20 Unexpected Color Palettes That Work
Take your home to a bold new level by trying out one of these unexpected, but surprisingly perfect, color palettes. Did you know that you could mix red, white and blue with black-and-white stripes? Find out how.
Photo By: Camilla Molders Design
Photo By: Mary Costa
Photo By: Travis J Photography
Photo By: D2 Interieurs
Photo By: Claire Esparros for Homepolish
Photo By: Tessa Neustadt
Photo By: Tessa Neustadt
Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography
Photo By: Eron Rauch
Photo By: Stacy Zarin Goldberg
Photo By: D2 Interieurs
Photo By: Caitlin Murray
Photo By: Taylor Cole Photography
Photo By: Duckworth Interiors
Photo By: Caitlin Murray
Teal + Red
Teal and red 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
Copper Red + Black and White
This ultra-chic living room features contemporary decor with an extra helping of glam. Designer Caitlin Murray grounds the space with a gorgeous copper red rug, which first draws your eyes down. Then she brings your eyes back up and around the room with the use of a bold blue sofa, metallic accents and a moody black ceiling. Together, these colors look sophisticated, glitzy and a bit retro.
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 peach, seafoam green and white. In this girl’s bedroom, designer Mollie Openshaw mixes this punchy shade with both emerald green and stark white for an especially eye-catching effect. She uses a bold coral nightstand to grab your attention and a pretty floral accent wall to pull the 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, D2 Interieurs goes for something a little more modern and daring. Bright orange and hot pink pair to create a vibrant, lively combination that pops against crisp white walls. 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 + Olive Green + Brown
Red plus green equals sleigh bells and mistletoe, right? Not in this contemporary living room. Designer Justin DiPiero is sure to use the two complementary hues without making it feel like a holiday room. To make this combo work, he adds creamy brown and stark white. 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 can say, "more is more." Designer Stefani Stein gives this home’s entry a modern, eclectic feel by combining a variety of colors and design styles. Although she mixes orange, fuchsia, black, green, nude and plenty of other hues in this small space, she does it with such ease, balance and control that it looks like these colors were meant to be together.
Bright Red, Coral + Emerald
Much like classic green and red, emerald green and red can make a room feel like a year-round holiday, too. By mixing in lighter shades of red, like coral or pink, and adding an eye-catching pattern on the walls, you can instantly use these classic holiday hues without feeling like you're stuck in a year-round carol.
Navy Blue + Pale Coral
You're probably used to seeing neutral hues used on the walls of bedrooms, but with a little paint you can easily spice up a room's color palette. In this bedroom, designer Brian Patrick Flynn uses a pale coral paint on the walls, which contrasts with the rich blue headboard and accents, creating a stunning combination.
Teal + Citrus
In this hip bathroom, a deep jewel-toned blue is energized with touch of citrusy yellow that pops against the natural wood vanity. Matte black accents complete the striking design.
Burgundy + Hot Pink + Autumn Yellow
Designer Breeze Giannasio unites color exceptionally well in this stunning living room. She uses a neutral hue on the walls to warm up the room before adding several blasts of color. Her combination of burgundy, hot pink and autumn yellow creates an energetic, stylish and inviting space.
Lime Green + Citrus Yellow
If you're feeling especially brave, why not go for a color combination that is anything but subtle? Lime green and citrus yellow? It works! In this dining room, yellow and green are used as the primary colors, while light blue is used as an accent color. D2 Interieurs calms the vibrant color scheme with crisp white walls.
Butterscotch + Shades of Green
Designer Joanna Gaines steers away from the traditional kid color palette when designing this boys’ room. On the walls she uses various shades of earthy green to create depth, and throughout the room she uses touches of butterscotch to create warmth.
Aqua + Ruby Red
Take your living room to a whole new level by combining vivacious hues in your tranquil space. Here, aqua walls pair with ruby 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.
Golden Yellow + Kelly Green
Kids' bedrooms should be full of spirit and liveliness, just like the kids themselves are. In this stylish nursery, designer Bri Moysa uses an unusual but well-paired combination of Kelly green and golden yellow around the room. Green-and-white wallpaper creates a focal point on the walls, and patterned yellow bedding is certainly a fun way to play with a traditional room element. Black and white accents bring the entire look together.
Wine + Rust
Searching for a more saturated color scheme? Duckworth Interiors serves up some serious inspiration in this jewel-toned living room. Deep wine-colored walls provide a rich backdrop for the rust velvet sofa and ottoman, while weathered gray floors and nubby rugs in the same shade ground the intense design.
Lilac + Peach + Midnight Blue
Edgy and moody yet elegant and feminine, this complex color palette is in a league of its own. Midnight blue and charcoal gray create weight and depth, while lilac and peach punch up the pretty factor. Crisp white pulls the look together.