Design showcase: Top five complementary colour schemes

by | 23 Feb 2022 | Design

In partnership with TOPHOTELDESIGN, we highlight stylish properties from Dublin to Nashville filled with handsome hues that work in perfect harmony together.

There are many different ways to approach colour theory, and there are a range of systems, colour wheels, chromatic disks and so on. That’s because there are also many ways to synthesise and organise colours.

A kaleidoscope of colour

There’s additive (RGB) and subtractive (CMYK) synthesis, or light and pigment synthesis. In our case (interior design), it’s more convenient to think about pigment colours (paint and dyes).

Johannes Itten, one of our all-time favourite colour theorists, as well as an artist and professor at the Weimar Bauhaus, flawlessly renders his meticulous artist-oriented colour theory in his book The Art of Color. Through his research, he devised seven methodologies for coordinating colours utilising the hue’s contrasting properties. One of them being, you guessed it, complementary contrasts:

“We designate with the name of complementary to two colors of pigment that give a gray-black of neutral tone when combined…They oppose each other and demand their reciprocal presence. Its approach enlivens its luminosity but when mixed they are mutually destroyed and produce gray – like water and fire. There is only one color complementary to another.

“We can remember as an example of pairs of complementary colors:

“Yellow : Violet
Yellow-orange : Violet-blue
Orange : Blue
Red-orange : Blue-green
Red : Green
Red-violet : Yellow-green

“It reveals a strange fact, inexplicable until today: for a given color, our eye requires its complementary color and, if it is not given, it produces it by itself. This phenomenon has great importance for all artists.”

Monteverdi Tuscany

Sarteano, Italy
by Ilaria Miani Studio


Dream Nashville

by Meyer Davis
Supplied by Laufen


St Paul Hotel

by Borrallo Interiors


Beckett Locke

by AvroKO – London


Sofitel Tamuda Bay Beach & Spa

Tetouan, Morocco
by Galal Mahmoud Architects

Click here to find more inspiring hotel designs with complementary colour schemes on TOPHOTELDESIGN.

Many TOPHOTELNEWS articles draw on exclusive information from the TOPHOTELPROJECTS construction database. This subscription-based product includes details of thousands of hotel projects around the world, along with the key decision-makers behind them. Please note, our data may differ from records held by other organisations. Generally, the database focuses on four- and five-star schemes of significant scale; tracks projects in either the vision, pre-planning, planning, under-construction, pre-opening or newly opened phase; and covers newbuilds, extensions, refurbishments and conversions.

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