Be bold with contrasting colours
Contrasting colours are fun to play with – and create a vibrant setting that’s bound to get those
creative juices flowing!
Use a bold and beautiful colour scheme to inject energy into a space and create a dynamic look. Follow these simple guidelines from Dulux colour expert Sonica Bucksteg ( left):
Tips for decorating with contrasting colours
1 Contrast cold and warm colours, says Sonica. By combining them you can create depth in your décor; cooler colours such as blue will recede, allowing warmer colours like red to pop. So if you prefer a space that’s cooler overall, use cool colours as your canvas to support those items in warmer colours, or do it the other way round if you prefer a warmer effect. 2 The greater the distance between hues on the colour wheel, the greater the contrast – and the more dynamic your space will be. A good example is the yellow-redblue triadic colour scheme where the colours are equally spaced around the colour wheel. 3 Don’t introduce bold colours into a room in equal measures as the space will become overwhelming with the colours all competing for attention. It’s important to balance bold colours with a simple 60/30/10 ratio rule; select one hue as the dominant colour at 60% (such as the blue wall) and add interest with a secondary colour at 30% (red sideboard and carpet) and yellow at 10% (books and artwork) as an accent. 4 Add neutralising colours to balance a bold space – these include any neutral, black or white objects. In this room, the neutral flooring is the key balancing factor. The white chair and black frame around the artwork enhance all the other colours.
How to use the colour wheel
Complementary colours lie opposite each other on the colour wheel. This means that if you want a complementary colour for pink, you should look at the blue greens directly opposite the pinks on the colour wheel. These colours will complete or enhance each other. Contrasting colours lie on either side of a colour’s complementary shade on the wheel. This means that if you want a contrasting colour for pink, you should consider yellows or blue violets. Imagine a propeller shape on the colour wheel (see the dotted lines on the colour wheel on the opposite page) when selecting contrasting colours – they offer many of the same benefits as complementary colours, but the effect is more subtle.
The dotted line indicates how you should use the colour wheel to find contrasting colours.