Which colors go well with white

Which colors go together: The color guide for your interior design

Which colors go together is a matter of taste? In fact, there are a lot of rules that you can follow when choosing colors when it comes to interior design. It is also worth taking a look at the basics of color theory, which has shaped our current view of colors in many areas, such as advertising and film.

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In this color guide, we show you how you can harmoniously furnish rooms with color and which contrasts work particularly well. For this purpose, we introduce you to five tools with which you can generate beautiful color palettes.

Basics of color theory

Do the colors match? Sometimes we find an answer to this question very intuitively and let our gut feeling decide whether we find something harmonious or not. It doesn't matter whether it's fashion or furnishings.

However, many artists and scientists have dealt with the subject of color theory in extensive color studies and have developed color circles. These can be helpful in making it easier to understand and evaluate color combinations, including when it comes to choosing the right color in your home.

Primary colors, secondary colors, complementary contrast

  • In principle, one subdivides into the three basic colors: yellow, blue and red.
  • If you mix two of them together, you get three additional secondary colors: green, orange and purple.
  • The colors that are exactly opposite each other in the color wheel are also referred to as complementary colors, for example green and red, blue and orange, yellow and purple.

The closer the colors are in the color wheel, the more harmonious they appear next to each other. But complementary colors can also look balanced in the right proportions - but more on that later.

You can find detailed instructions on how to read off harmonious pairs of colors from the color wheel shown below, for example on Talu.

This creates harmonies in your living spaces

Whether a room looks harmonious for you naturally depends on many different factors. Which furniture did you choose? How are they arranged in the room? Is the junk stowed away and all the cables hidden or are they hanging around wildly under the TV? But the color worlds in which you move can also have a major influence on whether you feel comfortable in your surroundings.

Tone on tone: create harmonious color effects with similar color tones

If you move in a color world, i.e. work tone in tone, theoretically not much can go wrong. Since the colors in the color wheel are all very close to one another, their harmonious relationship is naturally given. Select a color and graduate it from light to dark, which has a particularly calming effect on the eye.

This works just as well with light and pastel tones as with darker tones, whereby you should also pay attention to how much daylight you have in your rooms. Dark green tones, for example, can quickly make a room appear small and restrictive. Then it is better to use light tones that make the room appear larger.

Furnish with contrasts and set accents

You can of course not only achieve harmonies with tone-on-tone combinations. Contrasts are also an excellent stylistic device when it comes to furnishing your home. With them you can set exciting accents and stage eye-catchers in your apartment.

However, you should proceed with caution and always combine high-contrast colors in the right ratio, otherwise it quickly becomes restless. In contrast to harmonious colors, an unbalanced relationship can quickly lead to the overall visual appearance being destroyed.

As a rule of thumb, the more luminous color is always used less than the more muted color. We will show you in a small overview which contrasts there are and in which ratio they work best.

Cold-warm contrast

This contrast is particularly expressive. A cold color (e.g. a shade of blue) is always contrasted with a warmer color (e.g. a shade of red). The two colors blue and red form the poles of this contrast. It can be weakened by adding the strong colors white or black. Contrast is also often used in advertising to highlight opposites, such as near (warm color) and far (cold color).

Complementary contrast

A complementary contrast is created by two secondary colors that are exactly opposite each other in the color wheel. From this you can derive the following color combinations:

  • Yellow and purple
  • Red and green
  • Blue and orange

Of course, you can also deviate from the main color and vary a little with the color nuances. For example here:

Light-dark contrast

You create the greatest light-dark contrast when you combine black and white. If that's too colorless for you, you can combine black and white with milder gray tones and bright colors or loosen up the cool atmosphere with different colored accessories or a few trendy houseplants, as in this example:

Quality contrast

You create a quality contrast when you combine bright colors with dull or cloudy tones, for example with gray tones. This contrast is suitable if you want to set specific highlights.

Quantity contrast (quantity contrast)

This is about the relationship between two colors. This is another way of creating exciting contrasts, because this is about "a lot and little" or "big and small". For example, colors that form a complementary contrast work best when you combine them in a certain ratio. For example:

  • Yellow and purple in a ratio of 1: 3
  • Orange and blue in a ratio of 1: 2
  • Red and green in a ratio of 1: 1

Since yellow shines much more strongly than, for example, violet or various darker shades of blue, you should use this color a little more sparingly and only set accents - for example with pillows or blankets. In the end, this creates a harmonious overall picture for the eye.

Simultaneous contrast

The impression of a color is of course always dependent on its surrounding color, which is made clear by the simultaneous contrast. A gray sofa can look very different in front of a green wall than in front of a gray wall. Check it out for yourself:

Color-in-itself contrast

Strong contrasts are created by strong, bright colors. If each color is present in its strongest luminosity, a simple and strong contrast is created. This is particularly clear with the basic colors red, yellow and blue:

So that you can also find the right tones and combinations in your home, we have put together a couple of harmonizing color palettes for each color, with which you can play it safe.

Which colors go well with yellow?

Light yellow is particularly refreshing and can be used as an accent color. For example with a yellow armchair or in the form of textiles. More saturated and darkened yellow tones, on the other hand, ensure more cosiness.

Yellow and blue tones

You can combine light yellow with light blue tones with a clear conscience. You can put darker yellow tones in the direction of ocher in the limelight as accents with blue tones.

