Some Colors Go Together Better than Others – Here’s Why…
Both science and and conventional color wisdom say that colors on opposite sides of a color wheel—complementary colors—look good together in home decor.
The most common sets of complementary colors are red and green, yellow and purple, and orange and blue, derived from the Red-Yellow-Blue color model.
If you use a different color model, you’ll get different sets of complementary colors. For instance, in the additive color model, the complements are green and magenta, red and cyan, and blue and yellow. (IKEA, anyone?)
Complementary colors work because different types of cones(photoreceptor cells) in your eye perceive different colors of light. If you stare at a block of color and then quickly look at a white wall, you’ll see a faint afterimage in the complementary color. For instance, if you stare at a blue square, after a while the cells in your eye that process blue light will become fatigued, making the signal they send to your brain weaker. Since that part of the visual spectrum is suppressed, when you look at a white wall after staring at the blue square, you’ll see a faint orange afterimage—the complimentary color.
So what does this mean for your decor? It means that combinations of primary and complementary colors are dynamic together. Choose a color model to start with, then pick a complementary pair to decorate around.