In interior decor, accent colors refer to colors used to emphasize or draw the eye to a particular area or item. Accent colors add depth to the room’s composition, giving it more texture, variety, and a certain “pop” to it. By comparison, a room with shades of only one color may end up looking flat, bland, and boring.
As a rule of thumb, accent colors need to be brighter or more vivid than the rest of the colors in the room. It has to stand out from the “base” or predominant color. At the same time, the two colors can’t clash.
In general, colors like green and violet, or orange and violet, are considered too “out there” to work outside of a daringly hip or bohemian theme. Standard pairings include using the three primary colors together (red, blue, yellow); or pairing one of the primary colors to a secondary color (orange, purple, or green). Using one accent color against a neutral base, like white or gray, is often the go-to technique.
Certain colors go particularly well together. If you’re looking to spice up your home, take these suggestions in mind:
Blue with yellow accents
Get blue for a comfy and homey vibe and yellow to brighten up the space. The combination evokes a soothing yet warm aura, as if saying, "I'm comfortable but not boring."
Black, white, & gray with red accents
Red has the most immediate effects on the psyche, according to color experts. It incites passion; it can raise energy levels. Pairing red against a white, black, and gray backdrop will make it pop all the more. It’s bold and modern.
Beige and brown with green accents
Take a page from nature itself. A home decked in wooden trimmings and furniture could use some green for extra zest, and what better way than to use the real thing. Potted plants and trees will bring new energy into each room. Use them against a backdrop of wood and soft yellow tones like beige for that classic and elegant look.
Neutral palettes with blue accents
Blue is very common in the home. As an accent, it is often used against neutral palettes, like beige and off-white, or gray and white. For a modern and masculine theme, pair dark blue with white and gray tones.
Brown with orange accents
Bright pops of orange will keep a brown room from feeling too stuffy, formal, or overbearing. Using something as ingenious as a new set of orange pillowcases should do the trick.
Black and white with baby pink accents
For a touch of the feminine, use baby pink against black and white. It’s something a little different, but also totally chic. Perfect for the contemporary woman. The sheer contrast between black and the light pink color will give the space an edgy but whimsical appeal.
Orange with blue accents
Beach bums unite: this color scheme will take you back to your best beach-side vacations. For inspiration, think of the sun setting over the sea. Choose a salmon or coral shade of orange for the walls or the floor, then add a dash of blue here and there for that fun, contemporary, beachy look.