Colour Combinations – Why opposite Colours are Complementary

Complementary Colours

In Colour theory a complementary scheme is created when you combine colours that are opposite each other on the Colour Wheel. Matching tones of blue and orange, red and green and finally yellow and purple.
When used together complementary colours enhance and balance each other. One only has to look at nature to see how this makes perfect colour sense. Picture an orange sunset in a blue sky, a red rose on a green stem and a purple Iris flower with it’s yellow tongue. Each colour shows the other off, resulting in a look that is more beautiful than a single colour used on its own.  While there are no rules when it comes to colour combinations, it helps to keep your knowledge of colour theory in the back of your mind when planning a colour scheme. Here are some examples of complementary colour combinations.

Red/Pink and Green

Pink and Green is my favourite complementary combination. Green is a great stress relieving colour, it is calming both physically and mentally, and it is very relaxing on the eyes. No wonder it is one of the trendiest colours around. Pink is the colour of unconditional love, something the world desperately needs right now. The two are definitely a beautiful match.

Colour Combinations - Why opposite Colours are Complementary
Image Source: – Eveline Schmitz flamingo’s
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Colour Combinations - Why opposite Colours are Complementary
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Image Souce: Pinterest

Blue and Orange

The warmth of orange is perfectly balanced with the coolness of blue in this complementary combination. Orange reflects confidence and positivity. It gives relaxing blue some upbeat energy.
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Image Source:

Purple and Yellow

While I love purple and yellow in nature, in décor I prefer green and purple, or even red and purple to this complementary pairing. However, there are less intense shades of purple and yellow and the complementary colour can be added as an accent – a bowl of lemons or a vase of daffodils is all that is needed to add some complementary colour to a purple scheme.

Colour Combinations - Why opposite Colours are Complementary
Image Source:, Danenberg Design
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Image Source: For The Home Living – Styling by Alessandra Salaris – Foto Beppe Brancato

If you have created a successful complementary colour scheme I would love to see it.

Hope you have a colour filled week



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Anne Roselt Design is an Online Interior Designer offering beautiful, sustainable and affordable design delivered conveniently to your inbox.

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