Great Paint Color Schemes- Try a Tetrad

Great Paint Color Schemes- Try a Tetrad

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 and triad color schemes. Today, lets look at a Tetrad!

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 tetrad 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 and Great Paint Color Schemes- Try a Triad. See examples of those color schemes below.

Celebrate your favorite color- go monochromatic! Edesign by NOrthern Lights Home Staging and Design
Monochromatic Color Scheme
Analogous Color Scheme
Analogous Color Scheme 2. Northern Lights Home Staging and Design
Analogous Color Scheme
Complimentary Color Scheme Edesign by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design
Complimentary Color Scheme
Complimentary Color Scheme Edesign by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design
Complimentary Color Scheme
Edesign using a Diad color scheme by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design
Diad Color Scheme
Edesign using a Diad color scheme by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design
Diad Color Scheme
Great Paint Color Schemes- Try a Triad
Triad Color Scheme
Great Paint Color Schemes- Try a Triad
Triad Color Scheme

There are three different Tetrads we could choose from that use our blue (which is a blue/purple). For this article, lets work with the first two.

Tetrad Color Scheme Illustrations by Camp Chroma, the Best Color Training Ever!

The Design

With a tetrad you are using 4 colors and have a large variety of tints, tones and shades to play with within those colors. You can get dramatic or keep it mpre neutral based on the colors you choose. 

For example, below I created a tetrad with our blue as in the sofas as the base color. It’s compliment is yellow. I chose to use yellow in the wall color, in a  a less saturated and lighter yellow than in it’s blue compliment to keep it more neutral. I also used yellow in the buff colored leather ottomans and an accent in the flowers on the coffee table.

The other pair of compliments are the red/purple and green. I used the red/purple in the area rug, and the green in the pillows, pouf and plants and the art.

The rest of the design I kept neutral with the white chairs, accent tables and lamps and plant stands.

Overall in this design the blue and red-purple are most dominant, followed by the green and with yellow mainly as an accent. 

Great Paint Color Schemes- Try a Tetrad

My design also incorporates some of my unique fractal art from my “Spring” Collection. 

Spring Fractal Art by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design
Spring Fractal Art by Nofthern Lights Home Staging and Design
Spring #2 Fractal Art by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design
Spring 2 Fractal Art by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design

The design, although using 4 colors still feels fairly neutral and calm with some pops of color for excitement.

Shop the Look

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.

I selected pieces of various materials with different textures and patterns within the 3 hue families. 

Design 2

In this second version of a tetrad design, I once again used blue in the sofas and a soft neutral yellow paint color as it’s complement as in the first design.

 I added the blue green from the second pair of complements into a new area rug (which also ties in the deep blue, yellow and greens). I maintained the green pillows and pouf and added the red in with the two ottomans and the flower centerpiece on the coffee table. As you can see, this time the red is just an accent, where as the blue, blue green and yellow are more dominant.

Great Paint Color Schemes- Try a Tetrad
Tetrad color Scheme. Edesign by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design
Great Paint Color Schemes- Try a Tetrad
Tetrad color Scheme. Edesign by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design

The design, although using 4 colors still also feels fairly neutral and calm with some pops of color for excitement.

If you wanted to get more dramatic, you could pull in one of the 4 colors with greater saturation or chroma in the wall color as I did below. In this case, I used the blue-green and it changes the whole look and feel, even though everything else is the same.

Great Paint Color Schemes- Try a Tetrad
Tetrad color Scheme. Edesign by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design

Shop the Look- Design #2

Benefits of A Tetrad Color Scheme

  • A tetrad color scheme is relatively easy to put together using two sets of complimentary colors.  The tricky part is determining which colors you want to be more dominant, and balancing the rest so it is not overwhelming.
  • Tetrad color schemes 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, especially if you are using blues and greens.
  •  You can play with this color scheme for different effects by how many colors you allow to be more dominant, and how much weight each carries in the design. Each color brings it’s own feeling to the space so highlight one over the others to get the mood you want.

Create Beauty with Color in Your Space

EACH MOMENT IN LIFE IS YOUR CHOICE.
YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SURROUND YOURSELF WITH BEAUTY RIGHT NOW.
OR NOT, IT’S UP TO YOU.
EVERYTHING IS EASIER WHEN YOU LOVE YOUR SPACE.

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Great Paint Color Schemes- Try a Tetrad
Great Paint Color Schemes- Try a Tetrad
Great Paint Color Schemes- Try a Tetrad
Great Paint Color Schemes- Try a Tetrad

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Published by

Mary Ann Benoit

President- Northern Lights Home Staging and Design Owner- Arctic Paradise Bed and Breakfast Artist- Stained Glass, Jewelry and Alcohol Ink Art Wildlife Biologist Director- Kaleido World Percussion and Dance Company Director- Tavus Dance Company of Alaska Lover of music, art, dance and animals.

16 thoughts on “Great Paint Color Schemes- Try a Tetrad”

  1. Great post Mary! You tackled a difficult topic with such grace, I sure you have inspired all of your readers!!

    1. Thanks so much Amy. This has been a fun topic to explore and experiment with:) I hope people are inspired to try something new.

  2. Your renderings are always incredible! I love seeing all of the different color schemes that you create!

  3. I love that you show the different color schemes side by side in the same room – it makes it so easy to understand the different moods that different choices will create!

    1. Thank you! It is a lot of fun to play with color and see how your different choices affect the way the space makes you feel. Another great reason to hire a designer to show you the options before you paint or purchase anything:)

  4. Love this post Mary Ann and how you show all the paint possibilities for one Room. Very informative about Tetrads too..

  5. I love this series, Mary Ann! Your renderings provide great examples on using the colour scheme in a space.

  6. Hi Mary Ann,
    What a wonderful way of illustrating the different color pairing options! You made it so easy to understand!

  7. Hey thanks for posting this useful content on great paint color schemes try a tetrad presented here, I really hope it will be helpful to many. I hope you keep update us with such great tips and information in future too. This is a great post; I will share as much as I can. Appreciative content!!

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