Complementary Colors: The Beauty of Contradiction

Do you and your significant other struggle with color selection and design because you both like totally different colors? It could still work! You like blue, he likes orange… perfect. Now let’s pair it together.

In the world of color, contradictions make beautiful and inspirational statements. We have all heard the term “opposites attract”…. You can’t have the yin without the yang! Complementary colors are opposite of each other on the color wheel and do in fact complement each other. They balance each other through warm and cool characteristics that are often simultaneously stimulating and pleasing to the eye. The contrast can be bold and energetic or it can be soft and soothing.

Some familiar complementary colors are red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and purple. These colors don’t always have to be in-your-face counterparts. If you are a little hesitant jumping into a sea of color, they can be applied in accents and accessories throughout your home or by using less saturated (intense) colors. What also makes the space balanced is the repetition of colors and how they are dispersed throughout the area.

Color Wheel

Let’s jump further into the rainbow with double complementary and split complementary schemes. A double complementary scheme is when two hues (colors) are next to each other on the color wheel and are paired with two adjacent hues on the opposite side. This overall creates a color palette of four hues that are adjacent but opposite such as blue-green, blue, orange, and red-orange.

The split complementary scheme (we told you color is a whole study in itself!) is with three colors that are not equally divided along the color wheel but two of the colors are close to each other (not adjacent) and opposite to the third color. This could be red, purple and yellow. These two variations of the complementary scheme have a lighter contrast in color.

The juxtaposition of color is everywhere. Sometimes we miss it on our day-to-day activities such as eating a fresh handful of strawberries. Nature is color’s best friend as we find most vibrant and soft colors in the sky, flowers, and insects.


What rainbow strands will you been dancing on? Be inspired!

For more inspiration, head on over to and check out the cool Pinterest board that we created for you:

2017-04-04T01:43:47+00:00 By |