Using two contrasting colors opposite one another on the color wheel gives you a complementary scheme, so called because the two colors “complement” one another. The colors complete or bring the other to perfection, making the other color seem brighter.
Complementary schemes are generally well liked when skillfully assembled. You often see combinations like purple-yellow, red-green, blue-orange in kids’ rooms. But, if not handled well, the two colors can compete creating harsh, over-bright rooms.
To have success when using a complementary scheme in kids’ rooms, do the following:
- Have one color be dominant
- Use varying intensities of the second color
- Use tints and shades of one color to cover large areas of space
- Use the dominant, bolder color in smaller areas
Complements in varying intensities make for an attractive scheme—equal amounts of both create tension. See how the following rooms used one dominant color to settle things down but keep the vitality.
One other scheme often used is called split-complementary, created by combining one color with the colors on both sides of the first color’s complementary color. This scheme works best when low chroma colors are used in large areas, like shown in the room above.
Effective complementary color schemes look lively and colorful so decide on your main color, select it’s opposite on the color wheel and have fun helping the two complement each other.
Want something a little less vibrant? Read the Kids’ Room Color Essentials post and try one of these combinations:
- Light and Dark
- Warm and Cool
- Chroma and Intensity
- Tints, Tones, and Shades
- Monochromatic Schemes
- Analogous Schemes
- Triadic Schemes
- Complementary Schemes
- Monotone Schemes
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