Color Combinations You Never Knew You Loved
By Kimberly Boney
By Kimberly Bonéy
Vincent Van Gogh, the world-renowned Dutch painter, once said, “One can speak poetry just by arranging colors well.” Colors are the visual manifestations of our deepest emotions. They carry the sentiments, associations and passions of a culture, often bridging generational gaps – or creating them. They wax and wane in our lives, as they have throughout different periods of history, affecting our moods, appetites and even our heart rates. But when two unexpected colors are paired together, there is infinite magic to be discovered. Allow us to introduce you to some fresh color combinations that may just speak poetry into your home and wardrobe.
1. Indigo + Cinnabar
Why We Love It: Blue and orange, opposite on the color wheel, bring a well-balanced, fresh and playful perspective to life.
At Home: Use indigo as your anchor color in a living room, as it lays the foundation for a serene dwelling space. Cinnabar is the warm splash that will keep the room from feeling cold. Consider a couch in indigo and fold in throw pillows, vases, artwork and accent furniture in cinnabar. Using both colors throughout the space in varying shades adds dimension, flow and continuity. Indigo or cinnabar can work as an accent wall in your home, but their associated temperatures – cold and warm, respectively – have the power to evoke a mood of sadness or anxiety if used with too much intensity.
In Your Wardrobe: The world remains mad for all things denim, so indigo is already a part of “the in crowd.” A few basics in cinnabar – like a tank, t-shirt, dress, skirt or statement blazer – will play well with denim. If you don’t feel comfortable wearing cinnabar as an element of clothing, consider splashing in a pair of shoes, a bag, hat, a scarf or a piece of statement jewelry in the happy hue. And a fun pattern that infuses shades of indigo and cinnabar is always a good idea.
2. Olive + Blush
Why We Love It: Shades of green and pink are calming, delicate and subtle – and utterly unforgettable.
At Home: Olive green is a great option for larger pieces of furniture like buffets, armoires and couches because while it provides that solid force that every room needs, it’s a bit less severe than black or brown. Old books with shades of olive green make a lovely and whimsical addition to bookcases and coffee tables. Sure, putting a shade of blush on the wall may not sound like your cup of tea, but opting for a white wall with a tint of blush can soften a room brilliantly. Vintage glassware, orbs or artwork with elements of blush invite romance into a space. Bouquets of lush greenery and sweet blush blooms on your table are sure to stop just about anyone in their tracks.
In Your Wardrobe: Use olive green as a substitute for your dark neutrals this season. Pencil skirts, pants, basic dresses, blazers and coats in this shade show a more nuanced fashion sense than their expected neutral counterparts. A blush-colored blouse, scarf or jewelry over a layer of olive hits a sweet note. And don’t count out blush as your base color. It can work just as well as the star with olive in the supporting role.
3. Teal + Copper
Why We Love It: t reminds us of where the land and sea meet – and when is the beach not a good idea?
At Home: Teal is luxurious without having to try too hard. Try an accent chair or a tufted ottoman upholstered in rich teal velour or microfiber, or update an antique armoire or buffet in the hue to elevate a room in an instant. Teal works perfectly on a wall – on top if the wall has wainscoting, on the bottom if it’s divided by decorative molding. A glass-top coffee table with a copper metal base and coordinating end tables will soften and sophisticate the space. Lighting fixtures, lamp bases, frames, book ends or beaded throw pillows in shining copper will sweeten the deal.
In Your Wardrobe: Often associated with mystery, teal can’t help but be noticed. Slip on a teal dress and intrigue everyone around you without saying a word. A trench coat or pea coat in teal is a lovely alternative to basic black or navy, and is surprisingly neutral. If you can manage to find a pair of heels in metallic copper, you’ve hit the fashion lotto. Buy them – and a clutch bag and belt to match, since luck is clearly on your side. Jewelry with copper accents counter the deep unknown of the teal with something warm, enchanting and approachable.
4. Plum + Marigold
Why We Love It: It reminds us of the turning of seasons – we are all about a stunning cluster of mums on a fall day.
At Home: Plum is ideal for creating an intimate, elegant boudoir. Use the rich hue on your comforter, duvet cover, draperies, an elegant chaise lounge or a tufted bench at the foot of the bed. Drape sheer panels in plum from the top of a canopy bed and you’ll feel like royalty. Splash in marigold throw pillows, artwork, table runners, lampshades and small painted end tables to add warmth to the room. In fact, consider painting the wall behind your bed in warm marigold to infuse a bit of light and contrast – because contrast, dear friends, is a beautiful thing.
In Your Wardrobe: A sweater dress, a blouse or a pencil skirt in plum can easily stand in for your black, charcoal or grey basics. Plum is luxury personified in the form of a warm, knitted infinity scarf, a structured satchel bag or a piece of jewelry – particularly when it’s layered over marigold. Opt for a bold, plum shade of lipstick or nail polish to spice things up. A sassy pair of shoes, a stylish bag and belt combination, a snuggly scarf and bold jewelry in marigold command attention while offering a soft balance to the edginess of the plum.
5. Cranberry + Duck Egg Blue
Why We Love It: It’s the best of both worlds – the rich, luxurious balance of warm and cool.
At Home: It’s been said that every room can be made more beautiful with a touch of red. Consider a couch in cranberry, because, well, your life will be all the better for it. Soften its intensity with throw pillows in duck egg. Artwork with elements of red will pop on the wall. Old books with cranberry covers will stand out boldly in a bookshelf, built-in cabinetry or on a coffee table in duck egg. Infuse vintage brass ephemera with a natural patina (it looks very close to duck-egg) to distribute the color adequately throughout the room. An elegant accent chair or tufted ottoman lends old-world charm.
In Your Wardrobe: A dress, a vintage leather jacket, a wool coat and a pair of heels in cranberry should get you started, but don’t stop there. The awe-inspiring color works just as well for accessories as it does for the core pieces. And the right red lipstick and polish will change your life. A dress, a blazer and a top in duck egg blue may just become your staples this season. The dusty blue hue shines when worn with anything cranberry, so pick up a scarf, some jewelry and a structured statement bag and consider yourself day-glow.