Color Schemes

Some color combinations work better than others. Color schemes are relationships on the color wheel that can help you choose pleasing color combinations for your spaces.

Whether you want to make an accent piece pop or plan a color scheme for an entire space, use the relationships below to choose coating colors you’ll love to look at again and again.

Basic Color Schemes

  • Monochromatic

    Combine one hue with any or all of its shades and tints. Similar base colors, such as light and dark purples, create a calm energy in any space. All you need to do is select one key color and then select related tints, shades and tones.

    • Monochromatic Colors
  • Complementary

    Choose a dominant color, such as purple, and accent it with directly opposing colors, such as oranges. Balance a warm and cool color for best results

    • Complementary Colors
  • Split-Complementary

    For a strong visual contrast with less tension than the complementary color scheme, choose a dominant color and accent it with two colors equally spaced from its complement on the color wheel. This is a great solution if you’re nervous mixing colors. It’s difficult to go wrong with these combinations.

    • Split Complementary Colors
  • Analogous

    Do you love outdoor landscapes? Mimic the calming, harmonious color schemes found in nature with an analogous color scheme. Choose a dominant color and then accent it with adjacent colors on the color wheel.

    • Analogous Colors
  • Tetradic Double-Complementary Scheme

    Are you comfortable with color relationships? Use two complementary color sets to create a rich color scheme. Control the level of contrast by him much distance you place between your two sets on the color wheel. Tetradic color schemes are not recommended if you’re nervous mixing colors. Don’t use all four colors equally. Choose one dominant color for best results.

    • Tetradic Colors
  • Triad

    Go vibrant. Select one color. Then try out two more that are spaced equally apart on the color wheel. Allow one color to dominate and the other two to accent. This color scheme appears lively even with paler tints.

    • Triad Colors

Basic Color Terms

  • Hue

    Hues are pure colors. They do not have added blacks or whites.

  • Tints

    Tints result after whites are added to hues

  • Shades

    Shades result after blacks are added to hues.

  • Saturation

    Saturation describes the intensity of hue.

Get Inspired!