Complimentary Color Harmony-

Is Two Colors opposite each other on the 12 color wheel, with a range of tonal(lightness or darkness) and chromatic(saturation)values of both colors + the ever important range of neutrals.  The neutrals must vary from light to dark.complimentary1Above is the 12 color wheel, so here the chosen complimentary colors are purple and yellow. Below is an example of how that can translate into a room.  

purple and yellow complimentary dining roomThis room is a great example of using colors with neutrals.  The ceiling is light, the walls dark. The white goes from the ceiling to the painting, to the candles to the table cloth which goes all the way to the floor.  The dark goes from the walls  to the table cloth, to the cushions on the chairs and finally to the floor on the carpet. So there is an even distribution of light and dark neutrals distributed both horizontally and vertically in this room. I have learned how important having that even distribution of light and dark tones is to have the eye move around the room with ease. The neutrals are also important because they give your eyes a rest from color.
The yellow is seen not only in the chairs, but all the gold accents read as yellow, the picture frame, the vase and the plates. There seems to be a hint of purple in the grays on the room, but the most chromatic is the purple in the flowers on the table.

A good rule of thumb with color is to have the largest parts of the room the most neutral, the walls, flooring and largest pieces of furniture. As you get smaller the pieces can have more chroma or saturation. chromaticFound on harpersbazaar.com

In this image the walls, the carpet and the sofa are all very neutral and the color is in the chair, the pillows, the tray on the table and even the books read as a color. While the color here is very saturated, because it set against so many neutrals it works! This an example of a blue – orange complimentary color harmony.

You see a lot of complimentary color harmonies in nature. This is a red green complimentary color harmony

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Normally, and especially, this time of year we think of Christmas when we see a red green complimentary scheme, but if you choose either the green or the red to more chromatic this color scheme can be very successful.green and redFound on elledecor.com

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