Interior Designer

Choosing an Ideal Accent Color for your Home

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t know the best available color choices for your rooms. These tips will be more than sufficient to choose that perfect accent color.

It is so simple to pick your favorite color. However, application of that color in your home is a different matter altogether, especially when you want to two tone colors. You are likely to make more mistakes and the frustration will make you feel lost in your efforts. No need to give up on your dream color combinations just because you can’t get the look you desire. You can use these suggestions to pair the right accent color with the other primary and secondary colors to finally get the look.

Get acquainted with the color wheel


[Image: Paul Anater]

Primary Colors: Blue, red and yellow

Secondary Colors: Green, purple and orange

Analogous colors are the ones that sit side by side on a spectrum for example, green and yellow.

Complementary colors are opposing side of the spectrum, for example, purple and yellow.

Primary Colors

Purple accents paired with yellow walls


[Image: 1800Lighting]

If you want to give your home an eclectic look, you can also pick from the complementary scheme of colors that is, using the ones opposing one another in a spectrum. Together these colors have a glamorous appearance and produce a highly dramatic and fashionable look. In this image, you can see how purple makes a standalone statement against yellow backdrop.

You can either use pale yellow for the primary color or use both in a similar equation, although in moderation. Along with this look, you can get some semblance by using a lot of neutrals to make the pairing appear less imposing. The resultant décor will be that of spring season.

Blue Accents and yellow Walls


[Image: Tom Stringer Design Partners]

Yellow has a scientific edge of being not just a warm and bright hue but also the lightest. To make the yellow colors stand out, blue accents work perfectly well. Blue is one of the least forceful colors in the spectrum. You can pick from muted shades of pastels or highly saturated lemon yellow that can be paired with deep shade of blue or navy. However, when warmth of yellow is mixed with coolness of blue, it will always create a perfect balance of that keeps the space from getting too hot or cold visually.

Accents of Yellow with Blue Walls


[Image: Toronto Interior Design Group | Yanic Simard]

Yellow and blue have natural pairing potential. Hence, if you like muted tones with a pop of color, then you can switch the scheme and it would still be just as effective. As a matter of fact, switching the two works more naturally than the other combination. When you are pairing blue walls with soft accents of yellow, you are free to choose the bold variant without going too over the top. You can easily make a statement with splashes of yellow which will be easily accommodated by deep blue without the fear of getting too intense.

White Accents on Red Walls


[Image: Terrat Elms Interior Design]

Red is one of the most vibrant colors that the color wheel has ever seen. It is intense and has a lot of symbolic significance in many cultures across the world. It is associated with fire, love, passion, appetite and lots more. However, because of its demanding nature, it can be challenging to pair it with any other accent color. This is the reason most people prefer to pair fiery red with soft and subtle white.

Red can be a dominant color of the room or can be applied to a feature wall and it will still be able to feel like the strongest color. So if you are under doubt, treat it as the main color and not as a feature.

Blue on Blue Accents 


[Image: Alice Burnham, Inc.]

If your idea of a perfect room revolves around monochromatic scheme then nothing will serve you better than blue. If you are not convinced about hot color and don’t feel that safe in its application then you can also consider using blue on blue. You can also experiment with blue-green and indigo for an oceanic theme. 

Blue Walls paired with Red accents and a dash of yellow



The blending of primary colors is one of the most common design techniques there is. It lends a certain feeling of timelessness and works just about perfectly with one another when used in moderation. For starters, just color your walls blue and add reasonable amount red around the room, perhaps add a piece of furniture and scatter some easy yellow accessories for a more dramatic finish.

Accent of Blue on Red Walls



When you have walls blazing with red, navy comes through as a rescuer by neutralizing its loud tone. Even though red and blue are at opposing ends of the spectrum wheel, even then blue is capable of playing out its role of soothing the tones without any drama. The combination is very chic and does not play against each other in a shocking way offering terrific interior design ideas for the dining hall.

Secondary Colors

Purple on Purple    


[Image: Home Staging]

Purple, just like blue is one other color that works perfectly well its own family. You can use purple as the primary shade across the room, albeit in various hues. A royal effect can be attained by using dark purple or a muted one for a more playful yet mature finish. It is better to mix in some indigo or reddish purple to prevent it from becoming monotonous.

Green Accents paired with orange walls

contemporary-bedroom (1)


Orange is one of the loudest colors and is a profound product of yellow and red. One cannot ignore its inherent warmth and vibrancy. Blue at the same time is a direct opposite of orange on the spectrum. If you would like tone orange a few notches down, then it is recommended to use green for that effect. Green will certainly bring in its coolness quotient without demanding too much attention for itself. To get a perfectly harmonious look, you can add green-yellow for an analogous impact and the one that naturally agrees with one another.

Yellow, orange and red accents paired with green walls


[Image: A. Rejeanne Interiors]

The other secondary colors are bold and strong but when green is the dormant color it allows other hues to accommodate themselves. This is the reason one can get very creative with these colors on their palette without a fear of going wrong. Take the analogous color scheme to another level by mixing various colors from the other half of the color wheel. For example, in this room, the shades revolve around green to yellow on one hand and from orange to red on another.

Yellow Accents on Purple Walls

beach-style-bedroom (1)

[Image: WA Design]

Soft purple works magically with earthy shades of yellow without making the room appear childish. Yellow brings in certain cheerfulness and positive energy to the room while muted purple induces calm. For an overall tied in look, you can also throw in some more accented colors to prevent it from becoming a theme.

Shades of Green Accents with Pink Walls 


[Image: Andrea Brooks Interiors]

Pink can be defined as a lighter red shade but definitely has an edge of its own which is why it is identified as a different color altogether. Even though, green and pink are complementary colors on the wheel spectrum, it has been an old tradition to pair the two together for a peppy playfulness neutralized by an air sophistication that comes with green.

Green walls decorated with accents of blue, violet and purple

contemporary-dining-room (1)

[Image: Vendome Press]

This room is played along the lines of analogous blue and then into green and then from purple into violet. In all the cases, the bold colors are naturally offset by using green as an anchor just like a full flower with a green stem. This makes the room look colorful without all the shades overwhelming one another by contrast. You can create immense visual interest by incorporating one half of the color wheel and also play with different energies at the same time. 

Complementary Colors


[Image: Favreau Design]

Just like we saw in pink and green, the safest approach with complementary colors is to let the primary shade do all the talking. You can tone it down a little so that it does not overwhelm and use an accent color in bits and pieces for a colorful yet tied in look. This will make the room look edgy and lively without being monochromatic.

Golden Accents on Gray Walls  


[Image: Mead Quin Design]

If you seem to be at loss for accent colors then you can consider using natural greens of plants and some metallic accents of gold. They are both very strong inclusions and will add a lot of depth to the room. The off white and gray neutrals work in perfect harmony with these loud hues.

Multiple colors with White Walls


[Image: Rachel Reider Interiors]

Choosing the accents for white color are by far the easiest. There is no way you can wrong with your favorite color pairings. However, the only unfortunate accident here can be to allow one color to dominate the overall palette. The trick is to use all the pop colors in moderation so that they play with one another rather than overpowering the others. You can decorate using fun fabrics or use an eclectic painting for a more quirky look. Use the muted tones on fabrics across the room to balance the space in terms of colors.

Mixing colors from the spectrum are not that hard if you stick to the rule book. However, if you would like to experiment a little, then it is better to stay within the spectrum so that the impact can be mitigated if the things go wrong. It is ok to try new things but not in defiance of the nature!

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