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GUIDE TO ANALOGOUS COLOR SCHEMES

See how harmonious analogous color schemes come together to create a striking design in any home.

Even the most experienced interior designer counts on the color wheel for creative inspiration when it comes to selecting paint colors. In this article, discover how the careful combination of three side-by-side colors, known as an analogous color scheme, yields a cohesive, interesting look for any room.

Analogous Colors 101

What is an analogous color scheme? The simple answer is that analogous hues are three color families that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel.

Taking a closer look, an analogous color scheme combines a primary color, a secondary color and a tertiary color:

  • Primary colors: Red, blue and yellow—the primary source of all colors
  • Secondary colors:
    • red+blue=purple
    • red+yellow=orange
    • yellow+blue=green
  • Tertiary colors: These are a mix of primary and secondary colors: red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, red-violet.
Neutral bathroom walls painted in Antique Pearl 2113-70 pair with a violet hallway painted in Lavender Mist 2070-60 to create an analogous color scheme.

Analogous Color Scheme & Color Flow

An analogous color scheme can be used to create an interconnected color story in any room.

Think how soft blues, greens and purples might evoke the feeling of a dusky, misty meadow. Or pale yellows, oranges and reds might conjure the sunrise of a new-day.

Here, a soft color scheme creates harmonious color flow from bathroom to hallway. “Antique Pearl 2113-70, is a soft, airy lilac that tends toward a neutral and has a hint of red-violet undertone,” explains Hannah Yeo, Manager of Color Marketing & Development at Benjamin Moore. “This subtle red-violet undertone creates a seamless transition into the violet hallway, painted in Lavender Mist 2070-60.”
A red, red-violet & violet analogous color scheme using Shadow 2117-30 paint color. A red, red-violet & violet analogous color scheme using Shadow 2117-30 paint color.
With its use of low-slung red-violet chairs, red area rug, and a wall in Shadow 2117-30, a royal amethyst and former Color of the Year, this striking space uses a successful red, red-violet & violet analogous color scheme.
A farmhouse kitchen using a blue, blue-green & green color scheme creates an elegant look. A farmhouse kitchen using a blue, blue-green & green color scheme creates an elegant look.
A farmhouse kitchen combines the calming energy of blue, blue-green & green to create an elegant look.
A relaxing bedroom with bunkbeds using a yellow, yellow-green & green analogous color scheme. A relaxing bedroom with bunkbeds using a yellow, yellow-green & green analogous color scheme.
Keep colors soft for a relaxing, restful atmosphere as seen here in the balanced use of a yellow, yellow-green & green analogous color scheme.
A kitchen with a yellow, yellow-green & green color combination using muted hues. A kitchen with a yellow, yellow-green & green color combination using muted hues.
Muted hues work in any space, as in this earthy yellow, yellow-green & green color combination. Home accessories, like the bowls seen here, are an easy way to incorporate analogous colors.

Color a Room with Analogous Hues

Selecting and viewing analogous paint colors is made easier with our online Color a Room paint color selection tool. Simply select a room from our portfolio, and choose paint colors to envision how an analogous color scheme will look, without having to pick up a brush.

To see paint colors in your own home, use the photo and video visualizers available in the Benjamin Moore Color Portfolio™ app, available for download on either Android or iPhone.
Two-tone wall painted in Subtle AF-310 and Sea Life 2118-40 framed by a black fireplace.

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