8 Ways to Decorate With Contrasting Colors

Infuse your rooms with a new look by choosing hues that contrast with one another to create an intriguing, vibrant design.
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May 28, 2015
By: Camila Ramirez-Pavone
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It's in the Unexpected Details

Introduce a contrasting color combo to a room at the beginning of the room. White doors are everywhere, and a pop of citron like the one featured in this nursery is unexpected. Once the door is opened, guests are met with a shade of pink fit for a princess and small accents of citron to continue the contrasting color theme in the room. Photo courtesy of Nicole Davis

Judge a Book by Its Cover

If you have neutral walls and aren't able to inject a contrasting color combo with paint, turn to your bookcases. Create an eye-catching vignette by pairing like-colored books together. Be sure to check the binding underneath the covers; the hue of the binding may work better with your display. Photo courtesy of Naomi Freier Interiors

Living Accessories

Introduce color with blooms. Flowers are an inexpensive accessory that can provide an instant and temporary contrasting color combo, like the bright yellow bloom paired with these violet lamps. Photo courtesy of Naomi Freier Interiors

Brightly Trimmed

Traditionally, all of the trim in a home is white, so infuse a space with excitement by painting the trim a fun shade. Coral paint on the trim of this family room contrasts perfectly with the main focal point of the room — the amazing blue sofa. Photo courtesy of Peppermint Bliss; photo by Emily Anderson

Tone It Down

You picked out a paint swatch and decided to be bold. Once the bold shade is on the walls, panic sets in and you immediately fear it is too dark. In order to bring down the intensity of color, look across the color wheel and work with its complementary color. In this living room, the navy walls are rich and inviting, but the space needed to be toned down and energized. Orange accessories bring the space to life by balancing the color scheme. Photo courtesy of Danika Herrick

Stick With Black and White

Even though black and white are not on the color wheel, they are still contrasting colors. You won't get a colorful room with this combo, but you will achieve a bold room filled with richness and drama. The best perk about a black and white color combo is you can add accessories in any color because everything goes with it. Photo courtesy of Catherine Rawsen

Start Small

Not ready to fully commit to the contrasting colors look? Start with a favorite color to set the scene of your room and add in accessories of an opposite hue. Accessories can be easily switched out when you're ready to try a new style. Large horizontal stripes of aqua blue and white create interest and excitement in this laundry room, while red accessories contrast with the blue to make the space really pop. Photo courtesy of Casa Greer

Variety of Hues

Add even more interest to a room by picking one color and using it in a variety of hues. Each shade of blue, from navy to turquoise, in this bedroom works great with the yellow individually. Too many colors can often muddy a palette, but the contrasting yellow is the glue that holds them all together. Photo courtesy of Camila Pavone

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