Tips and Guides

Making Complementary Colors Work at Home

Liven up your room with colors that work well together

Photography: Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions

Complementary colors are made up of two colors on opposite sides of the color wheel that bring out the best in each other. When you place them together, each color can make the other appear more vibrant—making these hues perfect as room accents.

If you’re planning to use two complementary colors at home, here are a few tips that may just come in handy:

Use them for a neutral space

Given their high-contrast nature, complementary colors tend to pop out when used with neutral colors. If you have a distinguished piece that you would like to highlight at home—may it be an art piece or rug, consider color combinations like violet or yellow and blue and orange.

Click here for more tips on using neutral colors.

Make one shade lighter than the other

Achieve a balanced look using colors and pieces. Create balanced look ensuring the one shade is softer than the other. If you've decided to use green for your walls, you don't necessarily have to paint your floors with the same color. Consider adding pieces in subtle green such as a lime green lamp or a chartreuse decor piece.

Play with different shapes

Complementary colors can be bright and fresh if you use it with different modern shapes. When styling your bedroom, you may opt for linens with sunshine yellow accents then pair it with Tiffany blue throw pillows with prints.  

Photo by Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions and Louie Aguinaldo.

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

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