How to combine colours in the interior?
10 / 02 / 2021
Design & trends

Have you ever wondered how designers manage to come up with perfect color combinations? Of course, some people have it in their blood... However, professionals often use a tool called color wheel.

How to combine colours in the interior?

At different times Isaac Newton, Johann Goethe and other personalities from science and art dealt with the systematisation of colours. The color circle by Johannes Itten, a Swiss painter, art theoretician and teacher, is in widespread use nowadays. The 12-part color scheme illustrates the relationship between colours and serves as an excellent tool for matching them. Itten's color wheel is based on three primary colours: red, yellow and blue. The color wheel is expanded by the second-order colours (green, purple and orange), which are created from the mixture of two primary colours. Tertiary colours complement the color wheel from the mixture of primary and secondary colours. By splitting the wheel in the middle, you can delineate warm versus cool colours.

A separate category are the so-called "neutral" colours: white, black, grey, ivory, beige and brown. These colours perfectly match with bright colours from the color wheel as well as each other.

How does the color wheel work in practice? Easier than it might seem at first glance. There are several basic approaches to working with a color wheel, which we will discuss in more detail.

Analogous Combination is the combination of two or more colours that are adjacent to each other on the color circle. This is a fairly "safe" option that will give you a likeable but not a boring interior.

Complementary combination consists of two contrasting colours that sit opposite of each other on the color circle. In this case, one color serves as the main color (for example, it can be used as a wall color or for large furniture) and the second as a contrasting color that can be used in decorations and accessories.

Triadic combinations consist of three colours, which can be combined in two ways. The first approach — a contrasting triad — is to use two adjacent colours instead of one of the complementary colours. 

The second approach — the classic triad — involves the combination of three colours that are equidistant from one another on the color wheel. An equilateral triangle will help you determine the colours on the circle.

For a “bold” design, all three colours are used equally to create a vibrant and striking interior. For a less playful design, one color is used as the main color and the other two are used for bright accents.

A square or rectangular combination (terade) consists of either two pairs of complementary colours (rectangle) or four colours equidistant from one another (square). Such color combinations are quite complex and more suitable for experienced designers.

If the suggested color combinations still seem too flashy to you, monochrome combinations are another interesting approach. Here you use a basic color and play with variations in saturation, without mixing it with other colours. This is a rather conservative approach, but it helps to create a harmonious interior. Also, remember that any of the suggested color schemes can be combined with neutral colours — in an intensity that you personally prefer.

Now, that you know how to mix and match vibrant colours and be willing to experiment, you may need the appropriate materials. Take a look at our collection of solid colours. The collection includes many accent colours as well as a wide range of neutral colours. Even if you don't find exactly the right color, please contact us personally — we can produce any color you desire.