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Yellows and grays

Gray and yellow also go well. The more the yellow tone goes brown, the sooner you can add green tones that go olive-colored.

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Which colors go well with orange?

Orange may not be everyone's favorite color, but with a few tricks you can also bring orange to the fore.

Orange and blue tones

Which color goes well with orange if not the complementary color blue? You can weaken the contrast by choosing lighter or darker shades or even going gray.

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Orange and green tones

It gets a little more autumnal when you combine orange with various dark green tones. Light pastel pink tones are a suitable addition, which always harmonize well with green.

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Which colors go well with red?

Be careful with the color red! You should use the bright color sparingly or tint it or lighten it if you want to use it over a large area.

Red and blue tones

You create a strong contrast by combining bright red as an accent color with cool blue tones. This creates a nice cold-warm contrast.

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Red and purple

The two tones are close together in the color wheel, which is why you can combine them very well.

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Which colors go well with blue?

Dark blue has a very calming effect, while light nuances are very refreshing. Two examples of how you can combine them with other colors:

Blue and yellow or gold

Of course, gold goes well with a royal dark blue as a visual highlight. You can also set such accents with yellow tones, for example in pillows or blankets, if you are not a fan of gold decorations.

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Blue and beige

It becomes a bit more subtle and also cozy and maybe a bit Scandinavian if you combine cool, light blue tones with warmer beige and brown tones.

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Which colors go with purple?

You can theoretically combine all colors that also go with red and blue with purple. But also soft light tones go well with purple. We have selected a few color combinations for you:

Violet and pastel green tones

Sometimes you just have to look around nature to discover beautiful color combinations. Lavender with its purple flowers and eucalyptus, for example, make a beautiful color combination that is also suitable as a decoration on the dining table.

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Violet and beige tones

Light beige tones flatter violet particularly well. You can also use yellow as an accent color, but please be careful with the strong contrast.

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Which colors go with green?

Even green can look beautiful with well-combined colors. We'll show you a few examples:

Green and gray

You can easily combine pastel green tones with gray tones. They create a particularly calm environment and are also well suited for the bedroom if you want to bring some color into play there.

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Green and red

A muted green can easily be combined with a pale red. You can also combine brown tones, for example light pine or red-brown teak furniture, with dark green.

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Which colors go well with black, white and gray?

The achromatic colors black, white and gray can be wonderfully combined with each other and with a variety of other colors. It doesn't matter whether it's bright, pastel or muted colors. An overview of what goes best with the classic colors:

That goes with black

The larger and lighter the room, the more suitable black is as a wall color, whether in the living room or bedroom. If a complete wall in black is too much for you, only paint a part of it. You can always combine black well with white or with cream-colored and light tones, but also with accent colors such as yellow or pastel colors such as a delicate pink.

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Darker greens, browns, and blues can also look good alongside black. Here, however, you should choose carefully, because the combination can quickly look overwhelming and overloaded. Loosen up the whole thing with a few lighter elements, for example with gold and white.

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That goes with white

White goes with every color in general. But if you love the Scandinavian look, you can combine white with soft, light blue and beige tones. Earthy tones also work well with white.

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With black and white you can create a more classic, timeless look with a strong light-dark contrast. White furniture and textiles also come into their own against dark colors such as dark green or blue.

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That goes with gray

Gray is a good alternative for those who think black is too extreme. You can combine them well with white furniture and accessories. However, pay attention to the ratio, rather a little more gray than yellow, it looks less excited.

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But you can also combine bright or intense colors such as yellow, orange or pink with gray.

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Five tools to help you find the right colors

Would you like to change something, but don't dare to be brave when choosing colors? Then we have selected five tools for you that can help you with the color composition.

1. Capture beautiful color combinations with Adobe Capture

You are sitting in a nicely furnished café and you particularly like the color combination of wall paint and wooden furniture, also for your home? Then the Adobe Capture app is just right for you. You take a photo of the selected area, the app recognizes the color tones at the same time and spits out beautiful color palettes including color values. Hue not quite hit yet? Just adjust manually.

You can download the app from the App Store and the Google Play Store.

2. Find the right color for your favorite tone with Pantone Studio

In addition to a lot of inspiring photos and color palettes, Pantone Studio also provides you with various color guides for the trend colors of recent years. One click on the color and you will receive matching monochromatic, analog and complementary colors.

You can download the app from the App Store and the Google Play Store.

3. Create random color palettes with Coolors

Finding the right hues can even be really fun. The simple color generator Coolors shows how this works. In addition to random color palettes, you can of course also put together and save your own combinations here and just try them out a little until you are satisfied with the result.

You can download the program as an app for your smartphone (only available in the App Store).

4. Generate harmonious colors with WebMart

WebMart is actually a tool to find suitable and harmonious colors for your own web project. But you can also use it just as well for the color design of your living room or bedroom. After you have selected a main color, the program generates harmonious color tones. Do you think the colors are too bright? With one click you can also display more muted colors in the same color spectrum.

5. Use Pinterest as a source of inspiration

Of course, you don't have to reinvent the wheel and search hard for the right color harmonies. You can already find numerous color palettes on Pinterest, as you can see above. This method has a big advantage: In addition to a lot of inspiration, you can also see in the photos how the tones work together in the room.

Would you like to grab the paint right away and redesign and repaint your apartment? So that nothing goes wrong, have a look here beforehand: