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5 colour combinations that always work

The paint and decor colour combinations you choose when decorating can have a huge impact on the way a room looks and makes you feel. You can draw inspiration from anywhere – the way colours combine in nature or what’s hot on the catwalk. But the easiest way to take the pain out of choosing you colours is to apply a little colour theory, think carefully about the proportions of your room and remember that sometimes a little colour goes a long way.

Red and gold

Think Christmas, or the warm rich tones of the sunset. Red has been popular since Renaissance times, giving a feeling of opulence and warmth. These colours lie next to each other on the colour wheel which gives the eye a feeling of harmony. Pair with rich greens for a dramatic and complimentary dining room scheme. You can also push this combination towards pink and orange for a punchy bedroom scheme.

Blue and green

Take your inspiration from nature and team duck egg blues and limey yellows for a shabby chic inspired bedroom, offset with cream. This is one of the most harmonious analogous cool colour combinations and works because of the way our brain learns to appreciate colours and the way they combine. Greens also combine well with pinks, in what’s known as a split complementary scheme, whilst blue and orange can be a bold and shocking complementary scheme. Or play with some of the four colour combinations on the wheel, like blue, green, orange and purple.

Black and white

Black and white is inherently sophisticated and classic, but you can brighten it with pops of shocking pink or lime green as well as the more classic red. It works because it plays warm (black) against cool (white) and can work anywhere – from a classically styled bathroom to a dramatic sitting room.

Earth tones

If bright colour isn’t your thing, try a palette of neutral earth tones like sand, warm grey, beige, umber, tan and terracotta. This a classic scheme for your living space because we find neutral, monochromatic palettes calming and non-threatening. But they can also be bland, so consider adding highlights of peacock blue or punchy fuchsia to add interest to your living room and use the 60/30/10 relationship with the dominant neutral for your walls (60%) and the accent colour for accessories (10%).

Red, white and blue

When you think of colour combinations that work, red, white and blue is right up there. Although these colours have no direct relationship on the colour wheel, they combine warm and cool with a calming monochrome. The trick here is to play with saturation, hue and tone and avoid primary colours. Instead heat up or cool down your colours to make the palette lusher and fresher – think nautical, or deeper and more retro. Simply pick any red and blue you like and play with the contrasts.

Whatever your colour preferences, as we like to say, put some colour in your life!

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