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6 Surprisingly Effective Colour Schemes

When deciding on a design style for your living room – no matter the style you settle on – the primary consideration is always going to be the colour scheme. From tonal, to harmonious, to complementary colour schemes, there are plenty of combinations and configurations you can opt for. Most of us are quite careful when planning a room’s colour palette, taking into consideration all manner of factors such as natural light, furniture, the dimensions of a room, and not least personal taste. We tend to veer away from taking risks or trying new things for fear of it not working out as we hoped. But sometimes, just sometimes, it’s worth taking a risk with your decor, as these surprisingly effective colour schemes can testify.

1. Pink and Yellow

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A pink and yellow colour scheme is usually associated with little girl’s bedrooms, but this combination can be so much more. Pale pastel pinks and yellows are a wonderful choice if you’re going for a fun and informal atmosphere in your home, where as deeper versions of these colours, much like those in the example above, can foster a chic and sophisticated look in a room.

2. Red, Purple, and Cream

Red purple cream living room

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Red and purple are fairly close to each other on the colour wheel, but given that purple is made from mixing red and blue, the consensus is that they should not be combined. It’s all about how you go about it, though. In this example the combination works because there is a clear demarcation between colours. Purple has been kept to one room feature – the walls – whilst red occupies the space in-between through the use of a few accessories. Finally, the cream-coloured furniture and floor work to reduce the sometimes jarring impact of a red/purple union.

3. All the Colours of the Rainbow

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Not literally of course, but you get the idea. We normally spend a great deal of time deciding which colours to include in a space and which to leave out. Why be so picky, though? Consider a whole selection of colours instead, preferably bright ones, and give your room cheerful glow. The golden rule when decorating with colourful shades is to embrace their contrast rather than trying to complement them, and also make sure you have plenty of lighting so they really come to life.

4. Charcoal, Purple, and Pink

Grey Sofa

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The charcoal grey colour of the wall and sofa dominates this room, giving it a rather austere and moody feel. However, offsetting the darkness of the space are a few hints of lightness provided by the magenta purple and fuchsia pink pillows and throw. The grey and purple/pink are as different as night and day, but they share a richness of tone and so complement each other very well.

5. Green, Green, and Green

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With the exception of neutral shades, we are discouraged from decorating a room predominantly in one colour, and for good reason – they tend to ‘close in’ the space. However, you can get around this problem by choosing a tonal colour scheme – which basically just means using one colour, but in varying tones. Green is one of the more difficult shades to pull off in this regard, but the living room in the picture above has, undoubtedly, managed it. Not least because of the added mix of textures and a few splashes of alternative colour.

6. Orange and Blue

Orange and blue interior

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Orange is a funny one, it can change the character of a space dramatically depending on the shade you use, and when it is used it’s most often to be found on the walls rather than anywhere else. Darker incarnations of the colour, such as burnt orange, are easier to integrate into a room, so brighter oranges should be combined with either the colour white or dark tones – much like the deep blue above – in order to create balance. You’ll also notice that the typical use of orange as a wall colour has been subverted here, with it making up the furniture and accessories instead. The result is dramatic.

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