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Home Decorating Using Analogous Colors

Updated on April 3, 2015
Analogous color combinations
Analogous color combinations | Source

Home Decorating Ideas on How to Mix Colors

Are you looking for home decorating tips to help you make your home look like the home you have always dreamed of?

The secret to making that dream come true is by understanding how colors work together to achieve that beautiful balance you see in all the home decorating magazines.

This article will talk about analogous colors, what they are, samples of colors that are analogous and what color to add to enhance them even further.

At the end, I have supplied a link to my webpage explaining about harmonious colors, which are actually an expansion of analogous colors.

Identifying analogous colors with a color wheel
Identifying analogous colors with a color wheel | Source

Identifying Analogous Colors

The easiest way for you to visualize what colors would be analogous and thus work well together, would be to look at a color wheel. It is inexpensive and can be found at most stores that have art supplies.

Analogous colors would be any three colors that are in direct contact with each other on the color wheel. So, in this picture you can see these examples

  • blue, blue-green and green
  • blue-green, green, and yellow-green
  • green, yellow-green and yellow

If you follow around the whole wheel, you should be able to find a threesome that appeals to you.

red-violet violet blue-violet
red-violet violet blue-violet | Source

Blue-violet, violet and red-violet are three analogous colors. They are analogous because they have one thing in common, the color violet.

The use of different values of the colors adds a dramatic effect to the pattern.

They can be further enhanced by adding a forth color, in this case it would be yellow-orange.

Orange complements the three blue variations across from it.
Orange complements the three blue variations across from it. | Source

Choosing a Fourth Color

Usually in home decorating and in art in general, using only the three colors tends to give a feeling of incompleteness, or flatness. Adding a fourth color is the solution...

but not just any color! You need to pick a color that is complementary to the three you have chosen.

If you look at this picture, you can see a good example of how to pick the fourth color.

The wheel has a white triangle in the center that identifies three analogous colors; blue-green, blue and blue-violet. If you follow the arrow across to the other side, you will see that orange is the complement of the blue. It is important to note that the blue is the color that is common to all of these three colors, so the choice is easy.

Here is an example of a gardener who chose to use a blend of red-orange, red and red-violet in her flowers. Different values, again added variety to the arrangement.

Nature just naturally added the complementary color of red which is green, as the fourth color.

What is the Dominant Color?

What if you want to shift your three colors over one slot so you have green, blue-green and blue? What is the dominant color?

The answer would be Blue... Why?

  • Green comes from blue and yellow
  • blue-green is from blue and green
  • and blue is blue

The complement would be orange.

Using the complement will make the other colors feel richer and take away that flatness, but you only want to use the complement to the level that it complements, not takes over and dominates.

Modifying the Dominant Color

Here we have blue-violet, violet, and red-violet. The violet is the dominant color because it is common to all of them. the complement would be yellow.

But, what if you only have a touch of violet and the majority of the color you are using in your room is the red-violet?

Your choice could be the yellow or better yet, the yellow green because that is the complement of red-violet.

So you see you do have options. Just use the color wheel as a guide and make choices based on what color you use as the dominant one

Harmonious Colors

Harmonious colors are just an expansion of analogous colors giving you more choices of combinations.

For a more detailed discussion on harmonious colors and visual examples, go to my website:


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very nice and informative lens! Thanks for sharing!

    • maryLuu profile image


      6 years ago

      Very useful informations. Thanks!

    • Judy Filarecki profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Filarecki 

      7 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

      @anonymous: Thanks so much for the blessing. I'm glad you found the information helpful. I use the color wheel frequently when making decisions a bout color combinations

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      How very helpful this explanation of analogous colors is when choosing a color scheme in home decorating. I can see that the color wheel really makes everything so simple and will give a professional look every time. A neighborhood Interior Design Angel stopped by and blessed this lens, today.


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