In interior design, two colors are better than one, and three are better than two. But with thousands of colors and millions of shades to choose from, how could you possibly create a combination that works? The answer: With some professional guidance.
We tapped 20 interior designers for the tried and true color schemes they find themselves revisiting time after time. Whether you prefer rich colors with a glamorous feel or cool tones that look coastal chic, here are 20 pairings to incorporate in every room of your home.
Blue + Beige
Almost everyone loves blue, and it's easy to see why.
"One of my favorite color schemes is a simple Parisian grayish-blue paired with natural beige tones and the addition of gold hardware," Valerie Darden, head designer of Brexton Cole Interiors says. "I mixed this combo together for this master bedroom, using Sherwin Williams' Silver Grey on the walls. I was inspired by Marie Antionette! It gives the room a calm and serene atmosphere."
Hunter Green + Red
For a bold look, try green and red. We promise it won't look like Christmas.
"I love pairing hunter green and rich reds together, especially for boys' rooms," Darden says. "I like this color combo because it can give a vintage vibe to any room when paired with the right accessories. In this boy's bedroom, we went for the old-world collegiate look. The room looks adorable paired with plaids and a gallery wall mixed with vintage style frames and toys."
Blue + Neons
Blue is extra calming, but a pop of bright colors can give it the oomph it needs.
"I love how fresh and young the bright pops of fluorescent hues make a soft blue wall color feel," designer Diana Weinstein says. "The boldness of these neons adds an edge to what is typically a more traditional design. The clients on this specific home didn't like to take risks with color, but we encouraged them to try out this rug and tweed armchairs with these fun pops of pinks and yellows and oranges in them. This is now their favorite room."
Forest Green + Light Gray
If you're in the market for more earthy tones, green cannot be beat.
"I love incorporating pops of green as an accent color throughout a neutral home," Desiree Burns, the founder of Desiree Burns Interiors explains. "Bolder shades like forest green pack a big punch and make a beautiful impact, especially when combined with neutrals like light gray. It's a nice balance of a bold color counteracted by a neutral and works in almost any room! Whether you're going bohemian, rustic, farmhouse, contemporary, or glam, I think this color palette speaks to all different design styles."
Blue + White
A classic color combination found everywhere from Cape Cod homes to beach California bungalows, a pairing of blue and white is never a bad idea.
"Shades of blue and white are a fan-favorite combination that people feel they can often rely on," Sarah Latham, the principal of Latham Interiors, says. "The classic pairing looks clean and fresh, and we often pair it with natural wood tones to add depth, color, and texture to any space. Our favorite blue is Newburyport Blue HC-155 by Benjamin Moore, and the best part is it can easily be translated into most décor styles from bohemian to rustic and traditional to farmhouse."
Pink + Green
For a more unexpected take on interiors, try a variation of pink and green.
"My favorite color scheme is pink and teal," Michelle Gage, the principal and founder of Michelle Gage Interior Design says. "There's something so perfect about how the pairing pops against one another. I love the soft and bright balance the combination brings to a room."
Light Blue + Emerald
For a cooler toned room, blues and greens give off a calm and easygoing vibe.
"A color scheme of graduated blues and greens with neutral tones, natural woods, and black accents is my favorite combination," designer Julia Alexander of Julia Alexander Interiors says. "To recreate the look, take one color and repeat it in shades lighter and darker throughout your space. The pale blueish-green walls in this bedroom, paired with a rich green velvet headboard, feel classic, timeless, and serene."
Black + Navy + Beige
Who says neutrals have to be boring? With pops of nearly cobalt blue, this space is anything but average.
"I love how elegant and chic black, blue and beige look and feel in this Venice beach home—the colors work so well together and add depth to this space," designer Katherine Carter explains. "With such versatile shades, this color scheme really works in any room in the house. However, for this project, we chose to keep it in living room, finding room, family room, and kitchen. For a modern contemporary look, make navy and black the primary colors and sprinkle in beige tones."
Blue + Grass Green
As they're both cool colors, green and blue always play well together.
"My all-time favorite color scheme is blue and green—it always works and, depending on the shades, can be super versatile," Kelly Hurliman of Kelly Hurliman Interior Design says. "Brighter tones can feel preppy and fresh, while dark shades give off a sophisticated, moody vibe. We went with Benjamin Moore's Polo Blue on the walls and added grass green art and decor into the mix in this room."
Gray-Green + White + Black
For a more neutral, earthy take, try gray-green and add black and white.
