Building & Renovating

5 Ways To Use Complementary Colors At Home

It's easy as A, B, C!

Photography: Miguel Nacianceno (Main Photo)

Complementary colors, or colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, make for lively combinations in a room. If you’re stumped on how to use them in your own space, here are some ideas: 

1. Blue + Yellow

Blue orange are directly opposite each other on the color wheel, while yellow comes close. In this bedroom, the combination makes for a cheerful space as though it was infused with sunshine. 

2. Red + Green

In this kid’s room, watermelon pink (a tint of red) and lime green create a girly but not-too-sweet interior for its occupant. Interior designer Nina Santamaria of Grupo Santamaria added black and white stripes to tone down the kiddie feel. 

3. Red + Green mixed with jewel tones

You can also create an exotic space using complementary colors, like this Moroccan-style sitting area. Variants of red and green abound, coupled by embellished cushions and embroidered pillows. 

4. Violet + Yellow

In this room, lilac (a tint of violet) walls interact with the yellow bed linen. This combination is light to the eye and is far from being overbearing. 

5. A mix of two pairs of complementary colors  

Blue and orange are complementary colors, as well as violet and yellow. You can use each pair in two different rooms in your house to show how colorful your paint choices are.

Get more color tips in Real Home Ideas 4: The Color Book. Download your digital copy on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details. 

PHOTOS: Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions | Rene Mejia | Miguel Nacianceno (3, 4, 5)

More on

5 Color Wheel Basics That You Need To Know

6 Things You Need To Know About Color Combinations

Dos and Don’ts of Using Colors at Home


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