Pairing Colors for Successful Interior Design


Tired of looking at bare walls and mismatched furnishings? If your home needs an interior design makeover, it’s quite possible to upgrade your space with a few innovative color pairings. Knowing which shades go together isn’t always obvious, but one base color offset by complementary hues can create the ambiance you’re seeking.

To make your home more inviting with features your guests will rave about, it all starts with your color choices. Here are some top tips for successfully pairing colors with any interior design project:

A Base Color

First, you need to decide which color will be your base. Perhaps you have a favorite shade, such as red, blue, or green, that can be featured as part of your accessories. Your walls may be painted in a simple shade of white, beige, or cream, and while neutral colors serve as the best canvas, they generally don’t count as a color choice.

Now, you don’t need to saturate the room in your base color, as this will feel chaotic and over the top. Instead, look for subtle ways to tie it all together. For example, you could feature a red hue in decorative cushions, a feature wall, and a rug with colored accents. 

Complementary vs Monochromatic

After choosing a base color, it’s time to find shades to pair with it. There are a few options, like picking out some complementary colors. Not sure how to go about it? To start, look at a color wheel to brainstorm some ideas and know you can be flexible with your selections. 

For example, if your original base color is Navy blue, know that orange is its opposite. However, you may like to use peach, gold metallic, or tan. To break up these heavy shades, consider splashes of white to brighten the room. When choosing complementary shades, try to stick to either cool or warm variations. And remember — only a small amount of your secondary colors is needed to enhance your base color. 

Using opposing colors isn’t the only option for interior design. Monochromatic tones on the same scale will give a calm, sophisticated feel. Get the look by combining multiple shades of the same color, from light to dark.

Adding Accessories

Accessories add personality to your home and are a way to experiment with color without the commitment of new paint, wallpaper, backsplashes, or tiles. There is the opportunity to successfully style every room when you choose the right color schemes. Indeed, beyond paint and wallpaper, know that wall art prints can also bring your room to life.

Use colors from these art pieces to accessorize the rest of your space. For example, a water print could be subtly matched with blue cushions and a vase. Additionally, contemporary or abstract artwork will usually have a few key colors from which to choose. Other accessories include indoor plants, soft furnishings, clocks, and sculptures. 

Pairing Colors for Interior Design

If you’re ready to challenge yourself and focus on interior design, there are a few color tips to consider. Start with a base color and make that the feature, but use it minimally to avoid overwhelming the space.

Choose between a monochromatic palette with different shades of the same color, or a complementary palette with colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel. Finally, add accessories, such as wall art prints, cushions, rugs, and plants, to complete the look.