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Understanding complementary color schemes

Living room painted in Lick paint Red 03 with complementary jade green coloured sofa

WordsMegan Lambert


It’s true what they say: opposites really do attract. Especially when it comes to complementary color schemes.

The go-to choice for our Lick decorators, a complementary color scheme uses hues from opposite sides of the color wheel. Pick your favourite paint color and then pair it with its opposite. Not only does this allow you to be more varied with your selection, it creates a look that’s naturally appealing to the eye.

Whether you opt for muted tones or full saturation, a complementary color scheme is such a success thanks to opposites working together in perfect contrasting harmony.

In this blog, we’re going to whirl our way along the color wheel and explore which colors are complementary and the different ways in which you can use them together.

Complementary colour wheel
Basic complementary color scheme

Complementary colors: blue & orange

On the gentler side of things, Blue 01 with Orange 02 creates a chic retro feel. Read about our retro color palette and why these colors ooze 70s glamour. Or, if you want to make a statement, raise the saturation and go for Blue 05 with Orange 01