Winning wall color combinations: the fail-safe duos you can rely on

These wall color combinations are a perfect match to amplify one another and create a harmonious space

bedroom with pink walls and a green headboard and lilac sheets
(Image credit: Yes Colours)

Choosing a few winning wall color combinations for your home really is the backbone of your design scheme. No matter how perfectly curated your throws, cushions, vases, and artwork, if your color scheme is off, simply nothing will work. 

Your wall and furniture paint color combinations should be the first choice you make when planning your design, as this will have a knock-on effect on everything else. 

Interior paint color trends come and go and, naturally, we love them, but there are certain color combinations that simply always work. One of the biggest questions we get asked is how to decide what colors go well together.

And the answer is – you should choose colors that enhance each other. We've compiled this guide of some of our favorite, fail-safe combinations, so you can understand why they work, and replicate them yourself at home.

1. Soft pink and deep orange

A bold living room with pink, orange and red wall decor using chalk paint by Annie Sloan in shades Antoinette, Barcelona Orange and Emperor's Silk

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Doesn't this just remind you of dreamy sunsets? Pink and orange are warm, comforting, and inviting, and combined in this creative color block wall design, it really packs a punch.

'My best recommendation for combining colors is to combine a pastel color with a muddier color. The trick is to ground each tint with the darker, dirtier color and vice versa so that your room feels layered,' says Melanie Thomas, an interior designer at Melanie Thomas Design

In the above living room idea, the soft pink pastel walls contrast beautifully against the deep orange, so that the colors enhance, rather than fight against, each other. 

2. Black and white

Bathroom with zig zag black and white tiles from floor up bath panel onto wall

(Image credit: Adelina Iliev)

Monochrome is such a classic color combination. Whether your scheme is traditional and elegant, or contemporary and refined, there really aren't many styles or rooms where monochrome doesn't look great. As the ultimate balancing act, black absorbs light while white reflects, creating a room that's perfectly harmonious and easy to be in.

We love the bold geometric shapes created by the dramatic patterned tiles in this bathroom idea, but even just using white walls and black accessories can have the same effect too.

3. Bright pink and forest green

bedroom with pink walls, green headboard and lilac bedding

(Image credit: Yes Colours)

As a general rule, colors that sit opposite each other on the color wheel will sit nicely together – and a pink and green combo is a perfect example. This color combo has become so popular in the past few years, and we've seen it used everywhere from living rooms to bedrooms and kitchens too.

The sweet shade of pink in this bedroom idea above could be a little too sweet on its own, but the deep forest green on the bed works to add depth and really ground the scheme for a space that's fun and vibrant, but mature.

4. ... or plaster pink and olive green

Green kitchen cabinets with peach walls and marble splashback

(Image credit: Future)

Take those same colors and tone them down for a pink and green scheme that's easy to live with for everyone. You can easily and cheaply update your kitchen with colorful kitchen cabinet paint – and choose a contrasting shade for your walls like this kitchen idea

Both the plaster pink and olive green have a more natural, organic, and earthy quality which makes the scheme more calming and tranquil. 

5. Mustard and grey 

Mustard yellow velvet king size bed with storage by Danetti in a grey bedroom

(Image credit: Danetti)

'Wall color combinations work best when the main color is accented with a color that is brighter, warmer, or more intense in some way. This provides visual interest and contrast, which not only amplifies the accent color, but flatters the base color in a room as well,' says Andre Kazimierski, CEO at Improovy.

Grey is always going to be a great base color. It's an inherently cool shade, so it works especially well when combined with warmer colors. The mustard bed in the above grey bedroom idea is a perfect example.

6. Rust and sage green

bedroom with terracotta panelled walls and olive green bedding

(Image credit: Coat)

As our lives are all the more spent indoors and on screens, we're all craving the great outdoors and the calming effects of nature more than ever before, and this includes colors. 

The color combination of rust and sage green is an earthy, warm, and laid-back pairing that's stylish and refined but doesn't take itself too seriously. It's just as well suited to a living room or kitchen as it is to a boy's bedroom

The natural textures used in the above image - from the paneled wood wall to the linen fabric and the wool rug all amplify this natural, calming, and somewhat rugged feel.

7. Blush pink and midnight blue 

Kitchen-diner with herringbone floor, Crittall-style doors, dark blue Shaker-style kitchen with light pink island, and blue velvet sofa

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Following the classic rule of blending warm and cool colors, blue and pink is always a winner. This open-plan kitchen idea blends a deep midnight blue sofa with a soft and subtle blush pink island for a space that's fun and friendly yet pared back.

8. Cobalt blue and fiery orange 

A living room with blue wall paint decor and orange velvet sofa furniture

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

Now this one may not be for everyone, but if you're a lover of bright and vibrant colors, electric blue and powerful orange can be a joy to behold. This is dopamine decorating at its very best and is sure to bring a burst of energy every time you enter the room.

9. Lipstick red and candy pink 

living area with pink armchair and red storage cabinet

(Image credit: Ligne Roset)

A Pink and red combo is making waves in the world of fashion – from vibrant dresses and bold patterns, it's a statement combination that's fun and confident – and we're seeing it seep into our interiors too. Seemingly breaking all the rules with two bold warm shades, this pairing shouldn't work, but somehow, it does.

We love how it's used in fairly small doses in the storage unit and armchair to create a statement that can be easily picked up and moved around should you change your mind.

What are the most powerful color combinations?

The most powerful color combinations work by creating impact in a room for all the right reasons. How we perceive color is a personal thing, so the most powerful combinations will be different for everyone.

But in general, the most powerful pairings include a high level of contrast. From black and white bathrooms, to blush pink and midnight blue kitchens, and from mustard yellow and grey living room ideas to cobalt and orange bedrooms, the bigger the difference in the shade, the more striking the look. 

What are the three best colors that go together? 

Along a similar vein, the three best colors that go together will vary depending on your personal preferences. But these are some of our favorite trios of color:

  • Teal blue, blush pink, and yellow
  • Sage green, rust orange, and cream 
  • Forest green, mustard yellow, and black
Amelia Smith
Content Editor

After joining Real Homes as content producer in 2016, Amelia has taken on several different roles and is now content editor. She specializes in style and decorating features and loves nothing more than finding the most beautiful new furniture, fabrics and accessories and sharing them with our readers. As a newbie London renter, Amelia’s loving exploring the big city and mooching around vintage markets to kit out her new home.