Classic Color Combo: Primary Colors

When it comes to color, sometimes it’s best to go back to basics. Decorating with primary colors – red, yellow, and blue – is as basic as it gets (besides black and white) – that’s why they’re calledĀ primary colors.

This classic combo is bold and bright, playful yet sophisticated. It works best undiluted (if mixed with anything else, the colors are, by definition, no longer primary) and proportionately represented (a red wall and yellow wall with a thin blue molding won’t cut it) for full effect and proper balance.

Because these colors are natural complements, you don’t have to fret over matching and coordination; they automatically look good with each other. For a primary color scheme to look its best, don’t bring in other colors – it’s better against a neutral backdrop like white, black, or gray.

Primary colors are awesome inĀ kids’ rooms (they’re gender-neutral for shared spaces and not “babyish” so they’ll grow with your child)…

Kids’ Room by Pebble Design

Photo via

Kids’ Room by Touch Interiors
Kids’ Space by Marina Rubina, Architect
Bedroom by Suzy Harris Designs

… and they’re equally awesome in grown-up rooms. This color scheme is young at heart without being childish, colorful and striking without overwhelming a space. Primary colors have an impact when used in any capacity, from large-scale exterior colors to tricolor light fixtures.

Living Room by Form4 Architecture
Kitchen by Hunter and Company
Photo by K. Gennaro Photography
Staircase by Ian Pierce
Exterior by Castanes Architects PS
Bathroom by Alloy Workshop
Hall by Andrew Franz Architect PLLC

While balance is important, sometimes the smallest addition makes the biggest impact. In this room, for example, red is most represented (on the door), blue (on the ottoman) less than red, and yellow (the boots) least of all, but imagine it without that pop of yellow and you’ll recognize the ingenuity of adding color in different amounts. Just be sure to consider distribution when implementing this technique; with equal amounts of red and blue, the effect would be diluted.

Entry by ZeroEnergy Design

What’s your home’s boldest color combo?