People often struggle with creating a great color scheme. In my last few blog articles we discussed how you could take your favorite color, blue for example, and create different color schemes. We explored monochromatic, analogous, complimentary, diad, triad and tetrad color schemes. Today, lets look at a Split-Complimentary!
A tetrad uses four colors which include two complimentary color pairings. It can be difficult to balance if you use all four colors in equal amounts it may feel like too much. You can use one to three colors as dominant colors and and let the rest be more subdued. By subdued, I mean you can use less of the colors proportionally. Or you could use less saturated versions of the colors so they don’t stand out as much, but color schemes tend to look more harmonious if you are using similar saturation or chroma levels. Here are some examples.
Let’s create a split-complimentary color scheme with the blue we have been working with in the last several articles. You can see this blue in the sofas.
To catch up on these other color schemes see my articles Celebrate Your Favorite Color- Go Monochromatic and Create a Harmonious Color Scheme- Go Analogous, Opposite Colors Attract, Go Complimentary and Great Paint Color Schemes- Do a Diad , Great Paint Color Schemes- Try a Triad , Great Color Schemes- Try a Tetrad and Great Color Schemes- Try a Split Complimentary. See examples of those color schemes below.
In a double complementary color scheme, you use a primary color such as our blue, its compliment yellow, and then the pair of complimentary colors of one of its neighbors on either side such as blue/purple and yellow/green or blue/green and orange.
Double Complimentary Color Schemes Illustrations by Camp Chroma, the Best Color Training Ever!
With a Double-Complimentary scheme we are working with 4 colors, or two sets of compliments. We have a large variety of tints, tones and shades to play with within those colors, but it is always most harmonious if you work with colors with similar chroma (saturation). In other words it looks best if you are not mixing rich, bright colors with pastels. You can get dramatic or keep it more neutral based on the colors you choose. I find adding rich color to the walls creates drama, while using a more neutral wall color feels more relaxing.
In this design I used the blue/yellow compliment pair in the sofas and the beautiful area rug. I used the green/yellow of the neighboring compliment pair in the area rug, pillows and my fractal art. I decided to bring in purple in small amounts as an accent, and used plants with purple flowers to highlight that color.
In the examples above, I created drama by using a more saturated shade of blue for the wall color. To create a more neutral look, I created a second version below where I used the same color but with very low saturation so it is almost gray.
Shop the Look- Design 1
Check out the pieces I selected for this design. Some include affiliate links, meaning I receive a small commission for sharing at no additional cost to you.
My design also incorporates some of my unique fractal art from my “Spring” Collection.
In this second design I used the blue/yellow complimentary pair again but this time worked with blue/green and orange. I found a beautiful area rug as an inspiration piece that has the blue, blue green, orange and a touch of yellow to tie everything together. I highlighted the orange in the 3 poufs. I used the blue/green in the pillows, the wall color and in my “Jenna” fractal art collection. The yellow I used as a small accent with flowers or flower vases.
Shop the Look Design #2
Here is a closer view of my fractal art collection called “Jenna” which I created in honor of Jenna Gaidusek of the Edesign Tribe when creating something for her office with her favorite colors. In my design, the art is on canvas prints, but they are available framed or on a variety of materials as well as on other home decor in my store at Society 6.
Benefits of A Double Complimentary Color Scheme
- A double complimentary color scheme is easy to put together using 4 colors. You can give all colors equal weight in the design for more drama, or make one or two colors more dominant based on the mood you want to create. The challenge will be trying not allow too many strong colors to compete with each other. Vary the saturation or better yet, the amount of the colors showing by making 1-2 colors as accents.
- A double complimentary color scheme can be really dramatic or relaxing based on the saturation and placement of the colors you choose. Very nice for living rooms, dining rooms and areas that you like to entertain. You could try the more relaxing color combinations in a bedroom or office.