn’t work — but somehow do.
The colors: Dusky green and fire engine red
Why it works: Red and green occupy opposite sides of the color wheel, and thus are especially dynamic together. This combo is exciting but not exhausting because the green, while still powerful, is a bit desaturated, and the red occurs as an accent. Notice how the chair really seems to jump off the page.
The colors: Teal green and rose
Why it works: This is a lovely riff on pink + green (which is itself a riff on red + green, which, as I mentioned earlier, are opposite, or complementary colors.) It reads as sophisticated rather than juvenile thanks to a very light, dusky pink, which is happy to play second fiddle to the less subdued teal.
The colors: Black and bright pink
Why it works: Black and pink, even a really bright pink, read surprisingly elegant together because the black serves as the background and the pink as an accent. They play really well together: the touch of bright color relieves the drabness of a wall of black, and the black makes the pink really stand out.
The colors: Sage green, grey, wine (marsala?) and bright purple, Elle Decor España
Why it works: There’s definitely a lot going on here. The grey hues help to ground this composition, and the two purple chairs serve as accents, blending into the rich, dynamic mix of colors and patterns. It also helps that the main color in the wallpaper is a little more subdued, which keeps the focus on the pattern, and keeps things from feeling too overwhelming.
The colors: Sky blue and raspberry, in a space from Lonny
Why it works: You’ll notice that unlike in the combos above, neither of these colors is particularly demure. Lots of white accents, and a light-colored floor, help to balance things out, and let these two bold colors be the stars of the show.
The colors: Lavender and teal
Why it works: The lavender is really the main event here. This is most definitely a purple room, relieved a bit by the teal accent. A little bit of lavender in a slightly different shade (on the chair) helps to give the space dimension.
The colors: Lavender, and marsala (definitely marsala), and aqua blue
Why it works: This is definitely a really dynamic mix of colors, but the ivory-colored wall in between (and the other neutral tones in the room) separate the players a bit and ensure that everyone plays nice.
Bonus: I keep talking about ‘saturation’, which is a term used in describing colors to indicate how bright a color is (as opposed to how dark or light it is). The colorspace is three dimensional: one of the dimensions of color is hue (i.e., yellow, blue, red, green, etc), another is darkness or lightness (called ‘value’), and the third is saturation (or ‘chroma’), which is basically an indication of how close a color is to grey. So a very unsaturated blue is a greyish blue.