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Complementary Color Schemes

Complementary Color Scheme Examples

A Complementary or Contrasting Color Combination is derived from choosing colors that are directly opposite each other on the color wheel. When they are mixed together, they will produce gray.

Example of a complementary color scheme from the color wheel - using blue and orange.

Example of a complementary color scheme from the color wheel – using blue and orange.

Using this combination enhances each color creating a strong sense of visual movement when the colors are side by side but requires careful management to ensure that the colors are not too over powering.

The complementary color combination is not the easiest to use, it requires a certain skill of placing the color into the interior so that it is well balanced. Below are some examples of using complementary color schemes.

Caribbean Getaway Decorated using a Complementary Color Scheme

Carribean Getaway Decorated using a Complementary Color Scheme

This is a good example of how stunning a complementary color scheme can be when it is used to good effect. Here the neutral walls, floor and timber furniture create a simple backdrop of texture and the color of the sofa and table cloth fabrics become the focal points using the complementary color scheme of orange and blue. The orange is dominant as it has also been used in the flower arrangements to balance out the color within the interior.

Contrasting Color Scheme to the Extreme

Contrasting Color Scheme to the Extreme

I don’t need to say much about this color combination, except that it is using the complementary color scheme combination to the extreme. Here is a scheme consisting solely of red orange and blue green. Bold and striking. See how intense the two colors look side by side (or juxtaposed). Together they bring out the intensity of the other’s hue.

Contemporary Interiors a Popular Choice for Complementary Color Schemes

Contemporary Interiors a Popular Choice for Complementary Color Schemes

A simple textured timber tiled floor and a large glazed wall set the background to enable this strong bold complementary color scheme to live in this interior. It is unusual to see such large expanses of complementary colors like the green wall and the red sofas, but as there is an abundance of natural light and a very large open plan space, they do work well here. The two colors are very intense but toned down slightly by the dark stained timber furniture and the white matt glass light fittings along the green wall breaking up the solid block of color, as well as the white area rug under the central glass coffee table top.

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About the Author – Lee Brown

Lee Brown is the co founder of interiordezine.com, she has worked in the Interior Design Industry for over 23 years, specializing in commercial, hospitality, high end architectural homes and retail design. Over the past 13 years Lee and Chris Brown have been collating their wealth of design knowledge to provide free interior decorating education to the world. Make sure you register for your free ecourse today. Free Interior Decorating eCourse
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