"My favorite color scheme at the moment is grayish-green hues combined with black and white neutrals," designer Mindy Gayer, of Mindy Gayer Design Co. "I gravitate towards green colors to bring the outside in, and sage tones are also very soothing. I love how this combination boasts plenty of contrast while still maintaining a timeless quality."
Black + Red
For an high-impact space, black and red make a bold statement.
"Any touch of color against black—preferably high-glossed black—makes for a winning combination," Jonathan Rachman of Jonathan Rachman Design says. "I love pairing it with red, because it's bold yet soft, and definitely a statement! There are so many shades of black, but for me it's blackest of the black possible that I love the most, such as Benjamin Moore Black."
Gray + Sand + Blue
Looking for more of a modern coastal vibe? Blue, tan, and gray are for you.
"One of my favorite color combinations is blue, sand, and gray, as it evokes a sense of peace and comfort and boasts a clean, modern feel," Diana Rose, the principal and creative director of Diana Rose Design says. "Although it is adaptable for many environments, I especially love it for homes situated with water views. Other nature-inspired accents such as tan driftwood, green plants, white marble work with the nature-inspired color palette to evoke a feeling of water and the beach."
Blush Pink + Black
Pairing a strong shade, like black, with a lighter pastel, like blush pink, provides a great contrast.
"Ever since I was a little girl, my favorite color has always been blush pink—there's just something about it that makes me happy and calm," Michelle Berwick, the founder and principal designer of Michelle Berwick Design, says. "These days, I've found a way to use it in a way that feels fresh, modern, and not at all childlike.
Berwick suggests selecting a pink with "brown or putty undertones" like Queen Anne from Benjamin Moore.
"I love pairing this faint hue with black and mixing it with a host of other naturals, like white, tan, and putty shades," Berwick explains. "It complements many styles of interiors, including the trendy minimalist spaces we see today."
Yellow + Gray
For those drawn to mustard shades, try pairing it with a charcoal gray.
"My favorite color scheme at the moment is yellow and gray because it's both timeless and evokes modern sensibility," Kate Davidson of Kate + Co Design says. "Yellow brings a light-hearted feel and lifts the vibe of the muted gray tones but actually blends effortlessly into a home that does not have much color. The pair works in most spaces because it's gender-neutral and surprisingly brings quite a calming feel to any space."
Gray + Brown
The two most popular neutrals of the moment, gray and brown, play well together too.
"When we work with cooler tones, such as grays, we bring in balance through warmer tones and textures," designer Sascha LaFleur of West of Main says. "For instance, we love using this deep charcoal grasscloth wallcovering that boasts hints of bronze when the light hits it just right, and pairing it with organic brown textures. Through decorative elements, we can bring in that beautiful warmth to even the coolest-toned rooms."
Moss Green + Tan + White
For a high-drama space without using a ton of color, pick neutral shades and include luxe fabrics.
"We love incorporating color through texture. Injecting color through texture creates drama, even if you still want to keep a neutral palette," La Fleur explains. "We paired this almond-colored linen headboard and dark wood nightstand with a textural moss-green grasscloth wallpaper and I believe these rich, moodier tones are certainly here to stay. Pair them with crisp, creamy whites to keep a fresh and inviting feel while developing some contrast with those deeper hues."
White + Pops of Color
An ever popular choice, white paired with some bright colors always delights.
"To me, the most classic color scheme of all is a clean white palette with pops of colored accents throughout with the help of artwork and accessories, designer Courtney Sempliner says. "My go-to white paint for a blank canvas is Benjamin Moore's White Dove, which has just enough warmth to keep a space from being too stark, but still feels fresh and works with any other tones you bring into a room."
Blue + Gray + Taupe
Blue works in almost any space, especially when paired with easy neutrals.
"I love using a neutral blue color scheme in almost any space," Sempliner says. "A soft blue, combined with any whites, taupes, and grays, works well to provide a calming and warm environment while still feeling dynamic and fresh. For paint colors, two of my favorite blue tones are Borrowed Light by Farrow and Ball and Van Deusen Blue by Benjamin Moore."
Emerald + Tan
Greens are having a moment. To get in on the trend, try an emerald shade with a neutral.
"A medium green like this bold emerald shade paired with warm neutrals, like tan, is my current favorite color scheme," Mary Patton, the owner of Mary Patton Design says. "Calke Green by Farrow & Ball is the perfect shade to try a floor-to-ceiling paint job."
Black + White
A true classic, black and white will never go out of style.
"Classic black and white is a chic way of dressing up a more casual interior style, like the trendy modern farmhouse," Marlaina Teich of Marlaina Teich Designs says. "The key with making this simple color palette work is layering in texture, which you can do by varying up the paint finishes."