1. Home
Send to a Friend via Email

No Fail Color Palettes

Find Some Great Color Palettes by Consulting the Color Wheel


Color Wheel Image

Tons of great color schemes can be found by simply consulting the color wheel.

One of the things homeowners and renters struggle with the most when decorating is color – particularly how many colors to use and what colors work together. To try to make it a little easier here are some ways to create some no-fail color palettes guaranteed to work together.

Types of Color Palettes


The tone-on-tone color combination is the simplest to work with. Choose a color you love and can live with and then use several shades of it. For example, say you love green. Start with a forest or emerald green (or whatever shade you wish) and then add a bit of white for a softer, lighter green. Then take the original green and add some black to get a darker green. Use these different greens throughout the room. It doesn't make for the most exciting color palette, but it's subtle and guaranteed to work. (You can always add some pure black and white accents to add some interest.)


Analogous colors are those that are neighbors on the color wheel. An analogous color palette uses different shades and hues of these colors (blue, green and yellow for example). It's a simple way to find colors that work together and will add some life to your space. Again, it's not the most visually exciting look, but it's nice and always works.


For a simple but exciting look the complementary color scheme is the way to go. People are often intimidated by this, but it's actually very easy. Simply take two colors opposite each other on the wheel and voila! Yellow and violet, green and red, blue and orange; they're simple but offer a lot of contrast and are guaranteed to add energy and vitality to any space. Remember that you don't have to use the purest form of the colors; add white and black to either soften or harden the colors until you find something pleasing to your eye. For instance, baby blue and bright orange is a youthful and energetic combination.

When it comes to color palettes the options are quite literally endless. But if you're a little unsure of what colors will work together refer back to these tried and true color schemes. If nothing else they can provide a great jumping off point for the more exciting color scheme you desire.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.