Better Together: Color Combinations You Might Not Have Thought of That Really Work


I love color, and I particularly love it when unexpected colors come together to make an unexpectedly good combination. I keep writing these posts about unusual color combinations to put together, and yet I keep finding new ones, so I’m going to keep writing them. I hope you feel inspired, maybe, to explore a bit, to add a little weird into your color life, and to embrace the possibilities of the unexpected.

Above: This room spotted on Sight Unseen pairs red-orange and aqua (and pink and celadon and teal). It’s a color mashup that’s both somber and lively, a little bit Art Deco Miami but also very now. Of course blue and orange are complementary, but the shift in color tones makes things very interesting and modern.

This room from Lonny demonstrates perfectly how pastels can make excellent neutrals, but also how peach and olive are an unexpectedly lovely combination.

In this Spanish farmhouse from Mi Casa, via Homedit, yellow and purple make an especially dynamic combination. (That’s complementary colors at work, again.)

The combination of pink and mauve feels very ’80s, but I think it’s safe to say that the ’80s are coming back (at least in decor) in a very big way. In this space from Elle Decoration, colors from the past intermingle with very modern shapes.

Primary yellow and blue can seem a bit childish as a pair, but marine blue and mustard, as seen in this space from Farrow & Ball, are both dynamic and sophisticated.

Blush pink and khaki are a very unlikely—but very complementary—couple in this interior from Dulux.

This room from Dimore Studio pairs teal and bright red, to great effect.

Pink and blue is another color combo that may seem childish, but in the skilled hands of We Are Huntly, blush pink and navy bring color but also sophistication.

A variation on the classic combination of red and green, sage green and bright red (along with a touch of yellow) lend a stylish but also dynamic look to a room from Casa Vogue. While very ’50s, it also feels quite contemporary.

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