20 Unexpected Color Palettes That Work
Photo By: Camilla Molders Design
Photo By: Sherwin-Williams
Photo By: Chris Tsambis
Photo By: Sherwin-Williams
Photo By: Courtesy of IKEA
Teal + Rust
Teal and rust create one of those unexpected color combinations that instantly evokes a feeling of familiarity. The deep red-brown hue of the stools mixed with copper accents and contrasting shades of blue are reminiscent of cool fall days and falling leaves. Photo courtesy of Camilla Molders
Navy Blue + Fuchsia + Shades of Brown
Neons are all the rage and, surprisingly, they go well with just about any color. In this exotic and globally-inspired bedroom, a palette of copper, brown and burnt orange is brightened with a burst of fuchsia and a contrasting shade of navy blue on the walls. Surrounded by antique-style accessories and furnishings, the shiny, lacquered bed frame makes an eye-catching statement. Photo courtesy of HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams
Copper Red + Black and White
This hotel lounge area in The Mark, located in Manhattan's Upper East Side, features contemporary decor with an extra helping of glam. French designer Jacques Grange adds a bold black-and-white striped effect to the floor to first draw your eyes down. Then he brings your eyes back up and around the room with the use of copper-red club chairs, copper sconces, and an oversize pink and wine-red painting. Together, these colors look sophisticated, glitzy and a bit retro. Photo courtesy of Oyster.com
Coral + Emerald Green
Although often seen as a softer, more pastel shade of pink, coral is actually a pretty vocal and vibrant color. This sea-inspired hue stands out with both darker and more subdued colors, like pale yellow, seafoam green and gray. In this traditional bedroom, designer Tobi Fairley mixes this peachy shade with both emerald green and stark white for an especially eye-catching effect. She uses coral around the room through punchy accessories, like the pillows, throw and desk chair. The white-and-coral ceiling stripes really pull the entire look together.
Orange + Shades of Blue
When designing a room, a jolting shade of tangerine and various shades of blue may not be the first color combination that comes to mind. However, the two pair very well together when used correctly (and won't make you feel like you're cheering for a sports team). In this room, think of the subdued and grayed shades of blue as neutrals. The tangerine chair, crib mattress and changing table are now beautiful, vibrant accents among soft blue surroundings. Designer Sarah Richardson adds just the perfect amount of orange accessories to create that shot of color.
Orange + Hot Pink
Rather than choosing a traditional color palette for this girl's room, designer Linda Woodrum goes for something a little more modern and daring. A combination of bright orange and hot pink creates a vibrant and lively design that also fits in with its tropical surroundings. Although these colors are side by side on the color wheel, they look stunning together.
Red, White and Blue, Plus Black and White
Designer Tobi Fairley takes a daring approach when choosing the color scheme for this preppy/traditional entryway. First, she uses bright red frames on the wall for the most noticeable burst of color. Then she coordinates with a bright blue chair with red trim. The surprise comes when she adds a sky-blue and white console table and a black-and-white-striped rug. Red, white, blue and black can absolutely work together!
Turquoise + Tangerine
The color combination of turquoise, tangerine, gold and white presents an exotic, global feel, especially when introduced through vases and curved end tables. Each color, although used differently, appears balanced and equal. Photo courtesy of Phillip Jeffries
Red + Kelly Green + Brown
Red plus green equals sleigh bells and mistletoe, right? Not in this contemporary bedroom. Designer Brian Patrick Flynn is sure to use the two complementary hues without making it feel like a holiday room. To make this combo work all year round, he adds chocolate brown and stark white accents. Now, the palette feels rich and sophisticated.
Indigo + Copper
When we say copper, we don't mean the metal. In this designer bedroom, a copper-orange upholstered headboard and bed frame make an eye-catching debut among an otherwise white and indigo color palette. The hues complement each other and allow the white to create balance with contrast. Photo courtesy of Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design
White + A Little Bit of Everything
The age-old saying goes, "less is more," but in this case we say, "more is more." Designer Jonathan Adler gives the lounge area of the Parker Palm Springs lobby a modern, 70s-inspired feel by combining eclectic fabrics, vintage furnishings, colorful ceramics and a stunning atomic-age chandelier. Although he mixes coral, fuchsia, golden yellow, olive, neon, red and plenty of other hues in this small space, he does it with such ease, balance and control that it looks like these colors were meant to be together. Photo courtesy of Oyster.com
Bright Red, Coral + Olive
Much like bright red and green, olive and bright red can make a room feel like a year-round holiday, too. By mixing in lighter shades of red, like coral or pink, and combining patterns on the curtains, throws, furniture and pillows, you can instantly use these classic holiday hues without feeling like you're stuck in a year-round carol. Design by Sarah Richardson
Navy Blue + Coral
You're probably used to seeing white trim along the windows and doors in a home, but with a little paint you can easily spice up a room's color palette. In this family room, the designer uses coral paint on the window trim, which contrasts with the rich blue sectional, creating a stunning combination. Photo courtesy of Peppermint Bliss; photography by Emily Anderson
Teal + Citrus
In this rustic dining room, a deep jewel-tone blue is energized with touche of citrusy yellow that pops against the wood-beamed ceiling and natural materials. Design by Sasha Emerson; architecture by Lewin Wertheimer; photography by Douglas Hill
Mauve + Hot Pink + Neon Yellow
Designer David Bromstad is certainly no stranger to using color. In this Miami living room, David uses a neutral hue on the walls to warm up the room before adding his signature blast of color. He carefully combines mauve, hot pink and neon yellow to create an energetic, stylish and inviting space that easily fits in with its hot-spot surroundings.
Lime Green + Golden Yellow
If you're feeling especially brave, why not go for a color combination that is anything but subtle? Lime green and golden yellow? It works! In this living room, the yellow is used as an accent color while lime green is used as the primary color. The designer even chooses a small dividing wall to paint yellow to break up the green color scheme.
Butterscotch + Shades of Green
Designer Erika Firm steers away from the traditional blue and white color palette when designing this coastal-style living room. On the walls and vaulted ceiling she uses a warm butterscotch color that instantly adds height and depth to the room. Various shades of earthy greens are used throughout to add an unexpected touch of color. Design by Erika Firm of Delphine Press; photography by Jessica Davis
Coral + Golden Yellow + Gray
Traditionally, no girl's bedroom would be complete without a combination of pretty pastels like coral, golden yellow and blue. But what about pastels mixed with gray and black? In this bedroom, gray plays the neutral while black and white act as standout accents. Photo courtesy of HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams
Aqua + Bright Red
Take your bedroom to a whole new level by combining vivacious hues in your tranquil space. Here, aqua walls and bright red and stark white accents give this room a modern and energetic feel. Red and aqua may feel like strangers on the color spectrum, but in this room they look perfect together. Photo courtesy of IKEA
Citrus + Kelly Green
Kids' bedrooms should be full of spirit and liveliness, just like the kids themselves are. In this stylish nursery, the designer uses an unusual but well-paired combination of kelly green and citrus around the room. Green-and-white stripes create a focal point on the ceiling, and bold yellow doors are certainly a fun way to transform a traditional room element. Other primary color accents bring the entire room together.